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Yellow, orange, and lavender -- those colorful Fall mums that lined your front porches and sat on those decorative straw bales were gorgeous and now .................... well now they've kind of lost their appeal and probably not looking so great.  But now -- what do you do with them?  Compost pile?  Landfill?  Or ................. maybe you should plant them so you can enjoy them for years to come.  So, here's a little help to get you started .........  First, pick a nice sunny spot in your yard that gets about 6 hours of full sun each day and then create a hole the depth of the mum's root ball -- probably 4" - 6".  You'll want the top of the root ball even with the ground.  Once your hole is prepared, remove all of the dead blooms from the plant and then place in the hole.  Make sure you water and mulch the plant well to keep it insulated during the winter.  Pine tags or mulched leaves are great for providing a nice warm bed for your plants.  Some gardeners suggest cutting the plants down by several inches at this time, but I think for the central Virginia area, it's best not to cut them back until early July.  Also, since the garden shop or florist where you purchased the mums already applied fertilizer in their potting soil mix, there's no need to fertilize in the fall when planting. But ... by Spring, your mums are a little hungry and I suggest giving them some Plant-tone (available at your local garden shop) and then another dose of Plant-tone in early Summer.  To encourage branching and development of your mums, its important to pinch back your garden mums in the spring as soon as the new growth is 4-6" tall.  Pinch off about 1/2 of the new growth; repeat the pinching until early July.  Your Fall mums that aren't looking so great today will again be gorgeous late next Summer and Fall, so you can enjoy them all over again.  Happy Planting!  Don't wait for it to be a great day -- create a great day!
 


Comments

07/23/2012 14:39

Thanks for posting this

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