James Burkholder of Dutch Garden Nursery raises 2,800 mums each year. Most go to C&R Markets’ 11 stores in northeastern and central Missouri. He also sells at his nursery and at a second retail location, Country View Store, near Memphis, Mo.
Mums begin as small plugs grown in greenhouses in May. The mums receive water and fungicide through drip lines and “lots of fertilizer,” Burkholder says. He quits fertilizing when mums begin showing color.
Burkholder staggers plantings so that the first mums go out the door by the end of August. Wholesale distribution begins at the end of September and continues through fall.
While 2019 was a challenging summer for row crops and gardening, it was an “awesome summer” for mums, says Burkholder. Frequent rains caused tomato plant sales to plummet. Burkholder thinks sales will skyrocket in 2020 as gardeners clamor to replenish canned goods and enjoy fresh tomatoes.