Members of the Deer Creek Daisy Garden Club met at Streetside 62 restaurant for only the second time in 19 months. It was so nice to be together.
The theme of the month was “Mums the Word.” Julie Garringer of Garringer Pumpkin Patch was the guest speaker. She told us how her dad, Larry Garringer, started in the pumpkin selling business in his front yard 43 years ago. It has grown from just pumpkins of all sizes to now gourds, Indian corn, bales of straw, corn stalks and a favorite of many picture taking backdrops. The thing they are most proud of are their loyal customers that have turned into several generations making the trip to pick out pumpkins over the years.
They started selling mums after many requests from the customers. It has been a learning process and she stated they couldn’t have done it without much help and research.
They start the planting of plugs the first week of June. Originally they watered by hand but, as the mum sales grew, they had to incorporate irrigation. Mums require a lot of water so watering hundreds of mums by hand was no longer manageable.
They fertilize with each watering and they use only 6” pots. When you see the tri-color mums, they have two to three plugs of colors in much larger pots. The 6” pots sell for $5, and they are Belgium hardy mums. This year they planted 2,100 mums.
When purchasing, make sure they are hardy mums. They generally don’t get a lot of diseases or pests and are very low maintenance. Never let new transplants dry out completely. Once established you can reduce watering to once a week.
If keeping in pots over the winter, move to a protected area such as under evergreen trees with low branches, by the side of a building or in a potting shed. This will shield from the cold and help survive the winter. This only works for hardy mums. Florist mums are not usually hardy and will not come back each year.
To transplant a hardy mum from a container to a garden, be sure to do so before the first frost and the location gets about six hours of sun per day and has well drained soil. Do not fertilize mums in the fall.
In the spring, cut back the old stems as you see them beginning to regrow. To encourage the mums to bloom in the fall you need to pinch them back after grown to about 5” in height. Cut one to two inches from each shoot. Repeat after plant has grown another four to five inches. Keep doing this until mid-July for bushy blooming mums in the fall. If you do not pinch back they will bloom in mid summer and not bloom in the fall.
Garringer mums were given as a door prize to Judy Gentry and a second was sent home to member Julie Schwartz who was unable to attend.
Supper was enjoyed as always but the special part of the evening was just catching up with one another. The hosts for the evening were Jeanne Miller and Kendra Knecht.
October meeting details will be coming soon.