NEW KDHamptons Home & Garden Diary: Mums the Word!
I adore the advent of the fall season in the Hamptons. All of the fruits and vegetables change, the light, the color of the sky, what I want to wear, and where I want to go out to dinner….everything becomes fun and fresh again with the advent of fall. Summer in the Hamptons is symbolized by bunches of gorgeous blooming blue hydrangea, and the flowers of fall are multi-colored MUMS. I scoop mine at Fowler’s Garden Center in Southampton.
Mums are beautiful fall plants that come in great autumn colors such as amber, gold, orange, purple, violet, white and shades of red and pink. These pretty plants add bursts of gorgeous color to autumn gardens and festive fall porches. Create a fall “porchscape” with mums, multi-colored pumpkins, bales of hay, and gourds ~ and I throw in a couple of buddhas for an unexpected twist [pictured below].
Almost every Hamptons farm stand and nursery sells mums at this time of year. Display your mums in pots or plant them in the ground and if you take good care of them, they can last until late November. Check out some easy care instructions further below:
How To Care For Potted Mums [via www.ehow.com]
Water the mums regularly. Soak the mums until water runs out through the holes in the pot bottom. After the initial soaking, water daily or until soil is moist. Don’t allow the potted soil to dry out, as this will harm the plant.
Keep mums in natural light or in the direct sun, whether indoors or out. Mum plants need plenty of sun for proper growth. Keep them away from night lighting, as this disturbs their flowering cycle.
Deadhead spent blooms. After flowers begin to wilt and die, pluck them from the plant at the base of the flower. Leave on any buds, blooming flowers and leaves.
Allow the mum plants to go dormant over the winter. Keep them outside once the blooms die, and mound the pots with dried leaves or garden refuse to prevent premature freezing.
Prune the mum plants in the late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Cut back stems to about 12 to 18 inches or shorter for bushier plants.
Water mum plants in the spring as new growth begins and color returns to the plants. Keep them well watered throughout the spring, fertilizing once a week for the first couple months and then ceasing fertilization once blooms are present.