Mums are the staple of almost every household in the fall because of their abundant fall blossoms and varied array of colors. One thing many people don't think about is that they are actually perennials. Some people realize this of course, but often people treat them as annuals only to buy them all over again next year. That is fine I guess if you want to spend money on mums year after year, but why dispose of something you could reuse again next year? A few small steps can save those mums and save you money.
If your mums are already in the ground then you have it easy. Just clip the dead growth back to 3-5 inches and cover with a good layer of mulch over winter. In the spring when new growth starts keep the branches pinched back to 6 inches or so until the middle of July or a little later if you live in warmer climates. Pinching the mums creates lateral branches for a fuller, more robust plant. If your plants are in pots find a good sheltered location in your yard and put them in the ground. Then follow the steps for an in ground mum. When new growth starts in the spring pot it up again in a large pot and follow the previously mentioned pinching procedures! You may want to trim a couple roots to initiate new root growth.
You might ask why did I choose to mention this? Two days ago I saw a person in our neighborhood dispose of 6-7 potted mums in the trash. I was very tempted to go through their trash to save the mums but just could bring myself to actually go through someone else's trash. They should have at least composted them! Just dumping them in an unused corner of the yard would be enough to make a little compost and save a few cubic feet of landfill space. Don't let good mums go bad, save the mums!
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Friday, December 7, 2007
Save the Mums!
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.