Darleen Jarocki


3 mins

This bit of information has always been questionable to me. Since the deer season is on us, I had to put this in the paper for the readers to sit back and remember if grandpa had said this same comment. My dad 

I am going to focus this article on "mums" or Chrysanthemums since they are so plentiful at this time of the year and are gracing our flower beds and lawns, keeping our flowery moods before the snow buries us. The mum is a hardy perennial and is best planted in the early spring. Since Wisconsin gets so cold, the plant needs to be dug up after the first hard frost and stored in a dark place for the winter. (I will explain that later in my article.)

Plant Family

The plant is associated with the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. I am not too sure what that term means but I do know it is related to the dahlias, zinnia, marigold, and sunflowers. Each bloom is made up of tiny little florets. The plant ranges from small cushion mums to the giant spider mum. They bloom in almost every color of the rainbow and then some! The mum was cultivated in the early 15th century. At that time, its appearance was the appearance of a daisy. Since its humble beginnings, the mum has had a big change. 

Today, the many types of breeds that are available through the use of technology. We have an array of colors and sizes. 

Mums in Wisconsin

Most of the decorative mums won’t make it through the cold harsh winters that we have in Wisconsin. The delightful flower is eye-catching and a reminder to us to enjoy the beauty of them before winter sets in. (And it keeps us on the sunny side!) If you are buying mums this fall, there is a way to overwinter the plant.

1- Pot up plants after the first hard frost (include most of the roots)

2- Leave all the foliage on the plant until Spring

3- Water well and place in a dark place 32 to 50 degrees.

4- The plant will "hibernate" for the winter, if you keep the soil damp.

5- Check your "mums" weekly throughout the winter months. In the Spring, introduce them gradually to the light and set them out in the garden when the soil is warm to plant.

To Divide Your Mums

 Every two to three years it is a good idea to divide your mums. When you see new growth in the Spring, use a large sharp knife and cut out the central portion of the plant., then discard.

Cut the remaining portion into sections, making certain there is a root system with it. Plant each section in separate pots and water them. The mum is susceptible to aphids, mites, and powdery mildew, so be on the alert for these problems. 

Enjoy the mums, as long as you can, and give them a chance to reproduce for next year's growth.

Here is a recipe for tomatoes.

Sliced Marinated Tomatoes

tomatoes----- ripe, firm and sliced, then set aside.

Marinade recipe

1/3 cup red wine vinegar            

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp basil

1/3 cup salad oil                          

1 clove garlic

2 Tablespoons chopped onion

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

1/8 tsp black pepper

Place all the marinade ingredients in a jar with a cover on. Shake well and store in the refrigerator up to three hours. Lay the tomato slice out in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over them. Make sure the tomato slices are covered. Marinade them overnight or at least three hours. The recipe marinade can be used again in another batch of tomatoes or on a lettuce salad. Enjoy!

My thoughts for today. “Deeper love, down to our very soul. It’s there we have an anchor who will never let us go. The Lord who calmed the sea, is the One who sees us through. He's given us a deeper love.”

This article was orginally reported by
Darleen Jarocki

Darleen Jarocki is an expert gardener and cook. She is an excellent folklorist and local historian.