After the planting is done, the main job left on the mums is the watering. Paul and Charley, the ‘brothers’ in Parks Brothers, used to be row crop farmers so to water our mums we use the same irrigation setup they used when they farmed-with an exception. We built a large irrigation pond about 10 years ago strictly for the purpose of irrigating our mum crop. We built it right after a drought where we pumped every pond within a mile of us dry and the water tower dry twice. At the pond we have a 100 horse-power electric motor to pump the water about 3/4 mile to the mum fields. We water for 30-90 minutes just about every day depending on the weather.
In addition to watering regularly, we have already had to weed the pots once. Some windy days and haying on the adjacent field resulted in a high number of pots having grass and weeds sprout. We also have the occasion dog chase a rabbit through the field and knock over pots that have to be stood up again.
Finally, we also check the fertilize and pH levels in the soil about every 7-10 days to make sure all our numbers are within acceptable ranges.
This year we have some chlorosis showing up. Chlorosis is usually a result of nutrient deficiencies but all of our nutrient levels look good. We are trying to determine the cause so we can rectify it, but so far we haven’t had much luck. We’re going to send some samples of plant tissue and soils off to a lab to be analyzed. Hopefully, they will be able to determine what the problem is.