Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > September 2014 > GARDEN TALK with DOUG - CHRYSANTHEMUM


Many hardy garden mums have been sold recently because of their array of color from yellow, bronze, pink, purple, and white.  Many of these mums have been purchased with no intention of being planted as a perennial that they are but are purchased for their color only to be tossed when finished blooming.
                I am going to start this blog with an admission.  I tried for years to get these hardy mums to come back the following year after using them in pots to give fall color on my porch.  I kept failing.  So, one year I tossed the spent mums into my compost pile.  One early spring day I discovered something growing out of my compost bins.  You guessed it – these mums were growing.  I learned a valuable gardening lesson on how to get hardy garden mums to come back each year:  they need well drained, compost soil to grow.  Here are more informative tips to help you enjoy mums for years to come:
                Planting  -  mums need to be planted in a sunny location.  Plant the mum in fertile, well-drained soil.  Add compost at the time of planting.  In addition to compost I recommend adding Espoma Bio-Tone to the soil at the time of planting.  Mums, in the fall, do not need any other fertilizer until they begin to grow the following spring.  Keep your garden mums’ soil moist as winter approaches.
                Fertilizing – during the growing season, incorporate into the soil Espoma Flower-Tone as the suggested food for the mum.
                Pinching – to encourage branching and the development of a compact bushy plant, it is very important to pinch back your garden mum in the spring as soon as the new growth is 4 to 6 inches tall.  Keep pinching through the end of July.  This practice will develop a sturdy plant and full of flowers for the fall.
                Winter – be sure to give the garden mum winter protection.  Fallen leaves make a good covering as well as using evergreen branches from your Christmas tree or greens.  You want this “covering” to be light and not trap moisture that could rot the roots and you want to remove this covering once spring arrives.  Also, wait to add this protection until we have had several frosts. 
Posted: 9/20/2014 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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