The Flower Diaries

The Mum Trial

The Mum Trial

It’s always fun to try different things and I’m so excited that I can finally share with you that we got to attempt something really awesome this year: new mums! Ball Horticulture, one of the largest plant breeders in the country, approached us last spring about growing a new mum trial for them. Of course, we said “yes!”, high-fived, and got right to work planning out where and to grow this crop and how to document the process. 

The plugs arrived in late June and we quickly inspected and planted them into Tunnel 6 with our own mum crop so we could compare the two. These plants are licensed, which means we cannot reproduce more plants from the ones we buy - no propagating these guys. When I first learned what I was signing up for, this was kind of a bummer. I mean these blooms better be extra awesome if I have to invest each year right? Spoiler - they totally are! 

We trialed 30 varieties from June through November and were shocked at some of the hidden genetics out on the market. They grew really strong and a few steps ahead of our own mum crop, so it was easy to see how adding in a few varieties from this new line each season can help me create diversity and stretch the harvest window. 

We had a few visits from Ball to check on the crop in-person and submitted weekly updates on growing conditions up to harvest. When harvest time came, the log sheet results were phenomenal. Vase life was two weeks on average across all varieties and the earliest to latest bloomers stretched over four weeks. Stem length averaged 19 inches and the blooms per stem averaged around 4. These numbers were impressive and filled in some of the gaps when paired against our own mum crop.

There were some seriously beautiful mums in this trial and it inspired me to keep pushing the boundaries with finding new things and testing them. I’m definitely growing my favorites from this trial next year and I hope you will grow them along with us!

Everyone keeps asking which ones were my favorite from the trial, so stay tuned, I’m working on a full list!


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