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Cultura Garden Club launches annual fall mum sale to benefit downtown Russellville beautification

Fall is just around the corner, and Cultura Garden Club members are making preparations for a colorful fall.

Debbie Nale, fundraiser chairperson, has made arrangements for the club’s fall chrysanthemum sale, which is in progress now and ends Sept. 9. Mums will be delivered Sept. 14.

This is an annual project, in which all proceeds are used for the beautification of downtown.

“The mums come in five beautiful colors – white, bronze, purple, red and yellow.  They are planted in 2-gallon-sized pots and are healthy plants,” as stated by Amy of McGee’s Farm.

You can enjoy mums on your porch or celebrate the autumn season with the mums in a harvest arrangement. They also make great gifts and cost only $12.

When I personally think of mums, I envision homecoming queens, their courts, cheerleaders, majorettes, dance lines and proud mothers with their showy gold mum corsages.

However, mums are mostly used for landscaping during the fall season when other elements start to look drab and lifeless.

Garden mums are perennial, with spreading underground runners, and are referred to as outdoor mums.

Indoor mums, or florist mums – typically found at the grocery store – are annuals and unable to develop enough runners to survive winter.

After making your selection, here is some information on how to care for them:

Indoor Mums

Place mums in a sunny area. Find a window that allows at least four hours a day of direct sunlight.

Keep the soil moist. Water at the base of the plant just at the top of the soil.

Deadhead wilted blooms and dead stems/leaves, which helps mums bloom longer, and newer buds and blooms can flourish.

Mums bloom only once inside. However, by keeping them green, you can place them in the ground outdoors once the weather starts to warm and enjoy them next season.

Outdoor Mums

Planting outdoors requires abundant sunlight.

Be sure to plant mums in well-draining soil – organic soil or compost, which will produce healthy mums.

Give mums plenty of space – about 18 inches from other plants, so their roots have room to expand.

Water at least an inch once a week. Water beneath the foliage at soil level to prevent blooms and leaves from developing fungi.

Deadhead wilted blooms, dead stems or leaves to help mums bloom for an extended time.

In colder climates mums might need to be mulched using leaves, wood chips, or straw.

If frost gets your mums, don’t worry. Just prune them back to the point there’s only about an inch of stems above the ground, and leave the mulch remaining around the plant. Come spring, your mums will regenerate.

Regardless of whether you plant your mums outdoors or indoors in pots, choose those with lots of buds that haven’t yet bloomed. This will help you enjoy the flowers longer.