The Rundown on Hardy MumsFall is officially in full swing and mums is the word! Hardy mums that is. Unlike most flowers, mums are ideal for fall. They bring a classic colorfulness and a fitting liveliness perfect for the season. Known by their botanical name, Chrysanthemums, these flowers are built to withstand winter’s toughest temperatures. Mums are one of our favorite items to partner with local growers for sourcing – summer is great but we get excited when cooler weather approaches! The best time to plant mums is actually in the spring: If you look hard enough you should be able to find variations of sizes and colors early. They might not look like anything to rave about then, but by the time fall comes you’ll be thankful for your early s tart. Planting them in the spring also increases hardiness and prepares the mums for the coldest temperatures, allowing them to overwinter. A full day of sun is preferred for mums to have a good bloom, but they can get by with at least half a day’s worth of sun. Hardy mums are commonly seen in many colors such as sunny yellows, pinks, mauves, and orange-reds. The orange and red variations are the most fitting for the autumn season! Hardy mums may not be as bright as spring flowers, but they’re presence is a very appealing addition to an otherwise fading fall garden. Some hardy mums even change colors over time, “Will’s Wonderful” mums start bright red in the summer, with a touch of yellow in the center. Then, as they age, the yellow slowly spreads across the petals, eventually taking over the flower leaving only tips of red. Our Northeast climate provides an ideal agricultural canvas for planting and growing fall mums. We’re proud to have been partnering with Casertano’s Greenhouses in Cheshire, CT and Kurt Weiss Greenhouses in Moriches, NY for over a decade, allowing us to source our Northeast-grown mums each year! Hardy mums make a great decorative piece for fall: Get yours at your local Price Chopper or Market 32 before it’s too late! Written By: Mark Larose from Garden State Growers Happy June to you gardeners! Summer is in the air. By now, you should be enjoying some of the fruits of your labors, or annuals of your labors! Color is abounding in your garden, and on a warm day with a nice breeze, your yard or home has the fragrant scent of Spring in it. Now is the time that many people are ready to do their summer planting. June is the time of year where the past meets the present along with a glimpse of the future. How so? Many of your flowers are just finishing up their bloom, while others are fully strutting their glory, and then again, some are just ready to burst with a rainbow of colors! One hint that you may not have tried is to include a bed of succulents. They add a sturdy and hardy base of color and are beautiful to look at as well. If you need some other suggestions to enhance the color spectrum of your garden, consider some Coreopsis, Marigolds, Periwinkle, Hollyhock, Sunflowers or Shasta Daisies. Also, try to do your watering at cooler times of the day after dusk to prevent quick evaporation. It’s not only the wise thing to do, but will help with your water bill as well. Don’t forget to pay attention to your lawn too. I’ve heard tell that so much attention is being paid to the garden, that sometimes, the beauty of green grass is lost in the mix. Remember that gardening is a wonderful family tradition for many. If you have children, consider including them in this seasons planting. Remember to take pictures of your garden for Facebook and show it off to your friends. Either way, have fun. Happy Gardening! Written By: Mark Larose from Garden State Growers “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”……Charles Dickens Quoting such a famous author may seem an odd way to begin a blog on gardening, but as the weather is finally changing, I do believe that we are ready for the Best Of Times for Spring 2014. By now your clean up should be complete and if you haven’t put out your garden gnomes, and birdbaths, make some time this weekend. Your soil should be prepped as detailed in my earlier blogs, and planting should be done according to the zone you live in and what you want to see growing this season. The month of May is upon us and the words for the season are color, color, color! First, let me suggest looking around for color planters and pots that can accentuate your garden or balcony. There are a variety of shapes and sizes to choose from. Now, what to put into them? Since it’s been colder, later in the season, I’m going with some Siberian Blue Grass, Clematis, and Purple Sensation, which is one of the Spring blooming ornamental onions. Snapdragons and Iris are a good tag along also. Including some vegetables or even strawberries can make your garden productive and beautiful at the same time. Remember that it’s your garden. There are no rules for your design, as it’s only limited to your own creativity. Also, lavender is very poplar this year and will add some wonderful scents to your garden on those warm days filled with gentle breezes. Ahhhhh……. Speaking of popular plants, have you considered, dare I say, critter prevention? Deer, rabbits and chipmunks are only a few of the potential problems. If you are a first season gardener, find out which of these potentially destructive animals live in your neighborhood and be proactive. Fences and repellents can help, but choosing plants and flowers that are less tasty is also an option. Doing your homework now can help with future enjoyment of your garden, and less frustrations. Lastly, have you chosen your ground cover? So many people seem to overlook the beauty and need for these hardy plants. Myrtle, ivy and pachysandra are great choices. I’ve seen a few gardens where some folks even used saxifraga as a filler plant, in place of some ground cover. Think outside of the box! Remember that gardening is a wonderful family tradition for many. If you have children, consider including them in this seasons planting. Remember to take pictures of your garden for Facebook and show it off to your friends. Either way, have fun. Happy Gardening! Mother’s Day is a celebration of one of the hardest-working people we know, Mom. It’s a day to let her know how special she is and how much we appreciate all that she has done for us. Each year, many of us scramble to find that perfect gift, something meaningful to show our love and gratitude. How will you celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day? Price Chopper can help with our Build a Bouquet for Mother’s Day program! Kids 12 and under will have fun making their own special bouquet for Mom including a personalized card, for just $5 + tax! Stop by Price Chopper Saturday, May 10 from 12-4pm or Sunday, May 11 from 10am-2pm, then send us pictures of your bouquet for Mom! You can email us your photos at firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂 We’ll display them on Facebook & Instagram! Happy Mother’s Day!