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  • Upcoming Garden Events in Middle Tennessee

    March 1 – 4: Nashville Lawn & Garden Show, Fairgrounds Nashville: The annual all-indoors garden event that features live garden displays, lectures, vendors, floral designs and special programming Wine Festival featuring Tennessee wines is Saturday (March 3), noon – 5 p.m. For more information on the events and the complete lecture schedule, visit www.nashvillelawnandgardenshow.com.

    April 7: Perennial Plant Sale hosted by the Perennial Plant Society of Middle Tennessee annual Perennial Plant Sale at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Find newly released and hard-to-find perennials along with a wide range of tried and tested varieties, all from top local nurseries. The sale opens at 9 a.m. and usually sells out by early afternoon. For more information, visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    April 14: Herb & Plant Sale hosted by The Herb Society of 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., at The Fairgrounds Nashville Sports Arena building. The sale offers common and rare varieties of herbs and heirloom vegetables and handmade pottery and herb markers by artist Roy Overcast for sale. For more information and a list of available plants, visit www.herbsocietynashville.org.

    April 21: Herb & Craft Fair hosted by First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, 1808 Woodmont Blvd., 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Top quality perennial and annual herbs, heirloom tomato plants, native and companion plants, along with food and craft items reflecting an interest in the homemade and homegrown: fresh homemade sweet and yeast breads, spice mixes, barbecue sauces, jams and jellies; knitted and sewn items, homes for birds and bees, and art, jewelry and more made from pressed flowers. Visit www.thefuun.org.

    May 12: Hosta sale hosted by the Middle Tennessee Hosta. Proceeds from the sale support the club’s activities. More information about the MTHS is at www.mths-hosta.com.

    May 19: Urban Gardening Festival, hosted by Master Gardeners of Davidson County, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (rain or shine) at the Master Gardeners’ Demonstration Garden at Ellington Agricultural Center (5201 Marchant Drive in Nashville). The free event includes information about a variety of gardening methods and techniques, local artisans, exhibiters, growers and more. For information, visit www.mgofdc.org/ugf.

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Potted mums announce the end of summer

I love to use pots of chrysanthemums in my garden in the fall, but they die pretty quickly. How can I get them to last longer?

MumsYou know summer’s coming to an end when you begin to see potted mums at all the garden centers in all sizes and price ranges. As a seasonal accent plant, they are an easy way to add color to porches and patios and late-summer/early-fall gardens.

Mums growing in their plastic nursery pots will last for several weeks if they receive regular water, but they will look better and may last longer with a little more care. Garden center experts recommend transplanting mums into decorative containers using good potting soil, ideally using a bloom-boosting fertilizer. Make sure the container drains well.

Chrysanthemums grow best in full sun but can tolerate some shade, and they need consistent moisture. They can also be planted in the ground, in a sunny location with well-drained soil. In the right location, they will come back year after year.

Garden expert Judy Lowe (in her book, Month-By-Month Gardening in Tennessee & Kentucky), suggests dividing mums growing in the ground every other year. In the garden, they should be pinched back a couple of times during spring and summer to delay blooming. Lowe also notes that you should avoid planting mums in an area that receives light from streetlights or a security light, as chrysanthemums won’t bloom without nighttime darkness.

Fall gardening: Time to tend to your lawn, and Garden Events, Tips & Tasks at Tennessean.com.

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