Archive for September, 2013

Busy Times Ahead……

The ECA Show is October 25, 26 & 27 at Furney’s Nursery, 21215 International Blvd. Pacific Highway (99). Check their website for hours. The show is over at 3 PM Sunday, October 27th.

Our Annual Banquet is Thursday November 14 at Angelo’s in Burien, 601 SW 153rd, Burien, WA. Come at 6:00 PM for the Social Hour, Dinner at 7:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to enjoy an evening with good friends, good conversation and an excellent dinner. Put it on your calendar – THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14th 6-9 PM. Dinner choices this year are 6 oz. Sirloin Steak, Chicken Parmigiana, or a Vegetarian Lasagna. Dinner this year will cost $22/person and includes salad, bread, coffee or tea and dessert. A sign-up sheet where you list your meal preference will be available at the October meeting as well as at Furney’s Nursery during the Flower Show. Please pay the $22.00/person dinner cost to Mark Ross at the October meeting (checks made out to ECA). All arrangements must be made by the end of the show. No payments will be accepted at the banquet.!!. If you have any questions regarding the Banquet, contact Steve. Also: BRING your late maturing blooms for display at the ECA awards dinner.

September 2013 Newsletter – Fair Time

EVERGREEN CHRYSANTHEMUM ASSOCIATION
Seattle, Washington
ECAMumClub.org
http://ecamumclub.org/
Email us at: steve at ecamumclub dot org

MEETING OF THE ECA – THURSDAY September 12, 2013 at 7 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila.

SEPTEMBER MEETING – This is a very important meeting as we begin to prepare for our annual show at Furney’s which will take place on Oct 25 – 27 with set up on Oct 23rd.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Mark your calendars for the following events:
Puyallup Fair – September 6 – 22
Fall Show at Furney’s – October 25 – 27 (with set up on Oct. 23, 1 pm. Bloom Prep. Oct. 24)
Awards Banquet at Angelos– November 14
PUYALLUP FAIR Sept 6 – 22: – If you plan to exhibit flowers at the fair this year, you will need to pre-register online at the Puyallup Fair website www.thefair.com before Sept 4th. Go to entries and then floral. An entry schedule may be printed from there if you have computer access.

PLANT CULTURE and SUPPLIES: – The September meeting will devote time to the care and feeding of the blooms as they develop. Place orders for specific items with Don Stark or Gary Budzeak. Cultural recommendations are attached. With possible rain or showers consider your sheltering options for September as we move to the latter part of the growing season.

SEPTEMBER TO-DO LIST – drs 9-1-13
Once the buds have broken the membrane and some petal tips are showing it’s imperative to get the pots into or under some kind of shelter where they will remain through the final bloom is developed. The basic idea is to protect the blooms from rain or dew, provide adequate temperature control and ventilation. The watering and fertilization program must also be modified to assure proper bloom development, and lastly we need to continue with pest management and fungus control throughout the bloom development.
Housing/Sheltering:
Sheltering of your plants is necessary throughout the bloom cycle. Shelters come in a variety of sizes, names and shapes including porches, Large overhanging eaves, garages, car ports, green houses or temporary wood /plastic structures. Basic requirements are Shelter from rain, dew, & Winds; adequate daytime light (though it can be shady), or light supplements, temperature control, and ventilation.
Maximum temperature should be kept below 80 Deg. If possible. Above that temp. the probability of bloom damage due to petal rot is high. If the shelter is exposed directly to the sun in early Sept. days the temperature within can skyrocket. Big fans can be used to increase ventilation and keep the temperature down. The fans also hopefully can bring in air from the shady side of the shelter to cool the overall area as well. Lining the inside of the shelter roof with old sheets or muslin will also reduce the heating and filter the sunlight. In general I like to keep the temperature between 50 deg and 70 deg. F for most of the finishing, but for the last few weeks of October, letting the nighttime temperatures dip into the 40s will probably accelerate your bloom development. If your temperatures dip into the 30s you will probably get pinking on the edges of some blooms. You can contact Don Stark or Chris Brookes to discuss your specific shelter questions or ideas.
Lighting:
Considerably less light will be required during the bloom cycle, but never the less it is necessary to provide supplemental light in most cases where you have sheltered the plants. If you are finishing in a green house or similar structure, It will probably be necessary to add light filtration in the ceilings as the opening blooms generally can not accept full sunlight through clear plastic or glass. You can purchase black screen like materials to put over your roofs to reduce the amount of sunlight. Alternatively, I have pinned old white sheets across the ceiling to filter the light. This works very well and at the same time the sheets tend to absorb the early morning dew that tends to collect in the cool mornings.
Getting back to light supplements, the most common and functional method is hanging 4’ or 8’ Fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling. Plain white light lights work or if you choose you can buy
Gro- lights which are reputed to be better. Don’t buy “Grow-Lux” lights unless you are very rich as they are a specific brand name light and very costly. You can run the lights all day, 8-10 hours, during the day or all night if you so chose. I prefer just the time during daylight hours. Another clue that might help is an old adage –In general reflexing varieties like it light and cool while Incurves usually like it warmer and and less light” I use that adage to help me decide where I want to house each plant since I Use more than just 1 housing unit.
Bringing the plants into cover
Around Labor day, when the buds are starting to break the membrane, bring them in. Wash the pots thoroughly around the bottom to get rid of the crud moss and residue that have formed in your growing area. Clip off all excess roots that are hanging out the drain holes and pick off all old and damaged leaves, mostly around the bottom of the plant, that harbor pests and fungi.
Spray the plant with both a good fungicide and insecticide, taking care not to get any of the spray on the blooms. Watch for and destroy Earwigs, worms, caterpillars etc. They can wreck blooms when they get on or inside.
Top-dress the pots for one last time. Add about ½ to ¾ in. of your 9” mix or some compost to the pot surface and level it. Top-Dressing the plants helps finishing the plants now and also promotes new growth for next year’s cuttings. Now’s the time to cut off (not tear out) all new basil shoots that are developing, If your pot exhibited significant moss growth , add ½ tsp of Hydrated lime to the top dress mix to help sweeten the soil.
Optionally for colored blooms, not white or yellow, you may add ¼ tsp of Ferrous sulfate (Fe2 So4 ) to enhance the color. In particular The Athabasca needs this Fe2,So4 to show a significant ring of pink tips on its blossom. Pinks in general look more intense if we feed it.
Additionally, if you have not started feeding potash in your fertilizer formula (see Aug. Newsletter) then add ¼ to ½ tspn Sulphate of potash to the top mix to harden off the plant and keep the bloom petals from being too soft.
Staking and bud support:
Now’s time to start cutting back to your final selection of laterals, Stake the securely and start getting the support shingles attached to the stem and the support stake. Stake and tie up all selected laterals and add support shingles under the blooms. Keep moving the support shingle up under the bloom as the neck stretches. Use support shingle to straighten the neck and keep the bloom flat atop the stem
Finally, remove all side laterals as they appear on the selected stems below the bloom so that the bloom is all that is left.
Fertilizing and Watering:
For the bloom cycle, we reduce the fertilizer to ½ strength immediately after taking the bud and at the same time switch to a different fertilizer formulation that is higher in Potash content as discussed in the August news letter. Basically we mix ½ tsp of our basic 20-9-20+ fertilizer with i/2 tsp with ¼ tsp of Sulphate of Potash per gallon of water. After the petals begin to drop it is safe to increase the strength of this solution gradually to up to 2 times or less of this formula to promote blossom growth. Note: It’s easy to overfeed the plant at this time, and produce ragged, cocked, or deformed blooms; so increase the fertilizer sparingly.
Watering is different at this stage also. Water more sparing using about 1pint per watering and do not water when the temperature is over 75 deg. Water /fertilize from a bucket using a 1-pint jar or similar small container. Do not use a hose and scatter water everywhere on the shelter floor. Keep the finishing area dry and clean.

August 2013 Newsletter – Picnic Time

EVERGREEN CHRYSANTHEMUM ASSOCIATION
Seattle, Washington
ECAMumClub.org
http://ecamumclub.org/
Email us at: steve at ecamumclub dot org

ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR AND POT LUCK PICNIC
AUGUST 11th, 2013

2013 CLUB PICNIC/GARDEN TOUR – Summer Picnic – Sunday August 11th 2013. Tour starts at 10:30am at the 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. Detailed maps, pot luck needs and ferry schedules will be available at the Aug. meeting or if necessary can be sent directly to individual members.

PLANT CULTURE and SUPPLIES: – Place orders for specific items with Don Stark or Gary Budzeak.

Puyallup Fair Sept 6 – 22: – If you plan to exhibit flowers at the fair this year, you will need to pre-register online at the Puyallup Fair website www.thefair.com before Sept 4th. Go to entries and then floral. An entry schedule may be printed from there if you have computer access.

To-Do List: Aug. 2013-drs 8-1-13
August is still a major growing month so continue with the usual summer watering feeding and pest control programs up until the buds are taken. Continue to stake and reduce the number of laterals as buds appear. Experience suggests there is no way to get too much support for the laterals and blooms. By mid August we will have switched to the bloom cycle program with new fertilizing, watering and plant care programs so stay alert.
1. Staking and Lateral Control:
-Continue with staking until all laterals are securely tied to stakes,
-Surplus laterals are removed after the buds are firmly established and free of defects and blemishes. With 2 1/2 months until the ECA show, it may be prudent to delay the final reduction in consideration of possible bug damage, wind or accidents. Holding on to a spare lateral too long might reduce the bloom size a small amount, but there’s an old saying that “I carry three, one for the bug and 2 for me”. It’s up to each individual when to cut back to the final number of laterals.
-Recommended number of laterals for the final count are listed below.
For #1s & #2s, Carry 1 or 2 laterals
For #3s or 13s, carry up to 5 laterals, gradually cull to 3 or 4 in Sept.
For #4s or 14s, Carry 2 or 3 laterals
For #5s or 15s, Carry 2 to 5 laterals
2. Flushing and Top Dressing:
Early Aug., you should flush your pots to reduce the accumulation of salts on the pot and in the growing medium, (See July News letter). Follow the flushing with top dressing. Spread 1-2 hands full of the 9” mix on each pot. This gives the upper roots a better growing environment now and helps promote new shoots for next season.
3. Fertilizing and watering:
-Continue your mid season feeding and watering program right up till the bud is taken.
. Water thoroughly when you water then let the plants almost dry out before watering again. For these hot days it is recommended you water early in the morning, or else later in the evening, i.e. 6:00 pm. Don’t water the plant just because you are passing by with the hose. Wait till it needs watering!
.Feed as usual up to when the bud is taken with the midseason fertilizer. If you are a heavy feeder and your plant leaves are getting turgid or the upper leaves are turning over that’s a sign of too much feed; so reduce it or skip a feeding. Overfeeding at this stage will probably ruin your blooms.
. When the buds appear, stop feeding or reduce the feed level to ½ or less of your previous feed level for 2-3 weeks, then resume feeding with the new bloom cycle formula at a much reduced rate (More Later).
4. Blooms and Bloom Support:
-Watch for buds and secure them as they appear. Most buds will have appeared by August 15th. Look for “rabbit-ear” leaves below the tiny bud. As the bud reaches the size of a very small pea, it should be secured by removing the ring of side buds and the other side shoots that may appear in the leaf axils below. This action is called “taking the Bud”. After the bud is taken the plant will start producing side shoots at the lower leaf axels for some time. Keep all these sides shoots removed so that the plant strength will go into developing the bud.
-For bloom support, prepare strips of wood 16’ to 18’ long and 3/8” wide made from shingles, shakes or ¼” plywood. Stain them green preferably. These are made to support each bloom, keeping the lateral growing straight and preventing bloom cocking. They are tied to the main stake and to the bloom stem
Keeping the top just below the bloom to prevent cocking, or with a slight pressure it can help straighten the bloom. A cocked bloom will never win a major award.
5. Bloom Cycle Care:
By mid August, after the buds have been taken, it’s time to revise our feeding program. We switch to a new fertilizer formulation that is higher in potash content and at the same time reduce the overall amount of feed throughout the bloom cycle. Generally we will have to change our watering program as well. Here’s the plan.
– First we give the plant a potash boost to start the hardening off cycle. Starting the second week in August we feed each pot with ½ tsp of granular sulphate of potash, applied to the top of the pot and repeat 2 weeks later with ¼ tsp potash. Water it in so as not to burn the roots. This is to harden off the plants and promote better bloom development.
-As soon as the bud has been taken (Sometimes that’ in July instead of August), we reduce our liquid feeding level to ½ to ¼ what you were previously using. If you have been feeding heavily, you might want to reduce it further so as not to damage the bud in its early development stage. A good position at this time is ½ tsp per Gal. of water once a week of our new bloom cycle fertilizer formulation with a higher potash concentration.
-Bloom Cycle Fertilizer.
We have been unable to obtain the old standard 15-10-45 bloom cycle fertilizer so here’s the recommendation for bloom cycle feeding: – 1/2 tsp of our standard 20-9-20+ fertilizer with ¼ tsp of sulphate of potash fertilizer per gallon of water. Note, the potash fertilizer does not dissolve easily so you might try mixing it with a small amount of warm water and letting it set a while.
-Watering, The plants won’t require as much water during the bloom cycle so you might apply only a pint of water per pot and likewise, only a pint of liquid fertilizer per feeding.
-After the petals have emerged and dropped 1 ½” to 2” you may want to increase the fertilizer concentration or by feeding more often. ..But use caution because you can easily blow the blooms with too much fertilizer.
6. Pest Management and Housing:
-Review your pest management program every 2 weeks and correct as necessary. Have your plants free of Aphids and fungus before the blooms are set to open. Aphids in blooms can be cause for disqualification or downgrading of the bloom.
-Spray every 2 weeks with a fungicide and insecticide up till time the buds break their membrane and start to drop petals.
-Watch for and destroy earwigs and other bugs that insecticides can’t get such as leaf rollers, Leaf hoppers, capsid bugs etc. Many of those bugs can damage your bud even before it opens up.

7. Finally, anticipate your housing needs and start preparations to get your show flowers under cover by the first or second week of Sept.

September to do list

SEPTEMBER TO-DO LIST – drs 9-1-13
Once the buds have broken the membrane and some petal tips are showing it’s imperative to get the pots into or under some kind of shelter where they will remain through the final bloom is developed. The basic idea is to protect the blooms from rain or dew, provide adequate temperature control and ventilation. The watering and fertilization program must also be modified to assure proper bloom development, and lastly we need to continue with pest management and fungus control throughout the bloom development.
Housing/Sheltering:
Sheltering of your plants is necessary throughout the bloom cycle. Shelters come in a variety of sizes, names and shapes including porches, Large overhanging eaves, garages, car ports, green houses or temporary wood /plastic structures. Basic requirements are Shelter from rain, dew, & Winds; adequate daytime light (though it can be shady), or light supplements, temperature control, and ventilation.
Maximum temperature should be kept below 80 Deg. If possible. Above that temp. the probability of bloom damage due to petal rot is high. If the shelter is exposed directly to the sun in early Sept. days the temperature within can skyrocket. Big fans can be used to increase ventilation and keep the temperature down. The fans also hopefully can bring in air from the shady side of the shelter to cool the overall area as well. Lining the inside of the shelter roof with old sheets or muslin will also reduce the heating and filter the sunlight. In general I like to keep the temperature between 50 deg and 70 deg. F for most of the finishing, but for the last few weeks of October, letting the nighttime temperatures dip into the 40s will probably accelerate your bloom development. If your temperatures dip into the 30s you will probably get pinking on the edges of some blooms. You can contact Don Stark or Chris Brookes to discuss your specific shelter questions or ideas.
Lighting:
Considerably less light will be required during the bloom cycle, but never the less it is necessary to provide supplemental light in most cases where you have sheltered the plants. If you are finishing in a green house or similar structure, It will probably be necessary to add light filtration in the ceilings as the opening blooms generally can not accept full sunlight through clear plastic or glass. You can purchase black screen like materials to put over your roofs to reduce the amount of sunlight. Alternatively, I have pinned old white sheets across the ceiling to filter the light. This works very well and at the same time the sheets tend to absorb the early morning dew that tends to collect in the cool mornings.
Getting back to light supplements, the most common and functional method is hanging 4’ or 8’ Fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling. Plain white light lights work or if you choose you can buy
Gro- lights which are reputed to be better. Don’t buy “Grow-Lux” lights unless you are very rich as they are a specific brand name light and very costly. You can run the lights all day, 8-10 hours, during the day or all night if you so chose. I prefer just the time during daylight hours. Another clue that might help is an old adage –In general reflexing varieties like it light and cool while Incurves usually like it warmer and and less light” I use that adage to help me decide where I want to house each plant since I Use more than just 1 housing unit.
Bringing the plants into cover
Around Labor day, when the buds are starting to break the membrane, bring them in. Wash the pots thoroughly around the bottom to get rid of the crud moss and residue that have formed in your growing area. Clip off all excess roots that are hanging out the drain holes and pick off all old and damaged leaves, mostly around the bottom of the plant, that harbor pests and fungi.
Spray the plant with both a good fungicide and insecticide, taking care not to get any of the spray on the blooms. Watch for and destroy Earwigs, worms, caterpillars etc. They can wreck blooms when they get on or inside.
Top-dress the pots for one last time. Add about ½ to ¾ in. of your 9” mix or some compost to the pot surface and level it. Top-Dressing the plants helps finishing the plants now and also promotes new growth for next year’s cuttings. Now’s the time to cut off (not tear out) all new basil shoots that are developing, If your pot exhibited significant moss growth , add ½ tsp of Hydrated lime to the top dress mix to help sweeten the soil.
Optionally for colored blooms, not white or yellow, you may add ¼ tsp of Ferrous sulfate (Fe2 So4 ) to enhance the color. In particular The Athabasca needs this Fe2,So4 to show a significant ring of pink tips on its blossom. Pinks in general look more intense if we feed it.
Additionally, if you have not started feeding potash in your fertilizer formula (see Aug. Newsletter) then add ¼ to ½ tspn Sulphate of potash to the top mix to harden off the plant and keep the bloom petals from being too soft.
Staking and bud support:
Now’s time to start cutting back to your final selection of laterals, Stake the securely and start getting the support shingles attached to the stem and the support stake. Stake and tie up all selected laterals and add support shingles under the blooms. Keep moving the support shingle up under the bloom as the neck stretches. Use support shingle to straighten the neck and keep the bloom flat atop the stem
Finally, remove all side laterals as they appear on the selected stems below the bloom so that the bloom is all that is left.
Fertilizing and Watering:
For the bloom cycle, we reduce the fertilizer to ½ strength immediately after taking the bud and at the same time switch to a different fertilizer formulation that is higher in Potash content as discussed in the August news letter. Basically we mix ½ tsp of our basic 20-9-20+ fertilizer with i/2 tsp with ¼ tsp of Sulphate of Potash per gallon of water. After the petals begin to drop it is safe to increase the strength of this solution gradually to up to 2 times or less of this formula to promote blossom growth. Note: It’s easy to overfeed the plant at this time, and produce ragged, cocked, or deformed blooms; so increase the fertilizer sparingly.
Watering is different at this stage also. Water more sparing using about 1pint per watering and do not water when the temperature is over 75 deg. Water /fertilize from a bucket using a 1-pint jar or similar small container. Do not use a hose and scatter water everywhere on the shelter floor. Keep the finishing area dry and clean.