Melinda's Gardening How-To: Mums - Pasquesi Home and Gardens
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Melinda’s Gardening How-To: Mums

Add a few to your fall containers, flowerbeds and mixed borders. You’ll enjoy the added color and beauty these plants add to the fall garden. Be sure to provide proper care for an attractive fall display and longevity.

Survey the Landscape and look for plantable spaces
• Use mums to replace faded annuals, mask tired perennials or fill vacant spots in the garden.
• Include mums in your bulbs gardens to expand your seasons of color, beauty and enjoyment.
• Include a few mums in your fall display of pumpkins, corn stalks and gourds.
• Liven up your patio or deck for fall gatherings with a fall display of mums.
• Add a bit of color to the front steps with a pot or two.

Create a fall Container
• Dress up your mum by setting it in a pretty basket or container. Place it on your front steps to welcome you and guests to your home.
• Mix it up a bit. Mums are good alone in a pot but even better when mixed with a few other fall annuals, perennials and grasses.
• Use mums as your vertical accent (thriller) in a container and add a vine and a few low growing pansies.
• Combine your mum with ornamental grasses. The grass becomes your thriller and mums mixed with greens like decorative mustard and chard are your fillers. And don’t forget a few trailing vines to finish off the combo.
• Don’t know where to start? Grab a cart and start arranging a few combinations on the cart in the store. Once you find a perfect combo, select a pot, grab a bag or two of potting mix then take it home and get started planting.

Fill in those vacant spots in the Garden
• Sink potted mums in the garden for a temporary splash of color.
• Try this trick for easy seasonal changes, especially under trees or other difficult to dig locations. Sink an old nursery pot into the soil. Then set your potted mum into the pot. It appears to be growing out of the ground. Plus you will need less water since it is insulated by the surrounding soil. Change out your plants each season for season long color with less digging.
• Plant mums in vacant spots if you hope to have yearly beauty.
• Elevate the pots in a gazing ball stand or other support above your waning perennials. The perennials will receive the light the need to grow and the mum will provide fall color.

Keep them Looking Their Best
• Water thoroughly and often enough to keep the soil slightly moist throughout the fall season. Check container gardens daily and water as needed.
• Remove faded flowers to keep your plant looking its best
• No need to fertilize as the plants have the nutrients needed for this season.
• Extend your enjoyment. Mums will tolerate a light frost. Cover or bring potted plants in when there is a danger of a hard freeze. Then uncover or move them back outdoors. The first few hard freezes are often followed by several weeks of warmer weather.

Overwintering Tips
• Sink potted mums in a vacant area of the garden. The pot should be covered but the stems of the plant above the soil. Select a sheltered locations to increase your chance of success.
• Leave your mums stand, don’t cut them back to the ground, for winter. This will increase their ability to survive.
• Further increase success with winter mulch. Wait for the ground to freeze. Then cover with weed-free straw or evergreen boughs. Remove these in spring as temperatures hover near freezing or plants begin to grow.
• Cut plants back to the ground once the mulch is removed. Then wait.
• Increase your mum collection by purchasing additional plants in spring. Plant in a sunny location with moist well-drained soil. Keep plants pinched back to 4 to 6 inches throughout June. These plants will have all summer to get established before flowering and winter.


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