Hardy (garden) mums are perennials in zones 5-9

mums3Why throw out your hardy mums once the blooms die down?  You can reduce the cost of waste removal and have a beautiful fall garden by planting these perennials.  According to the Better Homes and Garden web site:

Location. Choose a spot that gets at least six hours of sun a day. Plants that don’t get enough sunlight will be tall and leggy and produce fewer, smaller flowers.

Soil preparation. Mums thrive in well-drained soil. Heavy clay soil should be amended. If your yard is soggy after the slightest rain, grow mums in raised beds with friable soil for good root growth.  If the soil is too dense, add compost and prepare to a depth of 8-12 inches for best performance. Mums’ roots are shallow, and they don’t like competition. Plant mums about 1 inch deeper than they were in the nursery pot, being careful with the roots as you spread them. Trim off the previous year’s stems as soon as the new spring growth begins to show.mums2

Watering. Water newly planted mums thoroughly, and never let them wilt. After they are established, give mums about an inch of water per week. When bottom leaves look limp or start to turn brown, water more often. Avoid soaking the foliage, which encourages disease.

Fertilizer. Plants set out in spring should get a 5-10-10 fertilizer once or twice a month until cooler weather sets in. Don’t fertilize plants set out in fall as annuals, but plants you hope to overwinter should get high-phosphorus fertilizer to stimulate root growth.Please go to http://www.bhg.com/gardening/flowers/perennials/all-about-mums/ for more information about mums!mums1

 

 

 

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