Garden Mum Culture
Spring Flowering Mums: Unpack and water mum cuttings immediately upon delivery. Cuttings may be held in their strips for 2-3 days prior to potting, if necessary. Pot in 3 1/2" - 41/2" pots as soon as possible. After potting, water in with your general purpose fertilizer and drench with a broad spectrum fungicide (i.e. Subdue Maxx or Medallion) at labeled rates. Pinch 5-7 days after potting. Feed with your general purpose fertilizer at 200ppm nitrogen every watering. Low ammonium fertilizer in the dark months of Feb. - late April. Night temperature should be 60-62 degrees F. Height can be controlled with D.I.F. (lowering the greenhouse temperature by several degrees from first light to about 10:00 am) or with the use of a growth regulator such as B-Nine at the .125% (1,250 ppm) rate when breaks are out about 1/2" and again about 2 weeks later. Some varieties may be more aggressive and may need a third application. Common pests on garden mums in the greenhouse are aphids, whitefly, spider mites and thrips. A properly implemented I.P.M. program is the best way to control these pests. Spray only when needed to control these pests.
Fall Crop of Garden Mums
Nighttime temperatures below 55 degrees F. seriously hinder early plant and root development. For this reason, we suggest you pot cuttings directly into your finish size pot and grow in the greenhouse until nighttime temperatures stay above 55 degrees F. Water in with your general purpose fertilizer, and drench with a broad spectrum fungicide. Pinch in 5-7 days after potting. Pinch again the last week of June until July 4. This final pinch is a good time to shape the plant, so don't be afraid to use a hard pinch. A week after the final pinch, move to final spacing in your outdoor production. Mid to late July an application on B-Nine should be made at .375% (3,750 ppm). Pots should be fertilized with your general purpose fertilizer at a rate of 250-300 ppm every watering with cleat water every sixth watering. We suggest a soul analysis shortly after the final pinch and then 2 weeks later to determine any pH and nutritional problems at the important stage of development. Pests such as aphids, mites, thirips, caterpillars and leaf hoppers can cause considerable crop damage, making it very important to monitor crop. Also, monitor your crop for any fungus problems such as black leaf spot. Mums grown in the greenhouse may experience soft growth, stretching and flowering heat delay.
Field Crop of Garden Mums
We recommend potting your rooted cuttings 20-30 days before planting in the field. This will give you a much stronger plant to put in the field for the extreme heat, cold, drought, or heavy rains. Potting early also gives the plant one more pinch to give you a much bushier plant. If possible, when planting in the field, water plants in with the 200 ppm of water soluble fertilizer. Once a month fertilizing can be a great benefit to your crop. If this cannot be done, a side dressing of a granular 10-10-10 fertilizer will help. Watch for above pests. If the plants are to be dug and potted for fall sales, the best time is as the color begins to show. After potting, it would be best to give them some shade and misting for 5-7 days before putting them out for sale.
We recommend a peat/bark mix such as Berger's BM7 25% or Fafard's 3B. If you mix your own, a pH of 6.0-6.2 is desirable. your soil should be well drained.
Mums should be grown in full sunlight. Any shade will tend to stretch mums.
Mums are not completely photo responsive. Therefore, they may set bud regardless of the hours they are lighted. A cutting with a bud will perform satisfactory by pinching 5-7 days after potting and they will force out vegetative growth from low on the plant. Also, maintaining a high fertility level in the soil will keep them growing.