Use your mums until it’s time for pansies

Published 1:29pm Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ahh…. today is the first day of fall. Well, the calendar says so anyway.

When I hear the word fall, chrysanthemums (mums) come to mind. They come in all the fall colors that you see in nature; yellow, red, orange, bronze and even lavender and white.

Mums that are grown in greenhouses are called ‘florist’ mums and can be purchased, blooming all year long. The others are ‘garden’ mums and are sold only in the fall. They are much hardier outside and will even come back after the winter when planted in the ground (perennial).

The way to get the most out of the garden mums is to buy them while they are still in bud, before the buds open. That way you can enjoy them from the first sign of color to the very last bloom. If kept well watered, they should bloom for about three weeks or more. Remember, don’t throw them out after they have finished blooming. Cut them back and plant in a sunny location to have in the yard next year.

Now is the perfect time to purchase mums!

Late winter and early spring weeds seem to catch the attention of most homeowners. The reason is the grass is still dormant (brown) but the fresh green weeds rear their ugly heads. It may seem crazy but now is the time to stop them before they come up. The weed killer is called pre-emergence; pre, meaning before they come up (emerge). This product should be applied from late August through November and can be applied to all types of grass.

I have seen pansies for sale in some places already. It is too early to plant them now because it is still too hot for their liking. Use mums for color until it is time for pansies.

Rosalie Bjelke writes a regular yard and garden column.

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