One of the best things about fall is the bargains you can get on chrysanthemums. You can find them just about anywhere. Even grocery stores feature baskets of them in full bloom. Some stores throw their mums away or sell them at a deep discount to clear the shelves for next season's merchandise. What's more, they come in beautiful fall colors. That makes them the perfect compliment to your autumn decor.
Shh.... It's a secret, sort of.
Unfortunately, stores are getting wise to the fact that smart gardeners watch for the mum clearance. That's what happens when word gets around. As soon as people find out there's a market for something, we have to pay dearly for it. Pretty soon they'll find a way to forbid us from saving our own seeds, I suppose. Oh wait, we have that now. It's called Monsanto. These people have actually sued farmers for using their own saved seeds and won.
Back to mums - What's so great about them?
Use chrysanthemums to fill in your fall floral garden. All those bare spots created by flowers that have died back won't show. Then, in the spring, you can divide the mums to make room for early bloomers.
Mums can be transplanted right now. You don't have to wait for spring or for them to stop blooming. They're not fussy, either. Just dig a hole, water, fertilize and you're good to go.
Mums will come up again in the spring. That's right. They're perennials in most climates. They'll survive the winter. Next year's perennial garden will have a nice head start.
Chrysanthemums have a long blooming season. Like marigolds, once they bloom, they'll keep getting flowers into late fall. While other blooms come and go, you can enjoy mums in the long term.
Mums are easy to care for. Keep them dead-headed, watered and fertilized and they're happy.
Mums fill out quickly. Plant a tiny mum in spring and by fall, you'll have a large, full bush carpeted with fall floral beauty.
What if you can't get mums at bargain prices?
It's OK. Mums are a bargain at any price. Right now my local supermarket is selling bushel basket sized mums for 14.99. It's a steal. Why? Because next year, by fall, those mums will be twice that size. They'll make your floral garden the envy of your neighbors. Of course, if you can't swing the 14.99, you can always buy seeds to start over the winter.
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.