The Stirrett Family (minus one) standing among the mums. Front, ready to deliver is Maelee. Back, left to right, Megan, Mace and Mikie.
By Doris Elmore
Mums the word! At least that is the word for the Mikie Stirrett Family. Megan Stirrett has been a lover of mums for a long time. Megan & Mikie had been toying with the idea of growing mums for the past couple years, but just hadn’t made a definite decision.
Mikie and Josh Ponder in Hammond have been friends for years and Mikie helped Josh with field work. The Stirrett Family also helped the Ponder Family when they harvested the pumpkins they grew at their home. They did it because they were all friends and it was fun.
Megan said Ponders had a request for mums to go with their pumpkins. The Stirrett’s idea of growing mums immediately rushed back into Megan’s head. This was the perfect opportunity for them to form their own business, something they both wanted to do.
And as they say, this is where the story actually begins. Because they were all friends, Ponder told Mikie that if he didn’t start growing mums, he was going to. He saw the need of having mums to accompany his pumpkin business. They just seem to go together. That statement made the Stirretts move a little quicker with their decision.
Last fall, 2020, Mikie contacted a gentleman he had heard of just to check out what was needed to start a mum business. Mikie and Megan stated they really didn’t have any idea where to begin, but this man was very knowledgeable and willing to help them become new entrepreneurs. The Stirretts purchased 900 mum plugs (that is a small start), watering system & tarp that is laid beneath the mums. With the help of their family, the Ponder family and the seller, it took only about 2 hours to plant the 900 plugs & install the water system.
The liquid fertilizer is hooked up with the watering system and each mum has one or two water tubes that feed them, it is according to their size.
This year the mums were planted the 2nd weekend in June, and ready in September. Megan says it is amazing watching them grow, they grow really fast. Their biggest issue is the rabbits chewing their water lines. They had to replace about 15 or so this year. The squirrels like to hide the walnuts in the plants. Mikie said we kind of shake the plants when we pick them up to see if they have nuts hidden inside. It doesn’t happen in all, but every once in a while.
They have 30 varieties of mums with six different colors: yellow, white, red, purple, pink, orange and multiple shades of these colors.
The most amazing plant is the Mumbo. They are just awesome. They have Trick or Treat or Candy Corn. Three different colors of plugs are planted in the same container. They grow huge with so much beautiful color. A lot of customers like to purchase their mums before there is any color to see, then they last longer in the season. After the blooms open, they last only 4-6 weeks. The only problem is they are about out of the Mumbos. Megan could hardly believe how fast they sold. They plan to have more next year.
Mikie and Megan said all the mums are annuals, but it never hurts to try your hand at re-planting them in the ground. If you try this you want them in a sheltered area and cover with leaves. There is no guarantee, but it never hurts to try. Mikie says people have tried and they were fine in the spring, then others don’t make it.
Next year Mikie and Megan would like to add a little earlier variety of mum for those who like to decorate early.
The Stirrett Family, Mikie, Megan, Maddix, Mace and Maelee, make this a family venture. The boys have to work it in with football.
How can you interview a couple that is so enthusiastic about their new project, and not buy a mum? I bought a Mumbo and a regular. I have the Trick or Treat mumbo and a beautiful yellow. It is just starting to bloom and is 33 inches tall.
Their prices are unbelievable, the mums are gorgeous and add so much flair to your landscaping. If you need something to get you into a fall mood, be sure and stop by Main Street Mums, 428 N. Main, Atwood or purchase one when you stop at Ponders Pumpkins in Hammond.
It would be an understatement to tell you the mums are beautiful, because they are truly awesome. To date they have sold at least half of their crop of mums.
Now the word is out, you need to visit Main Street Mums in Atwood, they are big and beautiful and will add accent to any home décor.