Spring Seed Planting - How to Have A Cutting Garden

March 16, 2015

Yay it's Springtime and seed planting season again, a whole summer of pretty cut flowers is just around the corner. I've grown a few types of flowers from seed over the past few years {sweet peas and cosmos mainly} but this year I've decided to go even further and make a small cutting flower patch on the allotment. It's amazing just how many flowers you'll get even from just a couple of packets of seeds and little bit of time invested now. Last year, after shoving some sweet pea seeds into some soil at this time I had huge bunches of flowers, every other day for over eight weeks! You have to keep cutting them, filling your kitchen with prettiness and their amazing scent. When I wrote our garden post last year a few of you asked for a guide of when to plant things. So this is the time to plant most seeds, go buy some compost, have a read of this mini guide and get planting!

We've bought various seed trays and propagator sets over the past few years for growing both flowers and vegetable seeds. The modular segments allows you to distribute seeds easily and it's easier to transport them as the roots won't get intertwined.  Lids helps to keep everything warm and protected for germination. We've got a couple of heated ones that plug in to start certain seeds off {tomatoes need heat as do cosmos to start with}. But any old pot or even tin cans would work - you could put them on a warm windowsill with a clear plastic bag over it. 

It's best to use seed and cutting specific compost that has the right nutrients for germination and young seedlings. Use your finger, or a dibber, or the end of a spoon to make holes to plant your seeds. The back of the pack will tell you how deep to sow them and how spaced out they need to be. We water the soil before sowing the seeds.

We planted these on Saturday and within just a few days we had green shoots starting to sprout already.

So far on the veg front we've planted indoors: Two types of kale, tomatoes, celery and onion sets. And in the ground at the allotment, with a cold frame on top we've sown spinach and watercress so far. The ground there is still not quite warm enough but over the next few weeks we'll be planting beans, courgettes, pumpkins, salad leaves, beetroot and carrots.

The kale has sprouted already, it's amazing to think that just from one seed you'll hopefully have a plant that will produce lots of produce to cook. But enough about veg seeds, this was meant to be about pretty flowers...

Cosmos are my favourites and again will flower for months in the garden or on a cutting patch. They're really easy to grow, just put a couple of seeds per pot and they should germinate within a couple of days. Pot them on when they get a bit bigger and then plant them out into patio pots or the ground at the end of April. There are lots of different types around now, some frilly, doubles, dwarf, tall. And again they need deadheading to produce more flowers so keep cutting them for displays.

This is my first year growing stocks but I love them as cut flowers, they're both gorgeous and smell amazing. I scattered them in a seed tray and will prick them out when they get a bit bigger and pot them up before planting out in mid-late April. Some will go in a galvanised tub on the patio and some in the ground at the allotment for cutting.


I only really discovered Zinnia's last year but so far they've been easy to grow and have shot up in just a couple of days. Such bright colours. They'll flower a bit later in the summer, good in both pots or in the ground for cutting as part of a display.

Last year I bought some sweet peas for our garden thinking they'd be better than the seeds I'd sown for the allotment but the actually they were rubbish! The ones I'd grown from seed produced 10 x as many flowers and lasted for a lot longer so this year I'm growing them all from seed for both the garden and allotment. 

I've got five different types this year - they don't need much heat at all so can be sown into large pots {they are deep rooted} with around three seeds per pot in a cold greenhouse outside or put on a windowsill somewhere cool. You may need to soak the seeds overnight first, the back of the packet will tell you if you need to or not. None of mine needed to this year.

They'll take around two weeks to germinate, mine have only had a week so far. After that once they develop four leaves you'll need to pinch out the top to make them bush out more which will create more flowers later on and stop them getting too leggy. Keep them protected from frost until around the end of April/early May and then plant in the ground where they are to flower - they will need something to climb up, a wigwam made out of bamboo canes or even big sticks. Dig a deep hole, fill with manure if you've got any, and place about 4-6 plants at the bottom of each wigwam point. Water well, they're really hungry and thirsty and you might need to tie them to the wigwams gently with string until they start twisting themselves around. But then you'll have an abundance of flowers alll summer long! 

I've also got Nigella/Love in The Mist which have self set from last year at the allotment, they make for good cutting flowers and have nice seed heads later on in the season. And larkspur are gorgeous, like mini delphiniums - they're in the freezer right now they need a really cold spell before you can sow them apparently. I'll sow poppy seeds directly into the ground and if you're struggling for time, try a shake and rake type thing, they do work and you'll have pretty annuals sprouting up within a few weeks.

Roses don't grow from seeds but it's a good time to plant them in your garden or as part of a cutting patch as they flower all summer long and are beautiful in displays. David Austin are my favourites, I've planted two new ones this year so I'm excited to see them come into bloom in a couple of months.

Finally, I've been loving this beautiful and useful book {it's only £5!} for lots of helpful tips and ideas for everything to do with a cut flower garden. Whether you're growing for the first time in a small space or want to create a large dedicated cut flower garden, it covers it all. I especially love the display ideas for unique combinations and ways to display your flowers. 

It will tell you everything you need to know in a much better way than I ever could.

Go get growing and let me know how you get on.

R <3 xx

I was sent this book but would never, ever promote anything that I wouldn't buy myself or truly love.

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  1. Lovely post, lots of information and gorgeous pictures. Fingers crossed for hood gardening weather this year!

  2. I'm planning an are of the garden strictly for cutting flowers too. We always plant lots of veg and we can't eat it all, so this year I plan on being overrun with blossoms instead of broccoli!!

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