Cut flower harvesting and care tips
Summer is almost here and your garden should be ready to bloom depending on the types of plants you have selected. Some flowers have a longer bloom season than others which means that you may already be enjoying the fruits of your labour. When you have a nice selection of blooms, you can harvest them and make your very own cut flower arrangements to brighten your home. The key is to make sure that you cut these stems properly and at the appropriate time. Here are some essential tips.
Timing is everything
The first thing that you want to remember when it comes to cut flower harvesting is that you need to time it just right. You want to pick flowers in the morning so that they are properly hydrated and before it gets too hot. You also want to look for flowers that are in partial bud form rather than those that have already opened completely. This will ensure that your bouquet will last so much longer in a vase.
Prepare your tools
You need to get all your tools ready for cut flower harvesting before you begin. You don’t want to end up searching for a bucket, for example, after you have cut your first few stems. You will need a bucket with clean water, a sharp pair of scissors or pruning sheers (rose stems are particularly thick) and a pair of gloves. The sap from certain plants can cause skin irritation which is why gloves are important. With everything at the ready, you can begin picking your fresh blooms.
Inspect each bloom
Before you pluck a flower from the plant, take the time to inspect the petals as well as the stem. If you notice any signs of damage, you should leave the flower on the plant and choose another one instead. You may also find bugs hiding in between the petals or under the leaves. You can get rid of them fairly easily by removing them gently with your hands. Alternatively, you can submerge the flowers completely in water to flush them out.
Creating an arrangement
Once you are done cut flower harvesting, it’s time to create a bouquet! Leave your flowers in the bucket of water while you prepare a vase. Make sure that you do not leave the bucket in the sun! Fill your vase halfway with clean water and add some flower preserve. If you don’t have any, you can look up a DIY recipe online that consists of just a handful of ingredients you should find in your kitchen. Now, trim each stem and remove any lower leaves before placing the flower in the vase. Do this with each flower until you have filled your vase. Remember, you want to create a balanced bouquet so you should rotate the vase as you go. Space your blooms apart evenly and try to ensure that you have focal flowers as well as mass or filler flowers.
Cut flower care
Now that your bouquet is ready, you can display it in a safe spot out of the sun and where it will be protected from any draughts. Keep an eye on the vase water and change it every two days. You may need to recut the stems every few days too. If you notice that they are a little slimy at the bottom, this indicates bacterial growth. Give them a trim to keep them fresher for longer.
By following these easy tips, you will be able to create cut flower bouquets from the blooms in your garden and you can enjoy them for at least one week, depending on the types of flowers you grow. If some of your flowers perish before the rest, remove them from the arrangement. If you only have a few pretty stems left, place them in a smaller vase or create several bud arrangements.