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Getting My Aster Pinched

I’m so excited. Both of my Asters are blooming. I’ll admit, I was a bit concerned.

A couple years ago, I decided to add some perennials to my flower bed including two asters. Mind you, I knew nothing about asters other than they looked really cool in the picture plus the lady standing next to me said they were a great fall plant.

And they are a great fall plant. They are similar to the mum and bloom from about mid-September through mid-October. They add a splash of color when so many of our other perennials are gearing up for winter hibernation.

The first year they bloomed beautifully. The next fall, not so much. They were leggy and what few buds there were didn’t really pop.  It seems you have to pinch asters back to six inches tall until early July. (The really dumb part is that second summer Mr. Green Thumb did a segment – which I saw – on the importance of pinching your asters.) Plus you are supposed to fertilize them regularly throughout the summer and keep them watered (they like moist but well-drained soil).  After they are done blooming toward the end of October, you cut them back almost to the ground and cover with a little mulch.

Lesson learned. This summer, I “followed directions” and was rewarded. My only concern now is moving them after they are done blooming so they don’t get squished by what is now my really big Shasta Daisy.

Time to get outside and enjoy the garden while we still can!

Until next time….

Mary Gold

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