How To Select The Best Mums And Pumpkins

Are you seeing mums and pumpkins everywhere you go? How do you select the best and make them last?

Many people want an immediate impact and choose chrysanthemums (mums) that are in full bloom. But, if you select plants with tight buds that are just starting to show color, they will have a display that lasts for much longer. Try to select a mum that has the fewest open flowers now so you can enjoy the beautiful colors for a longer time. Place mums in a sunny location and water often. Do not let your mums wilt or you will not be able to enjoy them for long. Many people think mums are annual plants, but most varieties will overwinter after transplanting into the garden and will come back next year.
Many people purchase pumpkins to display with their mums during the fall. To find the best pumpkin, try following these tips. Avoid pumpkins that have cracks, splits, soft spots, or sunken areas. Mature pumpkins will resist scratching. If you gently press your fingernail into the pumpkin and it easily scratches the rind, the pumpkin was picked too early and will rot. Check for a firm, bright green stem, which indicates freshness. A dry, shriveled stem means the pumpkin has been stored for a long time and might not make it through the fall decorating season. Always carry the pumpkin by the pumpkin itself, not the stem. When the stem breaks off, a decaying pumpkin is not far behind. Always match the pumpkin to its purpose. When carving jack-o-lanterns, choose a large, uniform shaped pumpkin. For pumpkin recipes, choose small heavy fruits that have more pulp. Pumpkins are best stored under cooler conditions. Wipe the pumpkin off with a 10% bleach solution (1-part bleach to 9-parts water) to reduce decay.
Hopefully these mum and pumpkin tips will help with your fall decorating so you can enjoy the colors of the season for a longer period of time.
For more information on mums, please visit the Home and Garden Information Center website at hgic.clemson.edu. Tune in on Tuesday nights to watch “Making it Grow” at 7pm on SCETV or mig.org. Email Outen at [email protected]
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