Answer Man: City not mum on flower care

Fourth Street bridge mums receive daily attention, but part of their survival could be connected to location.

Mums are planted in the median on the Fouth Street Southeast bridge crossing Bear Creek.
Answer Man / Post Bulletin
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Answer Man, 

This may not be the most burning question you've ever received, but I've been so curious about how the mums in the median over the Fourth Street Southeast bridge crossing Bear Creek near the Holiday station have stayed so brilliantly colored. 

Despite covering them on the nights with frost and freeze we had a couple weeks back, mine have bit the dust. What is the city's trick?

— Mesmerized by mums



Mum is never the word here, so I asked one of my green-thumbed minions to inquire.

It seems the favored fall flowers are simply doing well throughout the downtown due to daily care by Rochester Parks and Recreation staff. Mike Nigbur, the city’s parks and forestry division head, said they are watered daily, but little else is done.

Other experts agree that mums like their daily drink, but you need to be careful not to oversaturate them.

Nigbur said where the mums are planted also likely plays a key role in helping them thrive.

While a clay or plastic pot on a doorstep might seem safer than a bridge where cars cruise by on a regular basis, the bridge mums are planted in soil contained in the median. That means the surrounding cold air is less likely to penetrate to their roots.

In other words, in addition to covering your mums, maybe you should have buried them on those cold nights.

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