Mari-Mums Explode in Color
You know August and September are hot dry months sometimes and sometimes they are wet months as we found out. When you get into August and September and you don't have any flowers growing in your bed maybe it's because you didn't plant begonias, such as we have here these beautiful red begonias. These things, to look like this, have to be planted in April and May, not now. They'll burn up and die before you ever get them out of the package.
Well suppose you want to come in here with something like these periwinkles or vinca in the background. As you can tell by these, they're dying. They didn't like the water that we had. Well what about petunias? What about petunias? It's mighty hot for petunias even though the carpet petunias do pretty well and the petunias you planted in the spring, they have about had it as you can see over here; they're about gone.
The only thing that you can renovate a bed like this with, and it's in sun, it's a good bed, to keep it pretty all the way up to October and November when you need to be planting your petunias, pansies, and those types of things to carry you through the winter, are the mari-mums.
The new mari-mums. It's a marigold with a mum shaped flower, a big flower. Marigolds are easily planted at this time of the year. They can tolerate hot weather and dryer temperatures once they get established. We have several dwarfs that we recommend; they are dwarf compared to the large ones. One of them is called Discovery yellow, one of them is called Discovery orange with a beautiful orange flower, and then we've got a Voyager yellow which is a little bit larger; one you could use in a background as a bed.
So you've got the choice. You can either use the mari-mums now or you can look at this ugly until October or November. I think, because we are trying to beautify San Antonio, I don't think we have that choice at all.
So give the mari-mums a try. They're available in the local nurseries as we speak. Be sure you put them in the full sun so they will bloom to their best and be sure that you plant some beauty so you won't have to tolerate this ugly until October or November.
This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.
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