Archive for February, 2018

February 2018 Cultural Notes and To Do List

February Cultural Notes and to Do List

PLANT CULTURE – Continue to start plants for our public sale in April. Plants must be given protection for the first few months and carefully nurtured to establish strong root systems before potting or repotting. In February, take starts for the early blooming varieties. At this month’s meeting, the focus is growing plants, cultivar selection, materials and your reference books. Cultural recommendations are attached.

SUPPLIES – Supplies to be available at the February meeting.
· Plant Labels, White and Yellow 100 per pack.
· 2½” Plastic planting/starting cubes
· M&R Soilless Growing Media (Need enough orders to buy a pallet for a lower price). The cultural committee has decided to provide only M&R mix. It is a better product for mums than the mix used previously. This mix can be used for all pottings from the first 2 ½” pot to the 9 or 10” final pot.

FEBRUARY TO DO LIST. (New: 1-28-06 DRS)

Continue with cuttings:

Continue taking cuttings throughout Feb. and into March for some. A few early Feb. cuttings can be available for the March/April Plant sales (March Members sale at the March meeting and the public plant sale on Sat. April 11th). Most Feb. and March cuttings should be of the early English and American varieties. Late Decoratives, Classes 4, 5, 14 and 15) should be started primarily in Feb. Take cuttings for yourself and for the plant sale.

Most varieties in classes 1,2 and 3 should have been started by the end of January: however here are some varieties that can be successfully grown from Feb. cuttings. #1 & #2’s Lundy, Yellow Lundy, David Dando, Ralph Lambert, Yellow Ralph Lambert, Athabaska, Harry Gee, Jane Sharpe and Seychelles. #3’s Len Hall, Salmon, Primrose and yellow Fairweathers, Stockton and Heather James.

Cuttings started directly in the cutting bed media should not require fertilization before potting on. If you are starting in the cross bottom bands or 2” clay pots, fertilizer should be added after 3 to 4 weeks as these cutting generally require 5-6 weeks before potting on. Start fertilizing once a week beginning with the 4th week. Use an early Mum fertilizer, Peters 9-45-15 or Plant Marvel 12-45-10 (One Tsp/Gal once a week)

Potting on:

Most growers are using the soilless M&R potting mix sold by the club. In general no additives are required for the early pottings (2” and 4” pots); however some growers like to add some special ingredients. For instance Alfalfa meal or pellets is a good stimulant that can be added. Avoid adding Bone meal, as you will probably find fungi growing on the top of your pots due to too much potassium.
– Pot the mums directly from the cutting beds into 2” pots, or from the starter bands or pots into 3” or 4” pots.
– Use new pots, or wash previously used pots with a mild bleach solution (Clorox) to kill moss and eliminate the viruses. When bleach is used thoroughly rinse pots in fresh water to get the bleach out of the pot.
– Clay pots are recommended for the 2”, 3”, 4” and 6” potttings as the clay pots will dry out better than plastic after watering. This is especially important during the cool March and April days.

– Pot on from cutting beds when the roots are ½ to ¾ in. long (Typically 4 weeks) into 2 ½” or 3” pots.

– Pot on from cross bottom bands, or pots when roots are growing thickly out of the pots or bands (Typically 6 weeks). Do not compact the mix!

– Place the newly potted mums out of the light or under the bench for 2-3 days to stimulate root growth.

Care:

– Shelter mums in the greenhouse, cold frame, or other shelter (Kitchen table or south facing window)
– Temperature should be between 50 and 60 degrees.
– Glass overhead will help keep mums from getting leggy.
– B-9 is a good growth retardant that tends to help plants from getting too leggy. It is available through the club. If you choose to use B-9 it should be applied at the time of potting on and again at or near pinch time. Caution: Do not use B-9 on plants that tend to naturally grow short: i.e. all the Fairweathers, all the Alexis, Port Stanley and others.
– Plants will remain in this first potting for 4-6 weeks until they have produced a noticeable root ring around the bottom of the pot. Don’t be afraid to knock the root ball out of the pot after several weeks and examine the roots.
– Fertilize with 9-45-15, or 12-45-10 beginning the 4th week
(1 Tsp/Gal once a week) These fertilizers are available through the
Club at the monthly meetings.

LASTLY, here are some notes from the Ivor Mace Presentation on NOvember 29th, 2014 by Don Stark:
Follow up from Ivor Mace’s presentation 0f 11/29/2014
We had a very enjoyable and informative evening with Ivor Mace on Sat. 29 Nov. The following notes highlight the most important things I gleaned from his presentation; covering growing facilities, Growing media, feeding , finishing and Timing
1. Ivor does most or all his growing in a large 36’x20′ green house. it contains air conditioning, heating, ventilation and sun shading provisions; So he is has total control of his environment from start to finish. Most of us do not grow in such a controlled environment.
2. Growing Media: Ivor grows in a soil based media, that contains good clay loam, plus Peat moss, grit
and other additives. This compares to our soilless standard of M&R Mix (mostly Peat moss) Compost
and pumice. The grit is like our pumice inert material to improve drainage. No nutritional value.

Ivor Mace
Loam (Soil)
Peat Moss
Grit

Clay pots
3″-6″-9″ progr.
Don Stark

M&R Mix (Mostly Peat)
Pumice
Compost
Clay pots
2+”-4″-6″-9″

3. Feeding: Ivor uses strictly dry (Granular) feed in proportions of approximately 3-12- 8 We use liquid feed in proportions of 20-9-20 and others .Overall, That’s about the same level of feed .
4. Finishing: Ivor finishes everything in his green house with its controlled temp. heating, and shading from direct sun as appropriate. Waters sparingly and only those that need watering, Discontinues feeding at bud stage and does not to feed again through bloom stage.
5 Timing. For his Large exhibition mums Ivor grows 2 laterals per plant and tries to get the second lateral a little later than the first. Then later during the terminal stages he will decide which to carry to final bloom at show time. Additionally he grows a second plant as above but stopped a week or two later so that this second plant will produce blooms at a slightly later date. Note, Ivor then waits till Sept and tries to judge which bloom on each pot is most likely to reach perfection at show time. He then selects the most promising lateral from each plant and lops off the second lateral: hence he is carrying only one bloom per plant at terminal phase (as he advertizes). I, stark almost never cut back to 1 bloom per plant.
From all the above, Here’s a few things I’m thinking of for next year.
A-I’ll change my final 9′ mix to include top soil (loam). It’s going to be difficult to find good loam. My new mix will probably look something like this: -M&R Mix ( 4 parts) – Topsoil (3 parts )-Pumice(2 parts)- Compost( 2 parts) – Horse Manure 1/2 part, plus Hydrated lime ad bone meal to fortify the soil portion.
-The reason for adding top soil: To get a continuous and reliable source of nutrients and trace elements that will carry me through the March/April doldrums and through the final finishing weeks. I’ve had problems with plants stalling out in the final stages. Ivor Reports he almost never has to feed during the finishing stage.
B. I’m going back to some granular feeding instead of liquid feed during the March/April doldrums . and possibly for the finishing stages. This will help me get through the March/April doldrums where the pots seem to never dry out and I don’t want to water them just to get them some feed. It could also provide a longer lasting residual source of nutrients during the bloom finishing cycle. This may Also help get the incurves out in time and with a much smoother outline.
C. I’m going to try to adapt his timing ideas. I generally try to grow large and mediums with 2 terminals per pot and 2 pots of each cultivar; so maybe I can manipulate the plants to give me 2 good blooms out of the 4 laterals.
D. If I can find a cheap source of 3 1/2″ clay pots I may change my progression from 2-4-6-9″ to 3″-6″-9″ pots. It would make it easier to get to 9″ pots by early May.
Incidentally Ivor showed us root structure at time of potting on and It was much more heavily rooted than what most of you are accustomed to using. (roots extending 20% up the sides)
DRS 1/05/2015

February 2018 Newsletter

Please pay your dues if you’ve not done so yet. MEETING OF THE ECA – is scheduled for TOMORROW THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8th, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila. Meeting in North Class Room.

We Need a Volunteer to speak about mums at a garden Club in NW Tacoma/Brown’s Point May 8th at 1:30 PM. Kris will discuss this at the meeting.

Draft Minutes from January ,meeting by Sue Joyner. Please note dates of upcoming events and plan to attend. Happy Valentines Day!!

January 11, 2017

ECA Meeting Minutes

Attendees: Kris Stephens, Ron Elliott, June Kubo, David Rynes, Erika Harris, Alva and Dennis Nishimura, Steve and Sue Joyner, Mark Ross, Rich and Jill Aldrich

Meeting was brought to order at 7:10 pm

Cultural Presentation – Ron Elliott, Mark Ross and Steve Joyner

How to take a stool cutting and propagate a new plant

By now stools should be in a heated area (60 deg. For example). They should be watered and fertilized with a high Nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle Grow (24-8-16) to stimulate new growth.

It’s important that you identify your best plants from each variety and try to get your cutting from those plants. Weak or diseased plants should be destroyed.

Ron Elliott demonstrated how to take a cutting and use the earth pot for starting the plant. The earth pots come in a tray of 72 starting modules containing the required soilless ingredients. The cuttings are inserted directly into each module and the planting media is pressed gently around the tender starts. The earth pots are liked by several growers because they provide a denser starting flat.

Steve Joyner discussed the characteristics of a healthy plant for taking a cutting and demonstrated how he takes a cutting and starts the plant in a 2 ½ inch cross bottom cube.

Soilless starting media is placed in the 2 ½ inch cross bottom cubes. The planting media is compacted in each corner of the cube. Using a pencil, poke a hole in the center of the starting media. Steve dips the leafy end of his starts in a weak fungicide solution and then dips the end of the cutting into root tone, before inserting the cutting into the cube. The planting media is pressed gently around the tender start.

For either method controlled heat is required under the tray, overhead lights and covers are also necessary. Light overhead spraying will keep the plants moist enough to start the roots. Too much moisture will rot the start.

Instruction was provided on the information that should be written on the pot tag. The plat name, plant classification, start date, the grower’s initials. The start date provides good reference for selecting the start date for next year’s plants.

After the demonstrations anyone present was encouraged to take a cutting, complete the tag and plant the start. Having many experienced growers in the room provided good information and guidance for the novice growers present.

Start time frames –
First out the gate in early to mid-January – Elsie Prosser, Mount Rainier, James Bryant, Keith Luxford, all fairweathers, most fantasies, and any specimen plants (10 or more blooms)
In late January – Connie Mayhew, Seychelles, Dukes, Jessie Habgood
February – Lundys, Harry Gees, Jane Sharpe, Ralph Lambert, Athabasca
Late February to early March – 4’s, 5,s and garden varieties

Now is the time to be thinking about what you want to enter in the fall show.
Strategies were discussed and growers were encouraged to look at the ECA show rules and create their 2018 growing plan.
Business Meeting:
December 13, 2017 meeting minutes were read by Sue Joyner. Motion to accept by Steve Joyner and 2nd by June Kubo. Approved by all in attendance

Agenda:
1. Review of 2018 slate of officers

2. Mark Ross ordered 50 planting trays. They will arrive January 22nd. Sue Joyner purchased 3 boxes white tags, 2 boxes, yellow tags and 1 box purple tags from Steubers and brought them to the meeting.

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

4. Cutting and planning social/potluck
The first ECA chrysanthemum cutting and starting University at Volunteer Park Conservatory (VPC) is scheduled for Sunday January 21st between noon and 2 pm. We anticipate running longer. Bring your stools! We will be taking cuttings on any single digit classification cultivars – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. (see cultivar list below)
There will be a potluck of soup, rolls, salad and side dishes at VPC during our workshop.

The second ECA chrysanthemum cutting and starting University is scheduled for Saturday, February 24th. Kris Stephens to coordinate the time with VPC David Helgeson. More info forthcoming at the February ECA meeting

5. Upcoming ECA events
Sunday, January 21st cutting/planting event at VPC greenhouse
Thursday, February 8th regular Thursday evening meeting
Saturday, February 24th second cutting/planting event at VPC greenhouse.

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

7. Plant Sale discussion:
Because our Furneys plant sale patrons may not want to drive to Volunteer park for plants Sue Joyner suggested that we contact the SeaTac Horticultural society. Jill and Rich Aldrich agreed to contact them to see if we could possibly have an April plant sale there. Sue also suggested that we consider contacting Bellevue Botanical garden as a third April plant sale location. The idea being multiple plant sales in different areas around greater Seattle. Last year we sold about the same number of plants as in previous years but had many more starts that we could have sold.
Jill Aldrich introduced the idea of having some pictures of the plants for the plant sale(s). We have a large catalog of pictures to set up a picture board.

8. Social Media Addition – talk to Steve Backstrom about adding a membership application to the web site

9. Vases – Erika Harris provided a catalog from the floral supply syndicate. Vase criteria for multiple bloom entries (5-6 inches across the top). We would prefer similar larger vases for display in the show. Dave Rynes will provide information on how the English national chrysanthemum society displays vases of 5 for their shows. This will help us determine the vases we need to purchase

10. Trophies – Continued discussion about trophies. Should we retire and replace some of the well-loved (and used) trophies? Sue will contact Larry Mayer who was identified as a great resource providing background information on past award/trophy purchases.

11. Proposed 2018 project bloom – Connie Mayhew

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm
Sue Joyner, Secretary

February Cultural Notes and to Do List

PLANT CULTURE – Continue to start plants for our public sale in April. Plants must be given protection for the first few months and carefully nurtured to establish strong root systems before potting or repotting. In February, take starts for the early blooming varieties. At this month’s meeting, the focus is growing plants, cultivar selection, materials and your reference books. Cultural recommendations are attached.

SUPPLIES – Supplies to be available at the February meeting.
· Plant Labels, White and Yellow 100 per pack.
· 2½” Plastic planting/starting cubes
· M&R Soilless Growing Media (Need enough orders to buy a pallet for a lower price). The cultural committee has decided to provide only M&R mix. It is a better product for mums than the mix used previously. This mix can be used for all pottings from the first 2 ½” pot to the 9 or 10” final pot.