I know what you're thinking... Mums are a FALL flower, why is she talking about them now! Well I love having several of them to decorate the outside of our home and many more to decorate the inside and outside of the store each fall. If I wait til fall, the bushel basket size mums get pretty price-y when I want sooo many.
Several years ago I thought I'd try growing my own. It was easy and quite fun to watch them grow. When fall came the reward was enjoying all their beauty. I've been doing it ever since. Sometimes the hardest part is finding a place to buy the starter size mums.
I buy them in the little 3 inch pots and plant them in a variety of containers (galvanized buckets are my favorite) and some in the ground. I place a few empty flower containers in the bottom of each large pot to take up space so I don't need as much dirt. Makes them much lighter when transporting them to the store or moving them around the yard to make sure they get hit by the sprinkler system while we are on vacation.
They look a little lonely in such a large pot at first, but eventually they fill in the entire pot. I use Miracle Grow Potting soil to fill the pots, but my best growing tip is using Miracle Grow Fertilizer in my watering can everytime I water them. I put one scoop of Miracle Grow and fill the watering can with water and water them everyday because they like full sun and dry out quickly.
I continue this routine as they grow, pinching off any flower buds that sprout so the growth goes to the plant. I pinch off buds until the 4th of July, after that, let them come. Around August 1st I stop using Miracle Grow Fertilizer and switch over to Miracle Grow Bloom Booster to promote lots of buds and flower growth. Follow this routine and you'll have a harvest of fall beauty to enjoy.
I use the Bloom Booster daily in my watering can when watering all my summer flowers. Just one scoop does the trick.