We got our first frost of the year Thursday morning. Before that it was very fall-ish for a day and Friday looks to be fall-like. This weekend we warm up again and have highs back in the 80’s forecasted for next week. It’s no wonder that people don’t know if they should plant their pansies or not.
One of my good friends does the persimmon seed winter forecast every year. Last year the seeds forecasted a cold winter and we set some snow and low temperature records around here. This year her persimmon seeds show spoons which means another cold winter. So far her seed forecast has been accurate. For those of you who do not know what I’m talking about, the persimmon seed forecasting goes that you gather up the persimmons and cut the seeds in half. If the inside of the seed shows a folk then you will have a mild winter, if it shows a spoon you will have a cold winter and if it shows a knife you will have a cold, icy winter.
We are getting into the last of our mums season. Most of the mums have bloomed. A lot of garden centers will not buy mums in full color either because they want mums that the longest shelf life or some say the the customers won’t buy them in full bloom. I can see their point about wanting mums with longer shelf life, but I would also argue that as the weather cools down, mum blooms tend to last longer. I have heard of growers putting their mums in coolers for several days or longer to store them. Cooler weather will make the blooms last longer. So a mum that has bloomed this week can last for another 4 weeks with the proper care. If they dry out or get frosted on, their blooms will start to go down. Some colors naturally fade with age. Purple and Red have a tendency to do this. I have not found a single one that will hold that initial vibrant bloom color all season. The some of the darker bronzes will fade to a lighter bronze or orange as well. The oranges and yellows pretty much stay the same. The white is the odd ball color. When the whites bloom, the have a yellow tint or even look yellow then fade to white as the age. Of course with all of this, the weather can affect the bloom color some. Now with it being cool today and 85 next Tuesday, I have not idea how long the blooms are going to last on the ones that opened up this week. I am going to keep a close eye on them.
That’s why I like pansies, panolas, violas and ornamental cabbage and kale.