Archive for January, 2018

January 2018 Newsletter

Hi All
Hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Celebration! Looking forward to seeing you Thursday January 11th, 2018 and in the New Year!

Our next meeting is Thursday the 11th of January @ Seattle Police Athletic Association small classroom to the north of the big hall @ 7 PM. See our website under “about” for a map & updated directions. Turn left at the end of the driveway fences. Classroom is on the right just north of the house.

SUPPLIES: (see notes in minutes) and please call Ronnie Elliot by Monday, January 8th to order M&R mix for both January and February meetings. We will have plant tags and twistems at the meeting.

Dues: Please pay your dues for 2018 at the January Meeting

NEW EVENT: Cutting College & Social
Jan 21st, 2018 12-2pm at Volunteer Park Conservatory Greenhouse.
Stool prep, cutting, and planting of #1’s and #2’s. Bring your stools and some food to share. More details to follow at the meeting.

2018 Project Bloom Suggestion:
Connie Mayhew

2017 NCS National Show in Portland:
Special Kudos to ECA Members Ron Elliot for 4 class wins and Tamara Bliley for 1 class win.
Link to Details

Two Million Hits to the ECA Website!!! We will be trying to link to our Facebook page and add more photos to this site in the next few months.

DRAFT MINUTES from ECA Meeting December 13, 2017.

ECA Meeting Minutes
Attendees: Kris Stephens, Ron Elliott, Richard Thompson, David Rynes, Erika Harris, Alva and Dennis Nishimura, Steve and Sue Joyner

Meeting was brought to order at 7:05 pm

Cultural Presentation – Ron Elliott
Care of your stools throughout the winter and growing new shoots for cuttings
Success for the coming year begins with the care of our stock so as to produce quality cuttings. It’s important that you identify your best plants from each variety and try to get your cuttings from those plants. Weak or diseased plants should be destroyed.
Cut back your plants to a 4 inch stem.
Remove all old leaves and new leaves on new appearing shoots.
Clean up your pots and set them outside and sheltered from wind, rain and slugs.
It is important for the stool to remain relatively cool during this short dormant period. This chilling will help produce much stronger cuttings for next year’s growing cycle.

Protect your plants from hard freezing (Lower than 28 deg.) Mums are hardy and most plants can stand a night or more of freezing temperatures, but 3 consecutive nights of hard freezing will probably kill all but the hardiest mums. During severe cold snaps a garage, shed, greenhouse, cold frame, or a tarp can be used temporarily to protect the plants till the cold subsides

Three to four weeks before the desired cutting times bring the stools into a heated area (60 deg. For example), water them and fertilize with a high Nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle Grow (24-8-16) to stimulate new growth.

In general cutting will be taken from Jan. 15th and on.

Business Meeting:
October 12, 2017 meeting minutes were read by Sue Joyner. Motion to accept by Kris Stephens and 2nd by Steve Joyner. Approved by all in attendance

1. 2018 slate of officers was presented

President: Kris Stephens

Vice President: Steve Joyner

Secretary: Sue Joyner

Treasurer: Sydney Ogilive

3 year trustee: Chris Brookes

3 year Trustee: David Rynes

2 year trustee: Jill Aldrich

2 year trustee: Mas Tamekuni

1 year trustee: Ann Schriebe

1 year trustee: Mark Ross

Cultural: Mark Ross and Steve Joyner

A motion to accept the 2018 slate of officers was made by Richard Thompson and 2nd-ed by Dave Rynes. Approved by all in attendance.

2. Decision was made to order 50 planting trays. Sue Joyner to make a Steubers run to purchase 3 boxes white tags, 2 boxes, yellow tags and 1 box purple tags; 3 bottles of root tone and 1 bag of high nitrogen fertilizer. Also to pick up a box of pencils.

3. Trustee’s annual meeting
Kris Stephens will coordinate the trustee meeting for a January to February time frame. Kris wil contact Bob Ewing to secure a meeting location at Wesley Gardens.

4. Cutting and planning social/potluck
Proposed January 20th and February 24th for cutting and planting social/potluck. Proposed location is the Volunteer park conservatory. Kris to coordinate dates and location with VPC David Helgeson.

5. Proposed meeting dates
Jan 20th cutting/planting event will be in lieu of the January 13th meeting.Ed NOTE: False – still holding regular meeting January 11th)
February 8th regular Thursday evening meeting
February 24th second cutting/planting event.

6. Other proposed dates:
March 8th – first ECA member plant sale
April 12th – second ECA member plant sale.
April 14th – Public plant sale at VPC

7. Social Media Addition – add membership application

8. January and February discussion topic – strategies for deciding what plants to grow for the show. Challenges and vases containing multiple blooms display better at the show and would allow for more blooms in our limited display space

9. Vases – need larger vases for multiple bloom entries (5-6 inches across the top)
Erika Harris to contact a local wholesale florist for pricing/quantity discounts. We would prefer similar larger vases for display in the show.

10. Trophies – what are the various trophies? Should we retire and replace some of the well-loved (and used) trophies? It was suggested that Larry Mayer would be a great resource providing background information on past award/trophy purchases.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm
Sue Joyner, Secretary

January 2018 Cultural Notes & To Do List

Special Cultural Notes:
Ron Elliot emphasized the necessity for protecting last year’s stools from frost–Keep stools protected, covered from rain, and sheltered from frost and Ice. One or two frosts in a row, the stools will probably survive; but a 3rd frost might likely kill many of the stools. Protecting from rain is necessary to keep your stools relative dry so they can experience a semi dormant period. If stools are wet you run much greater risk of killing frosts as new shoots will be growing and as such are much more susceptible to freezing weather. Also If the pots you have the stools in are wet a hard frost will often break your pots in half due to expansion of the wet media when it freezes.
The stools can be kept in this semi dormant period until 20-30 days before you wish to take cuttings. To wake them up feed moderately with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle Gro. to urge the new shoots on.
Ron also talked about cutting beds and the surrounding environment. He reported what he uses which are in a heated green house, keeping the soil temp. at 65-70 degrees etc. and using overhead fluorescent lights. Stark emphasized that the beginner and many older members don’t need to go to extensive lengths with the cutting beds and that all you really is a heated box with a medium of sand and Pete moss , protected from the surrounding medium and with sufficient light, whether it be from fluorescent lights, a sunny window or a semi clear roof.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program:
January 2017 Cultural Notes drs 1-16-2016
To Do LIST -January
1. get your stools growing and producing shoots for cuttings.
You should have several already producing good shoots for January cuttings
2. Clean up your cutting beds, check temperature sensors overhead lights etc.
See Dec. 2013 news letter for details.
3. Lay out your growing plans for the year- What verities and how many you plan
to grow. I like to break it down to 3 or four sections i.e.
-Large and Mediums (#1s & #2s)
-Incurves (#3s & #13s )
-Late Decoratives & Fantasies
-Early English and Garden Varieties and
-Any special categories you may be growing
4.Plan your pinch dates and starting dates
5. Start the cuttings per your plan; refer to previous notices or your he ECA
Novice Handbook
6 collect material you will need when transferring cuttings to next stage;
i.e. 21/2 inch cross bottom cubes– M&R mix, or other soilless growing mix
plant labels, B-9 stem growth retardant etc.
Cultural notes
1. Taking cuttings:
The club now follows either of two basic starting media/methods for starting the cuttings:
-the first method employs the old standard cutting bed where cuttings are placed in rows
in the starting media. separated as chosen by the grower. The basic cutting bed material
being peat moss and sand or our standard growing M&R mix. , or sometimes starting
directly in 2 1/2 inch cross bottom cubes. Recently, I (Stark) have changed my basic
starting media to 60% ProEarth#2 and 40 % Green Mountain sharp white sand. The sharp
white sand helps produce many more roots as the sharp edges penetrate the cambian layer
and new roots develop where the layer was broken.
The alternative cutting method employed by several uses “Earth Pots”. A few years ago
Chris Brookes picked up on this method used by Ray Gray of Kings Mums in his large scale
commercial business. The Earth pots come in trays of 72 starting modules containing the
required soilless ingredients. The cuttings are inserted directly into each module. A cutting
bed not required per se; but you still, but you still need to provide controlled under the pot
heat, overhead protection (Covers), overhead lighting and frequent overhead spraying.
The Earth pots come in trays of 72 pots. Mark Ross is the focal point for ordering the Earth
pots and you need to order them a month in advance.
Both methods have shown to produce excellent rooted cuttings, The Earth Pots are liked by
several grows because they allow a denser starting flat (72 starts per flat.
Downsides include additional costs and the need for frequent spraying.
The cutting bed seems to have an advantage with the white Sand enabling more roots per
cutting and the ability to get a good look at the roots when they are taken from the bed.
Of course the starting media or the under flat temperature must be controlled (65-69 DEG) by
heating heating elements such as heat pads, heat coils, heated room etc.

2. Starting dates:
There is always varying opinion for different starting dates. let’s try to put some logic into the Question. First we must recognize that different varieties require different starting dates to provide the best chance of getting a full flowered bloom read for our show date.
It has always been my position that for most of the year we must concentrate primarily on root development. In line with that position I generally recommend that we get our final potting, (8″ or 9″ pots) completed by the first to the fifteenth of June. This allows sufficient time to develop strong fully root bound roots by the time we expect the buds to appear. A basic tenant for pot grown plants is that the plants seldom bud out until they become root bound. if you are still potting-on into July you don’t have sufficient time to develop roots before you need buds o appear. The result is often late and anemic blooms. pushing them along with additional fertilizer can’t really save them. This concept is mostly independent of the planned stopping dates.
All that having been said there is still a lot of latitude in selecting your starting dates; including tardiness in getting your stools growing early enough to take healthy cuttings . You each will have to decide when to take your cuttings. To give you some Ideas I’ve listed my generalized starting dates. maybe they will be helpful, but keep in mind there are different growing facilities and climates so these might not all fit your needs. Hopefully it’s a start.
– Late Dec & early to mid January, Mount Rainer, Elsie Prosser James Bryant, Keith
Luxford, All Fairweathers, Most Fantasies (Spiders, quills and spoons). King George, plus
anything you plan to grow for specimen plants (10 or more blooms).
-Late Jan. Connie Mathew, Seychelles, Dukes, Jessie Habgood
– February, Lundys, Harry Gees (all), Jane Sharpe, Ralph Lamberts, Athabasca,
-Late Feb. to early march, Lots of #4s & #5s plus garden varieties.
To some extent, we as a club may have been starting many varieties earlier than necessary. Many of us have started fairly early because of usual April blahs where our plants tend to stall out and we barely get our plants into the final pots by early June. Many have overshot the desired potting-on dates resorted to using 8″ pots for the final potting in order to get the root system more quickly semi root bound. That works to some extent, but keep in mind that we are trying to attain exceptional flowers and the smaller pot with less roots significantly limits the potential of the final blooms
Most of the above relates to the Exhibition class mums; Sections 1 through 15.
-Early English classes , sections 23 through 25 and to some extent classes 13 through 15 are a different story entirely as they have been cultivated and developed mainly for growing in the open garden, not in pots. They tend to bud more quickly and flower earlier than the other varieties. Further, their budding dates are not usually affected by the need for roots to become semi root bound. Most garden varieties fall into this same category.
One final note regarding cuttings. We need healthy strong growing shoots for the cuttings in all cases. It is better to delay starts to get a healthier cuttings than to take earlier week cuttings. Another observation is that the shoots tend to be growing faster in February and on.
3. Use of B-Nine to control plant Height.
We have been recommending B-Nine to control the height of our plants. In general it is recommended the first application be made when potting on from the cutting bed. This works quite wee in most cases, but there several varieties that are generally quite short, and B-Nine is not beneficial as they could be so limited in height one could not produce a significantly long stem. To name a few here’s a list of those cultivars where B-Nine should not be used.
-All Fairweathers, -Alexis -West Bromwich King George -And all shorties.