Monday, August 31, 2009

MUM's the Word ....

September is peeking around the corner and we are overwhelmed with mums.

I must have had a few senior moments when I was ordering the cuttings last spring, because we have about 500 more than usual ... AND it is a bad year for mums. The early cold weather made them set their buds early. We are selling many of them for $3.50 each or 5/$15. The darned pots cost us 50 cents each!

Four greenhouses are filled, as well as any available landscape fabric on the ground.

We buy rooted mum cuttings in late May and into June. They get planted and established in 4 inch pots and then as the greenhouses clear out of annuals we start bumping the mums up into larger pots.

There’s constant watering, pinching and shaping, and fertilizing involved, so it’s probably not worth the effort. But it also seems a shame to have those greenhouses empty when they could be working.

The only true perennial mum around here is Chrysanthemum rubellum ‘Clara Curtis’.

It’s pleasant enough and does provide late summer flowers, but it spreads a bit too fast and tends to bloom unevenly for me.

Blooms of Bressingham have introduced the Igloo series of mums, with a hardiness rating of 5. I chose “Rosy Igloo” because the photo looked like a reddish rust orange, a color which has been popular with our customers in the fall.

The actual bloom here is more of a washed out copper from my perspective and they have disappointed me..

If this mum does overwinter, the trick is to pinch it back right up to July 4 for a bushier fall bloom. We have some in the ground so they will be tested here. It’s possible that they will pick up more color from being planted in “real” soil. If they survive the winter I may try the yello Igloo next year.

No comments: