The process for the planting started in December. Members of the Landscape Management Staff called sales reps from seed companies to find a pansy closest to the Umass-Amherst Maroon color. We used series Mammoth, cultivars ‘Big Red’ and ‘Mammoth White Hot’. We ordered 1500 pansies from Five Acre Farm in Northfield (for mound, planters, gardens)- grown especially for us, seeded in Dec. so ready for planting in early April as 6 in pots. The maroon pansies were used for the background and the white pansies were used to design the “U” and “M”.
Prior to the planting in April, we checked weather for low temperatures. We did not want the temperature much below freezing (at lowest). We did purchase a frost protection blanket so we would be prepared to cover plants if temps too much below 32 and hard frost warnings).
We prepared the mound by tilling in compost and regrading the area. We put stakes in place where every plant should be at 11in on center and we used cardboard cutouts of equilateral triangles so every plant would be exactly 11 inches apart.