Did you know that you can grow cut flowers in raised beds? That means that even if you don’t have the best soil or the best outdoor space for starting an in-ground garden, you can still grow cut flowers at home. They’re a great way to add color, dimension, and beauty to your yard, especially if you’re new to gardening.
Cut flowers can be grown in raised beds just as they are grown in regular gardens. Raised beds provide extra benefits such as improved drainage, an organized space, easy maintenance, and accessibility. Most cut flowers can be grown in raised beds without any special considerations.
Let’s explore the benefits of growing cut flowers in raised beds and get started with the most popular cut flowers that can be grown in them.
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Can I grow cut flowers in raised beds?
You not only can grow cut flowers in raised beds but you should! Growing cut flowers in raised beds is as easy as gardening in regular flower beds, and there are even some additional benefits that we’ll get to in a moment.
Most flowers can be grown the same way, whether in a raised bed or in-ground garden. The plants just need high-quality soil, regular watering, and the occasional application of compost or fertilizer to keep them healthy and productive throughout the season.
Growing in raised beds is similar to growing in containers, which I talk about in this article: 12 Cut Flowers To Grow In Containers (Plus tips for success).
Let’s dig into some of the reasons you might want to build raised beds for your new cut flower garden by naming the benefits.
What are the benefits of growing in raised beds?
Raised beds are perfect for growing cut flowers, especially if starting your garden from scratch. There are several benefits to using this method.
Easier to start and maintain
Raised beds are easier to care for than traditional gardens because there’s less bending over required when weeding, watering plants, or harvesting flowers.
With raised beds, there’s no need to till up a patch of ground and fight all the weeds that will sprout as the dirt is churned up. Instead, build a raised bed to set right on top of the existing grass and fill it up.
There’s no need to remove the grass below since the soil in the raised bed will be too deep for the weed seeds to germinate and grow up through it.
Faster soil improvement
With raised beds, you can control the soil quality much more easily than you can with in-ground gardens. Because the garden beds are above ground, you can add organic matter to the soil as needed and avoid any pests or diseases that might be lurking in your native soil.
Additionally, you can top off the raised beds with compost as needed. This influx of new compost will help keep the soil nutrition high for healthy plants.
Improved drainage and earlier planting times
Since raised beds sit above ground level, water drains much better than in a traditional garden. The height of the bed encourages the top few inches to dry out more quickly as the water travels down to the ground below.
The same is true for increased soil temperatures. Since the soil is raised from the ground, it will warm up faster than in-ground gardens. Many flower seeds prefer to germinate at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so anything you can do to help warm the soil will result in better germination rates.
If you have limited mobility or you just can’t handle bending over in your garden for long periods, then an extra-tall raised bed can make cut flower gardening more accessible to you. Bring the flower beds up to you, not you to the flower beds!
The exact height that will help you varies, but I enjoy a bed that’s at least tall enough to allow me to sit on a bucket while I’m planting and weeding. It’s much easier on my back to reach out to do work rather than down.
How deep do raised beds need to be to grow cut flowers?
A raised bed should be in the range of 6-18 inches deep. Some plants, such as dahlias require soil to be at least 18 inches deep to accommodate the tubers it produces. Flowers that are shorter, such as pansies and calendula, will only need six or so inches of soil to grow in.
If you’re growing dahlias for cut flowers, then your raised bed should be at least 18 inches deep. This is because dahlias produce tubers in addition to regular roots. Tubers are like potatoes; thickened pieces of root that you can replant to grow new plants.
To accommodate the large tubers, you need to provide extra depth in the raised bed if you’re growing above a hard surface, rocky soil, or if you’ve lined your raised beds with wire or mesh to keep rodents out.
How big should the raised beds be to grow cut flowers?
The size of the bed depends on what you want to grow and what size you have enough time and energy to maintain. A raised bed can be as small as a few square feet or as large as 50 square feet (or more!)
For example, if you want to build a raised bed alongside your house, it might end up being a 3×20 foot rectangle. That’s a lot of square footage, but it’s all easily accessible since it’s only three feet wide. You can reach into the bed to tend to your plants and harvest flowers.
On the other hand, if this is your very first garden, or you have a postage-stamp-sized yard, you could build a raised bed that is only 2×3 square feet. With that size, you can comfortably fit in 6-8 flower plants and have enough to harvest a bouquet or two per week, and you’ll have minimal maintenance to do.
If you’re working with limited space, I have a few helpful hints in this article, How Much Space Do I Need For a Cut Flower Garden? to get you started.
What are the best cut flowers to grow in raised beds?
Just about any cut flower can be grown in raised beds, especially if they’re at least one foot deep. Here are some of the most popular cut flowers, all of which will happily pump out beautiful blooms in your garden plot because they are cut and come again flowers.
Cosmos: There are plenty of varieties that stay compact, topping out at 2-3 feet tall.
Zinnia: The most popular series for cutting, the Queen series, grows 2-3 feet tall, making them productive but reasonably sized.
Calendula: Just one or two plants will keep you awash in blooms.
Marigold: Marigolds don’t get too tall no matter the variety, so they won’t take up more than their fair share of space in a raised bed.
Salvia: Plant these on the edges of your beds for some spiky elements.
Scabiosa: You will be delighted with these pincushion flowers in your raised bed garden.
Dwarf sunflowers: The miniature sunflowers won’t tower over your other flowers.
Gomphrena: These multipurpose flowers will pump out the blooms, and they are great for dried flower arrangements, too.
Snapdragons: Keep an eye out for short snapdragon varieties for raised beds and enjoy the early spring blooms.
This list is only the tip of the iceberg! If you have a different flower variety on your list, give it a shot in your raised beds. Chances are, it will grow well and start providing you with blooms in no time!
For more information about the easiest cut flowers to start with, check out this article: 10 Easy Cut Flowers To Grow From Seed: With Seed Photos.