Archive for July, 2013

Spring 2013 Cultural Addendum

Chris Brookes prepared some notes at the request of President John Harden detailing some of his cultural presentations from February thru May. Please see the Chrysanthemum Cultural Addendum.

The Class of 4-16-2013

ECA monthly Newsletters include a “To do list” which is a compendium of the best practices of years of trial and error. If a new member or grower follows these suggestions closely and asks questions of their coach, they will end up with some excellent blooms. As a case in point, I submit Gary Budzeak. We have since learned that he sings to his plants as well as Don’s and Ronnies when he baby sits their mums. I personally believe it was “following the recipe” that allowed Gary to sweep the Novice Class at last year’s show.

During our March meeting cultural discussion, Chris Brookes mentioned that some of the grower’s in England were starting some of their plants later and going with a single pinch(his notes and observations will appear in a separate post). As I skier, I liked the “idea.” By later they meant March 1st. As a club, we are trying to increase the availability of our Spiders and some of my stools were not quite ready, earlier. I took my last cuttings on April 16th into Peat Pots.
Here is #1 with some of the best roots shown going from 4″ to 6″ pot.

1.  Coral Reef 10 AOC   Potted from Peat Pot to 2" 5-2, 4" 6-1 and 6" on 6-26

1. Coral Reef 10 AOC Potted from Peat Pot to 2″ 5-2, 4″ 6-1 and 6″ on 6-26


#2 and so forth to follow:

2.  Margaret Howells 5-Y  Peat pot to 2" 5-1, 4" 6-1 and 6" 7-3 (shown)

2. Margaret Howells 5-Y Peat pot to 2″ 5-1, 4″ 6-1 and 6″ 7-3 (shown)

(more to follow)

July 2013 Newsletter

EVERGREEN CHRYSANTHEMUM ASSOCIATION
Seattle, Washington
ECAmumclub.org

Email us at: steve at ecamumclub dot org

Furney’s Nursery: Partners with ECA in Chrysanthemum
Propagation and Exhibition

HAPPY SUMMER GROWING SEASON!

MEETING OF THE ECA – THURSDAY JULY 11, 2013 at 7 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila.

2013 CLUB PICNIC/GARDEN TOUR – Summer Picnic – August 11th 2013. Tour starts 10:30am Bloedel Reserve

Come and enjoy a morning touring the amazing Bloedell Reserve on Bainbridge Island before enjoying a picnic lunch and Mum tour at the Brookes home. We need to advise the Bloedell Reserve of our numbers and pay for the tour by the July meeting latest (7/11/2013) The tour cost – Seniors $9 and Adults $13. Checks are payable to ECA and should be sent to Mark Ross, Treasurer. Detailed maps, pot luck needs and ferry schedules will be available at the July meeting or if necessary can be sent directly to individual members.

FROM JOHN HARDEN – Another note on chrysanthemum white rust: The literature says that the life of the spores is 8 weeks. So we need to check our plants to see if have any new outbreaks and need to reset our vigil clock.

SUPPLIES
-We will be making our last run for M&R soilless mix this month. Our next delivery will probably be in Jan. 2014, so be sure to order what you will need to carry you through this year. (You’ll need some for top dressing). Contact Don Stark or Gary Budzeak for your M&R needs.
-The club will also have available at the July meeting, our standard midseason fertilizer,20-9-20+,
Bottles of Marathon systemic insecticide (used to control black aphids) and Ties in 4”-6”-8”-16’ lengths.
It’s possible you could use some 5’ Bamboo stakes. If you would like some 5’ stakes, contact John Harden at least 5 days before the Meeting. If we have significant response we might be able to buy a bundle or two of the stakes (Typically 500) at a good wholesale price and then break them down to smaller bunches to meet your individual needs.

JULY To Do List: DRS, 7-1-13

July and August are the primary growing months for your mums. Topics of our concern and guidance during this time are: Lateral selection and control, Staking, Feeding, Pest Management, watering, Flushing your pots, Top Dressing, and Taking the buds for the final bloom selection .

1 Lateral Control:
As side laterals develop after the final pinch, select the number of laterals to carry through the summer
And remove all other side shoots. Generally the topmost lateral below the stem break is removed, as it is the weakest lateral structurally and easily broken off by accident. At this stage you should carry 1-2 more laterals than you want at bloom stage. An old saying goes “I grow one for the bug and two for me”.
Surplus laterals are removed later using the following guide. The
-For #1 & #2 cultivars carry 2 or 3 laterals initially, cull tot back to 1 or 2 in late Aug. after buds are secured
– For #3 cultivars carry 5 laterals initially and cull back to 3 or 4 in Sept. or Oct.
-For #4 & #5 cultivars carry 4 or 5 initially and cull to 2 04 3 in Sept.
-For Earlys (#13-15, and 23-25) Cary 4-5 laterals initially and cull back in Sept. as appropriate.
-For Spiders, quills, spoons, singles etc. Follow the guide for #4s & #5s.)
2. Staking:
All the saved laterals should now be individually staked to prevent losing them to wind, rain, accidents etc. You will need stakes ranging from 3’ to 5’ depending on the normal height of the individual plants, with the majority being in the 4’ range. I make wooden stakes nominally 5/8”x 1/2” ripped from ½” or 5/8” fence boards. Others use Bamboo stakes or whatever. You should point the stakes so that when you push them into the pots they don’t tear away large sections of the roots. The stakes look better and wont rot easily if you paint or stain them green. Don’t use Pressure treated lumber! Also 4’ and 5’ heavy bamboo stakes seem to work somewhat well.
Start fastening the laterals to the stakes with 4-6 inch twistems when laterals are 1-2 foot long, being careful not to spread the laterals too soon as you can easily break of the laterals if you spread them too early.
3. Feeding & Top dressing:
Keep feeding! Keep feeding! The club sells Technigro 20-9-20+ water-soluble fertilizer at our meetings @ $3.00 per 1# bag. This is the recommended fertilizer for mid season growing-July & August. While other fertilizers may be your choice this balanced fertilizer has been our staple since we started growing in soilless. Miracle grow is not recommended as it generally contains too much Nitrogen and tends to produce much taller stems at the expense of stronger roots. However it works well on some plants such as specimen plants where much stronger nitrogen dosage is used to produce the many laterals i.e. 11 to 20 laterals.
-After 3 weeks in the final pot start the summer feeding program with Technigro
20-9-20+. Standard dosage for all is 1 tsp per gallon of water, fed once a week. If you feed with every watering you should cut the dosage to half that or less. It is common to gradually increase the dosage up to double that for heavy feeders i.e. Connies, Dukes, Jessies, Ralph Lambert, Gigantics, Harry Gees, Elsie Prosser etc. On the other side, most reds and Purples and most incurves require a lighter feeding level such as 2/3 tsp per Gal. Keep in mind that it is very easy to overfeed so be prudent. Watch and feel the leaves to gage the fertilizer needs. If leaves tend to be hard and curl up or the upper leaves turn over, you are feeding too much.
-Some plants may tend to be yellowish instead of green (Jessie Habgoods, Dukes, Lundys and Connies) for instance. If you have yellow plants first try drying the plant out with less water. If unsuccessful feed ½ to 1 tsp Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) per plant. Leaf feeding with liquid Iron products such as Sequesterine or chelated Liquid Iron will also help green up the plants. Also, you might need to add some lime to sweeten your mix. Try adding ½ tsp per pot of slacked/hydrated lime. Ph control should be addressed for all your plants. If you have general yellowing on new leaves or green mold on the pot or soil, it’s a sign of acidity. In general you could add ½ to 1 tsp slacked lime once a month until housing. In general a ph from 6.25 to 6.5 is desired. If you increase the ph too much on reds and purples the bloom color will be less bright.
– Continue this feeding program right up to the bud formation, then drop to approximately ½ tsp per gallon through most of the bloom formation. Heavy feeding during the early bud growth can seriously deform the buds.
-Water thoroughly when you water but don’t water until the plant needs water or feed. Jessies and Dukes generally require less water than most, so don’t water them just because you are walking by with the hose. On the other side, Gigantics and Pat Brophy need more frequent watering. In following your watering program, it is good to let your pots dry out a tad before rewatering as that tends to promote stronger roots. Note: I did not say you should let your pots dry out during the starting stages, nor during the bloom stage.

4. Flushing:
If you are growing in a straight Soilless mix such as M&R you should flush your pots every 4-6 weeks to get the excess salts out of you medium. If you are mixing compost or loam with your soilless the excess salts will be absorbed by the soil and flushing isn’t generally necessary. Never the less it’s a good idea to give your pots a good flushing once or twice. For flushing, fill the pot with clear water, let it drain, refill and drain twice more. After you have completed the flushing, there will be little feed left so it’s a good idea to add a new weeks supply of fertilizer.

5. Top Dressing:
Top dress the pots in late July or early August and again when the buds show color(around Sept 1 to 15). Spread 1 to 2 hands full of your final potting mix on each pot. This gives the upper roots a better growing environment.

6. Pest Management:
Continue to review your pest control program every 1-2 weeks. You need to keep the plants free of black aphids, other bugs and fungal diseases, especially before the blooms open. Aphids in the blooms are unsightly and can cause your bloom to be downgraded or disqualified by the judges.
. Marathon systemic insecticide is applied once per growing season to each pot at the rate of ½ tsp per pot to control aphids, (particularly black aphids). It is imperative that all members use Marathon as an outbreak of black aphids can destroy your whole crop and spread any virus you may have to many other plants. Some other insects such as leaf hoppers, leaf rollers, earwigs and Capsid bugs need to be picked off the plants or they will invariably ruin the bud. Earwigs are particularly dangerous, and a product called Seven when spread around the roots and or sprayed on the plant can be very effective in controlling them.

7. Disease Control:
For disease control, we need to spray regularly with a fungicide during the summer and Fall season. Fungal damage to the leaves will result in significant penalties by the judges.The plants you grow are fairly lush which makes them a great target for Fungi etc. I use Daconil exclusively. It’s the best I know. It covers Botrytus, Early blight, Rust, Late blight, Ring spot, Powdery mildew and other diseases that we typically associate with the heavily fertilized mums. It’s legal and available at some garden stores. I know that McLendon’s carries it. It’s also in demand by Rose and Bean growers. A word of caution: as advertised on the bottle, always use a good fine mesh Nasal filter with this and don’t expose yourself, others, or pets to this as it can be very harmful. In particular you don’t want to get any of this spray in your lungs. See detailed uses and precautions attached to the package. Spray with fungicides every 2-3 weeks, don’t wait until the fungus is visible. I always thoroughly spray my pots when I clean them for housing.

8. Taking the buds:
From mid July to late August the terminal buds will start to appear on your laterals, followed by a ring of smaller buds just below the main bud. It is necessary that the ring of smaller buds be removed, leaving only the single bud on each lateral. This process is termed “Taking the Bud”. You need to let the ring of smaller buds develop to near ¼ inch before attempting to remove them so as to prevent damaging the main stem and primary bud. To remove the buds simply push them sideways with your thumb and they will easily break off. Don’t pinch them off. At this time it’s a good idea to add the bloom support stick i.e a small 16” long stick, tied to the main stem and to the support stake. This support will keep the growing stem straight and the bloom sitting square on top.

As a note we will be changing our fertilizer mixture by adding more Potash after the bud is taken. The August newsletter will cover this in more detail.

Good Growing, Don

July to do List

JULY To Do List: DRS, 7-1-13

July and August are the primary growing months for your mums. Topics of our concern and guidance during this time are: Lateral selection and control, Staking, Feeding, Pest Management, watering, Flushing your pots, Top Dressing, and Taking the buds for the final bloom selection .

1 Lateral Control:
As side laterals develop after the final pinch, select the number of laterals to carry through the summer
And remove all other side shoots. Generally the topmost lateral below the stem break is removed, as it is the weakest lateral structurally and easily broken off by accident. At this stage you should carry 1-2 more laterals than you want at bloom stage. An old saying goes “I grow one for the bug and two for me”.
Surplus laterals are removed later using the following guide. The
-For #1 & #2 cultivars carry 2 or 3 laterals initially, cull tot back to 1 or 2 in late Aug. after buds are secured
– For #3 cultivars carry 5 laterals initially and cull back to 3 or 4 in Sept. or Oct.
-For #4 & #5 cultivars carry 4 or 5 initially and cull to 2 04 3 in Sept.
-For Earlys (#13-15, and 23-25) Cary 4-5 laterals initially and cull back in Sept. as appropriate.
-For Spiders, quills, spoons, singles etc. Follow the guide for #4s & #5s.)
2. Staking:
All the saved laterals should now be individually staked to prevent losing them to wind, rain, accidents etc. You will need stakes ranging from 3’ to 5’ depending on the normal height of the individual plants, with the majority being in the 4’ range. I make wooden stakes nominally 5/8”x 1/2” ripped from ½” or 5/8” fence boards. Others use Bamboo stakes or whatever. You should point the stakes so that when you push them into the pots they don’t tear away large sections of the roots. The stakes look better and wont rot easily if you paint or stain them green. Don’t use Pressure treated lumber! Also 4’ and 5’ heavy bamboo stakes seem to work somewhat well.
Start fastening the laterals to the stakes with 4-6 inch twistems when laterals are 1-2 foot long, being careful not to spread the laterals too soon as you can easily break of the laterals if you spread them too early.
3. Feeding & Top dressing:
Keep feeding! Keep feeding! The club sells Technigro 20-9-20+ water-soluble fertilizer at our meetings @ $3.00 per 1# bag. This is the recommended fertilizer for mid season growing-July & August. While other fertilizers may be your choice this balanced fertilizer has been our staple since we started growing in soilless. Miracle grow is not recommended as it generally contains too much Nitrogen and tends to produce much taller stems at the expense of stronger roots. However it works well on some plants such as specimen plants where much stronger nitrogen dosage is used to produce the many laterals i.e. 11 to 20 laterals.
-After 3 weeks in the final pot start the summer feeding program with Technigro
20-9-20+. Standard dosage for all is 1 tsp per gallon of water, fed once a week. If you feed with every watering you should cut the dosage to half that or less. It is common to gradually increase the dosage up to double that for heavy feeders i.e. Connies, Dukes, Jessies, Ralph Lambert, Gigantics, Harry Gees, Elsie Prosser etc. On the other side, most reds and Purples and most incurves require a lighter feeding level such as 2/3 tsp per Gal. Keep in mind that it is very easy to overfeed so be prudent. Watch and feel the leaves to gage the fertilizer needs. If leaves tend to be hard and curl up or the upper leaves turn over, you are feeding too much.
-Some plants may tend to be yellowish instead of green (Jessie Habgoods, Dukes, Lundys and Connies) for instance. If you have yellow plants first try drying the plant out with less water. If unsuccessful feed ½ to 1 tsp Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) per plant. Leaf feeding with liquid Iron products such as Sequesterine or chelated Liquid Iron will also help green up the plants. Also, you might need to add some lime to sweeten your mix. Try adding ½ tsp per pot of slacked/hydrated lime. Ph control should be addressed for all your plants. If you have general yellowing on new leaves or green mold on the pot or soil, it’s a sign of acidity. In general you could add ½ to 1 tsp slacked lime once a month until housing. In general a ph from 6.25 to 6.5 is desired. If you increase the ph too much on reds and purples the bloom color will be less bright.
– Continue this feeding program right up to the bud formation, then drop to approximately ½ tsp per gallon through most of the bloom formation. Heavy feeding during the early bud growth can seriously deform the buds.
-Water thoroughly when you water but don’t water until the plant needs water or feed. Jessies and Dukes generally require less water than most, so don’t water them just because you are walking by with the hose. On the other side, Gigantics and Pat Brophy need more frequent watering. In following your watering program, it is good to let your pots dry out a tad before rewatering as that tends to promote stronger roots. Note: I did not say you should let your pots dry out during the starting stages, nor during the bloom stage.

4. Flushing:
If you are growing in a straight Soilless mix such as M&R you should flush your pots every 4-6 weeks to get the excess salts out of you medium. If you are mixing compost or loam with your soilless the excess salts will be absorbed by the soil and flushing isn’t generally necessary. Never the less it’s a good idea to give your pots a good flushing once or twice. For flushing, fill the pot with clear water, let it drain, refill and drain twice more. After you have completed the flushing, there will be little feed left so it’s a good idea to add a new weeks supply of fertilizer.

5. Top Dressing:
Top dress the pots in late July or early August and again when the buds show color(around Sept 1 to 15). Spread 1 to 2 hands full of your final potting mix on each pot. This gives the upper roots a better growing environment.

6. Pest Management:
Continue to review your pest control program every 1-2 weeks. You need to keep the plants free of black aphids, other bugs and fungal diseases, especially before the blooms open. Aphids in the blooms are unsightly and can cause your bloom to be downgraded or disqualified by the judges.
. Marathon systemic insecticide is applied once per growing season to each pot at the rate of ½ tsp per pot to control aphids, (particularly black aphids). It is imperative that all members use Marathon as an outbreak of black aphids can destroy your whole crop and spread any virus you may have to many other plants. Some other insects such as leaf hoppers, leaf rollers, earwigs and Capsid bugs need to be picked off the plants or they will invariably ruin the bud. Earwigs are particularly dangerous, and a product called Seven when spread around the roots and or sprayed on the plant can be very effective in controlling them.

7. Disease Control:
For disease control, we need to spray regularly with a fungicide during the summer and Fall season. Fungal damage to the leaves will result in significant penalties by the judges.The plants you grow are fairly lush which makes them a great target for Fungi etc. I use Daconil exclusively. It’s the best I know. It covers Botrytus, Early blight, Rust, Late blight, Ring spot, Powdery mildew and other diseases that we typically associate with the heavily fertilized mums. It’s legal and available at some garden stores. I know that McLendon’s carries it. It’s also in demand by Rose and Bean growers. A word of caution: as advertised on the bottle, always use a good fine mesh Nasal filter with this and don’t expose yourself, others, or pets to this as it can be very harmful. In particular you don’t want to get any of this spray in your lungs. See detailed uses and precautions attached to the package. Spray with fungicides every 2-3 weeks, don’t wait until the fungus is visible. I always thoroughly spray my pots when I clean them for housing.

8. Taking the buds:
From mid July to late August the terminal buds will start to appear on your laterals, followed by a ring of smaller buds just below the main bud. It is necessary that the ring of smaller buds be removed, leaving only the single bud on each lateral. This process is termed “Taking the Bud”. You need to let the ring of smaller buds develop to near ¼ inch before attempting to remove them so as to prevent damaging the main stem and primary bud. To remove the buds simply push them sideways with your thumb and they will easily break off. Don’t pinch them off. At this time it’s a good idea to add the bloom support stick i.e a small 16” long stick, tied to the main stem and to the support stake. This support will keep the growing stem straight and the bloom sitting square on top.

As a note we will be changing our fertilizer mixture by adding more Potash after the bud is taken. The August newsletter will cover this in more detail.

Good Growing, Don