Customer KC checked in with a question that addresses a topic I want to cover in the Garden Log:
Question: "Hi, need to know the right time to pinch back fall flowering mums. I must have done it at the wrong time last year, as I had very few blossoms in the fall, if I had any. It’s a large plant and with all this rain, it is now huge and taking over where it shouldn’t. Thanks for the help."
Answer: "I just consulted with Jeff Skillin about your question and he feels you can still pinch but it should be done “Now” as he put it. He never recommends pinching mums back after July 4 and we are about upon that.
He also recommends pinching about an inch or two off the tips of your plants but no more than that at this point.
The optimal time for pinching mums is about June 15 (I will have to remember to broadcast that out next year for people) according to Jeff and at that point in time you can be a little more extensive in your pinching.
I had the same experience with my Montauk Daisy last year. I pinched somewhat aggressively about July 10 or so last year and that was much too late. The other day I did an extremely “soft” or just a bud pinch on my Montauks and I feel like I will get more flowers this year."
One other note that I did not address with customer KC: Now is a great time to get some natural fertilizer like Plant Booster Plus by Organica or Plant Tone by Espoma (both sold right here at Skillin's) around your perennials that have yet to bloom. These natural foods will break down right into all the moist soil around each of your plants and this will result in better, deeper roots this year and for years to come. Not to repeat myself BUT I always recommend twice yearly feedings with such natural fertilizers.
July 2, 2009