Growing Concerns: | London Free Press

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Summer is winding down. I know fall is on its way when I start to see fall mums and asters for sale.

My local garden center had the early blooming fall mums for sale last weekend when I went for my bi-weekly energy boast.

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Fall mums are a member of the chrysanthemum family. The original colour for fall mums was yellow, but during the years they have been bred to have lots of different colours from bronze, copper, orange, yellow, red, white pink and purple blooms.

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Fall mums are started from cuttings in mid-May and by the end of June they are moved outdoors to spend the summer  in the sun. As the days shorten, the mums bud and flower. They start blooming in August and will bloom for 6 to 10 weeks if cared for properly.

They require lots of water to keep blooming. A 15-centimetre pot requires at least 350 millilitres to 400 ml of water a day, 20 cm pots require more like 700 ml of water a day. It is best to water from the side not from the top of the plant. When you water from the top, you force the branches open and you end up with a big bare center.

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Fall asters are more delicate and only come in white, pink and blue-ish purple. They have a similar growth timeline and requirements as fall mums. Water is just as important. I put a saucer under my fall planters so the pot has a chance

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