All prize-worthy mums need about the same feeding routine. They like lots of organic fertilizer such as horse or cow manure and even compost. Some use pulverized sheep manure in large quantities. This is spaded into the beds in spring and superphosphate added at the same time, enough to whiten the soil completely. No other food need be given, except to show material, which can have small amounts of complete chemical fertilizer once a month up to the time the buds are forming, then liquid food every week or ten days until the buds show color.
Plants ought to be mulched as soon as cuttings are set out. Hay, which will permit all the moisture to penetrate to the soil, is often used. Some growers like peat moss, in spite of the fact that it will absorb a light rainfall completely and leave no moisture for the plants.
There are several books which give all the steps to be followed in growing mums successfully and every grower should have at least one of these for reference. Aphids and leaf diseases are the troubles most met with, and there are others to watch out for. A regular spray program, and clean culture, will largely control these.
Most of the plants come through the winter successfully under a covering of hay provided the plot is protected and has good drainage. Another plant that loves a cool place is the cast iron plants. Cast iron is a very difficult to grow and the very requirement if you want to grow this plant is patience.
Check with others in your area for the best varieties.. I've often found the amateurs who have been experimenting for a number of years as the best resource on varieties and culture for your local area. Do not forget that the varieties recommended is not a complete list, by any means, but it is limited to the varieties that have not been difficult to grow in an area that are most liked. Besides these, some of the anemones are not hard to manage, and theyre well worth a try.
Anyone who tries to grow these should have some knowledge of disbudding. It can be partly learned from books, but the best way is by trial and error. Results in the end are worth a few disappointments in the beginning.
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