Planting: To get the best variety, you will need to start your mums from seed. Start seed indoors, 6 - 8 weeks before your late frost date and harden off plants before transplanting outdoors. Found this really interesting, never thought about this before. I have had a hard time finding hardy mums here for us in Iowa. All that comes in plugs are the ones that really grow for one season and don't make it thru the winter. I will look into this.
Soil: All mums prefer a rich, well-drained soil, with lots of organic matter worked in. They like a soil pH slightly on the alkaline side. Mums need at least a half day of sun for good bloom, but full sun is best. Mums set buds in response to day length, so avoid confusing them by planting where they may be exposed to bright all winter for structural interest in the garden.
Maintenance: To promote a sturdy, bushier plant with lots of blooms, pinch off the top 1 to 2 inches of growth once taller varieties are at least 6 inches high; shorter varieties, 4 to 5 inches high. Continue pinching the tips every 3 - 4 weeks until early July in cooler climates, the end of July in warmer Zones.These plants are heavy feeders. Start with a rich soil and feed every 3-4 weeks until buds set will improve flowering. This is one of the summer jobs you need to do. I will try to remind you to do this next summer.
In areas that experience freezing winters, allowing the old foliage to remain until spring helps the plant’s survival. During cold, snowless winters, mulching will be necessary. Even then, there’s no guarantee all your mums will make it, especially those planted in the fall.
If mums have not been hardy in your area, you could try potting them and moving them to a more protected area of the garden for the winter and return them to their intended spot in the spring. Till next time, this is Becky Litterer from Becky's Greenhouse Dougherty Iowa
Established mums can be dug and divided in spring, every 2 - 3 years as necessary. Information on the mums comes from http://gardening.about.com/od/plantprofile1/p/Mums.htm?utm_content=7525104&utm_medium=email&utm_source=cn_nl&utm_campaign=gardening&utm_term=