My Favorite Resources, Tools, And Books

I don’t go hard-core on garden gear. Part of the enjoyment is just stepping outside with a pair of clippers and a bowl to harvest veggies and flowers. But a few tools can help along the way, such as my favorite organic fertilizer or some wonderful reference books.

Here, you’ll find my tried and true favorites. Yes, these are affiliate links where I make a small commission at no extra cost to you, but I’m only recommending products I own and use. No fluff, no crappy products.

TL;DR: Top 3 cut flower supplies

Short on time and just need to get started? These are the three essentials for any flower garden.

Soil building supplies

When you know what condition your soil is in, it’s much easier to add anything that’s missing before your plants start to suffer.

  • Soil test kit: Find out your soil’s pH and macronutrient levels. This kit tests for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as well as the pH. Use the results to decide if you need to add any fertilizer.
  • Wiggle Worm Soil Builder: Starting a worm composting bin is on my never-ending to-do list. Until then, worm castings are a great shortcut, and my plants love them.
  • The Living Soil Handbook by professional farmer Jesse Frost is my favorite way to learn about soil science and how to build a healthy garden. He also has an amazing YouTube channel that I reference frequently.

Seed starting supplies

I prefer starting seeds indoors over direct sowing, and these are a few of the supplies that make it easy.

home seed starting set up
  • Ladbrooke Genuine Soil Block Maker – Micro 20: Before venturing into cut flowers, I’d never tried soil blocking. A lot of farmers use it to save space, soil, and plastic use, and I have to say I really enjoy this seed-starting method. Perfect for small veggies like lettuce and basil, too.
  • Hydrofarm Jump Start Seedling Heat Mat: A heat mat is perfect for warming the soil just a bit, especially for slow-germinating seeds like black-eyed Susan and peppers. Add in a thermostat, and you don’t have to do much other than keep the seeds moist.
  • OMRI Potting Soil Mix: I like to have a bag of soil mix on hand for seed starting and potting up seedlings. This one is fine enough for seeds but sturdy enough for containers.

Organic fertilizers

Although healthy soil is the best food for your garden, sometimes it takes a while to build it up. In the meantime, I use a couple of high-quality fertilizers.

various soil amendments on shelf
  • Tiger Bloom: I love FoxFarm products, and Tiger bloom is perfect for the flower garden because it’s a phosphorous-heavy liquid fertilizer that encourages flower production.
  • Dr. Earth All Purpose Fertilizer: This balanced fertilizer is perfect for multitasking when I need to fertilize my whole garden in one fell swoop.
  • Neptune’s Harvest Organic Hydrolized Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer: This liquid fertilizer concentrate is smelly but so effective. Use it to feed seedlings after they’ve put on their first set or two of true leaves or to water transplants just before they go into the garden.

Flower gardening books

This list could seriously be 20 titles long. But I’ll restrain myself.

stack of five flower gardening books
  • Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: This should be first on your reading list as a new cut flower grower. Plant profiles, seasonal tasks, and arrangement tutorials will get anyone started with growing their own bouquets. And the photos are GORGEOUS.
  • Vegetables Love Flowers: The book will show you how effective companion planting can be for adding plant diversity, attracting pollinators and birds, and squeezing a few more plants into your garden space. The photos are beautiful and inspiring. I love browsing through this book.
  • Plant Partners: Science-Based Companion Planting Strategies for the Vegetable Garden: If you need some science to inspire your planting combinations, check out this book. It’ll convince you that there’s never a better reason to grow some flowers!

Online seed companies

I have a whole post dedicated to this topic, but here are my top three companies that I order from regularly

packets of cosmos flower seeds
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds: The go-to company for flower and vegetable farmers, Johnny’s has a huge selection of seeds in packet or bulk sizes.
  • Swallowtail Garden Seeds: Swallowtail is perfect for flower gardeners. They have great service, tidy packaging, and over 100 zinnia varieties!
  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: With free shipping and a free packet of seeds per order, this is the place to stock up on heirlooms and unusual flower and vegetable varieties.

Snips and shears

I constantly misplace my garden shears and clippers, so I’ve tested a lot of pairs. Good thing the first two have red handles to help me keep track of them!

cut flower stems growing roots
  • Corona Leaf & Stem Micro Snips: Perfect for cutting small stems, deadheading spent blooms, or keeping the mint plant from taking over my garden.
  • FELCO Classic Manual Hand Pruners: Better for heavier-duty pruning, such as dead sunflower stalks and tomato vines and cutting old zip-ties off the trellises. 
  • Fiskar’s Bypass Loppers 28″: So good, I have two pairs. Okay, that’s because I “lost” the first pair. But they work perfectly for mammoth sunflower stalks and keeping the hedge branches out of the flower bed.

That’s all she wrote! Hopefully some of these resources will help you along your garden planning and journey. At the very least, you’ll get a good list of books to check out from the library!

Happy gardening!