Cultural Notes for Nov. 2013 In Lieu of the customary Newsletter
Now that the bloom season is behind us it’s time to start taking care of our stock for next year’s cuttings. We’ll put emphasis first on eradicating any possible carryover of the white rust discovered in some members stock and secondly we will outline good practice in housing our stools and caring for them during the winter months so as to have many strong growing shoots in January and February for cuttings
Eradication of White Rust (And Brown Rust)
White Rust has been introduced into ECA members stock. If you purchased any cuttings at this year’s plant sale or got cuttings from other members for starting yourself you should assume that there are potentially white Rust spores lurking somewhere amongst your plants. Any spores on green leaves are simply waiting for the right conditions to develop for them to germinate. Viable spores can remain hidden on the underside of leaves or on stems, roots and soils throughout summer and through the following winter unless the following preventative measures are taken.
1) Keep all foliage dry as spores cannot develop and reproduce without the leafs being wet and or in a high humidity atmosphere.
2) Once your mums have finished flowering, cut them back leaving a stem that is short (1”-3”), Remove all laterals and leaves. Assume all leaves and laterals are potentially infected so burn or bury them. i.e., deprived of all Oxygen.
3) Place the stools in a cool dry protected area for wintering over, (more on that later). Start and maintain a fungicide spraying program with either, Eagle, Immunox by spectricide or possibly Daconil throughout the winter. Spray the stems, pots and soil a minimum of 3 times before allowing new cuttings to grow.
– Eagle is the fungicide recommended by the USDA. The club has purchased a
Sizeable bottle of it and broke it down to small viles for individual use. It is available
free of charge. Contact Don Stark
-Immunox is available in relatively small inexpensive spray bottles at garden stores,
Home Depot etc. It contains the same critical ingredient (Myclobutanil) as Eagle.
– Daconil is likewise locally available in spray bottles. Daconil is not specifically
Identified for White Rust eradication, but is mentioned several times in publications
Concerning prevention. More to the point, we have a history of Daconil controlling
Many other fungal diseases including early blight, late blight and brown Rust. It is
Therefore recommended that you include one application of Daconil along with the
other recommendations for Eagle or Immunox.

4) By next Jan-Feb your stock should be free and clean to safely grow new laterals. According to the literature you will have probably eradicated brown rust as well. However it is strongly suggested that you include a systemic fungicide in your spring disease prevention program the 3 systemics recommended are: Banner-Max, Fertiloam or Heritage. More on these will be published in the spring.

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 cutting from those plants. Weak or diseased plants should be destroyed.
As discussed in the previous section you should cut back your plants to a 1-3 inch stem, removing 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 during this short dormant period. This chilling will help produce much stronger cuttings for next year’s growing cycle
You may have to protect them 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 to stimulate new growth. Ouch! This is the only time you will hear me use the name Miracle Grow. The rest of the year I avoid it like the plague.
This brings us to the final Area, “Timing:
How do we fit all these activities together? Let’s assume we get our plants cleaned up and put in the cool dry place by Nov. 20th and we want to start cuttings on Jan 15th*
How does it all fit?
Start dormant period – Nov 20.
Bring in, fertilize and heat -Dec 20
Start cuttings -Jan. 20
Fungicide spraying, 3 times: – Nov 20,—–Dec. 15th—– and Jan10th
You see it’s pretty tight but you can get your 3 fungicide sprayings in.
Lastly there has been considerable discussion between members as to when we need to start our cuttings. That will continue and we will provide more on that subject in the Dec. or Jan news letter.
So let’s get at it in eradicating White Rust and other diseases and at the same time take care of our stools so as to produce quality starts for next year.

Submitted by Chris Brookes and Don Stark , Nov. 2013