Archive for April, 2015

Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum & ECA Proposal

A member forwarded this link to Longwood Grows 11-Foot Chrysanthemum ECA is interested in growing a Thousand Bloom Mum. Here is a primer on what it takes as cultivated at Longwood Gardens

ECA President John Harden is proposing that ECA grow a “Thousand Bloom Chrysanthemum” to exhibit in the Seattle Area. Attached is a proposal for ECA Member review. Suggestions, feedback and comments are very desirable.

1000 bloom proposal

April 2015 Cultural Notes & To Do List

Cultural comments from Chris Brookes at our April 2014 Meeting followed by our traditional to do list:

April is always one of our strongest meetings of the year with hundreds of rooted cuttings for sale. This year there is more, so much more.

Next it’s quickly back to soil mixes. At the March 2014 meeting I talked about the importance of increasing air near the roots and the possibility of adding more Pumice to the soil mix. I grow in a 60% – 40% mix of M & R Soilless and Harvest Supreme Compost. Looking back through all of the cultural notes I see Don has the same mix but has also been adding 1-2 parts more of pumice. I guess I don’t always listen well enough, as Don’s mix is spot on in terms of creating a better soil mix capable of holding more air. I’m finally on the same soil track as Don this year.

Next it’s fertilizers where I often seem to have more questions than answers. e.g. If we are using the right fertilizer amounts, why were over 50% of blooms exhibited by some experienced growers fully or partially blown last Fall? ECA has made a several major changes in soil mixes over the last 40 years. I joined the club at a time when we grew almost entirely in M & R mix which has a very fast release of fertilizer. Today’s recommended mix of composts, and M & R soilless has a very much slower release soil. Yet as far as I can tell we still have the same fertilizer recommendations that were developed by Jim Ball and his Brother in Law for soilless mixes in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. Can this be right? FOOD for Thought!!

APRIL TO DO LIST (edited from DRS 3-21-05)

1. Potting on mums into 4” or 6” pots
· Soilless growers who are using the club recommended M&R mix. This mix is ph balanced at 6.5 and contains a good mix of fertilizers that carry the plant for 3-4 weeks. It requires no additives at this time, but some growers like to add a little Alfalfa meal and some additional pumice for increased aeration.
· Soil or compost mixes: See McGlashen mix in the McGlashen Hand Book. You’ll need to mix your own soil, consisting of compost, or garden loam plus slacked Lime or Dolomite to keep soil sweet plus Steamed Bone to promote root growth. Also, ashes and a little Rose and garden fertilizer (i.e. 4-10-8 or 5-10-10) Pumice or grit may be added to loosen the soil mix.
· Wash previously used pots in a mild Clorox bath (bleach), then rinse in clear water.
· Clay pots are recommended for 4 or 6 inch potting as they breathe and dry out faster during cool April days.
· Pot on when a significant ring of roots forms around the bottom edge of the pot (semi root bound). Do not compact the potting mix. Tie plants to small stakes.
2. Move mum pots outdoors as weather warms. Choose a sunny location.
· Bury pots to rim if using clay. Protect from frost, wind, dogs, cats and Children.
3. Review stopping dates. Most ECA cultivars are stopped Between April 15 and May 30.
· Pinch date lists for most club cultivars are on our website CULTIVARS OF ECA. Please let Steve B know if you need a copy at the April 9th meeting. Contact your Coach for other cultivars not on the list.

4 OTHER CARE:

· Control Aphids. Spray for Aphids every 2 or 3 weeks, with liquid Diazinon, or other insecticides. Water only as needed, do not over water.
· Continue culling process in April to get to your final growing group. The 6” potting should be used for this reduction. Don’t always keep the first plants to reach 6” potting stage. Keep the best cultivars. Share surplus plants with other club members. Throw away damaged or diseased plants.

Fertilize weekly starting the 3rd or 4th week after potting. And the Club Early Fertilizer. Water soluble 10-50-10 Peter’s upper blossom booster is also a good substitute.

(Please note the change in recommendation for starter fertilizer. In 2009, Don Stark indicated that water-soluble 10-50-10, Peters Super Blossom Booster plant food, is available at local garden stores or McLendons Hardware in 1.5-pound bags. The application directions indicate 1 tsp per gallon of water for indoor use. Use this fertilizer as a supplement through the 6” pot stage. Don noted that Peters 20-10-20 will be available for use through the summer growth season.)

Happy Easter! April 2015 Newsletter – Plant Sale Saturday April 11

EVERGREEN CHRYSANTHEMUM ASSOCIATION
Seattle, Washington
ECAMumClub.org
http://ecamumclub.org/

Furney’s Nursery >>——-> Partners with ECA in Chrysanthemum in Propagation and Exhibition

Happy Easter!! It has been a busy month for your newsletter editor as I took about 250 cuttings for our plant sales. I am astonished at how much work it is to take care of so many plants!! Please THANK our tireless & more prolific growers who have been providing so many plants for so many years to benefit our club.

DUES
If you have NOT paid your dues, please do!! Our Treasurer is Sydney Ogilve – please contact her if you cannot make the meeting 4-9-2015.

NEXT MEETING OF THE ECA IS OUR MEMBER PLANT SALE!!!

THURSDAY April 9, 2015 at 7 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila. This meeting is important as we prepare final details for our Annual Plant sale on Saturday, April 11th. Please bring plants to the April 9th meeting for sale to members. Please note that NOVICES have first preference for plants – Novices please have your coaches help you select plants. Members are reminded to bring in their extra plants for our member plant sale and the public sale. Only healthy looking plants are accepted for the “Sales Events”. For those bringing in plants, please also bring in newspaper or a cloth to cover the table if your plants are in an open bottom carrier. This will help the clean up crew when tidying at the end of the meeting.

ANNUAL PLANT SALE – APRIL 11th

(At Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines – 21215 Pacific Hwy South).

Remember to bring your plants in to Furney’s and help with set up on Friday, April 10th starting at 1 P.M. The Saturday, April 11th public plant sale will be held from 9 A.M. to-1 P.M.

MARGARET HOWELLS 5-Y PROJECT PLANT for 2015

We would like all members to pick up a Margaret Howells at our members sale and “Grow it to Show It” for our fall show. There will be a special award for the best bloom of Margaret Howells. I will be bringing about 40 plants and we will have a special table for these plants so you don’t have to hunt for them.

Club Library/Publications Notices Notes

Chris Brookes notes that we have a limited collection of excellent reference books and the goal is for Members to take books out for one month only. Thereby we can give as many growers as possible a chance to read and learn from the experiences and knowledge of other growers.

CONTACT FOR SUPPLIES

Please contact Gary Budzeak by Tuesday April 7th for club supply orders including soilless for delivery at the April meeting.

If you prefer to receive future monthly notices by email only rather than US mail, please send an email to Steve Backstrom. This will save the Club some money on postage and copying.