To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: August 2104 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: August 12 at 7:30 PM at 9th and Lincoln. NOVICE ONLY MINI SHOW. AA, A, B, BB, Min, Ba, Mba, P, WL, ST, Nx, s, ms, col, an, nxo, orq, plus x3 and x5. Please only two per category. Please come early—6:30 to set up. Bonus Program: Lou Paradise will share his secrets for successful staging, and the mathematics of multiples. Sign up to help at our Floriganza. Who will bring goodies to share?
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT
Andrew Sutherland from the University of California imparted wisdom he gleaned as the urban extension agent for 5 urban counties. Andrew defines IPM as “simultaneous management of multiple pests.” Even compared to big commercial farms, city dwellers still make up the largest group of pesticide users. He cites 7 steps in managing ANY pest situation:
1. ID the pest, its biology and ecology
4. Define acceptable thresholds of invasion
5. Multiple tactics
Andrew used two pests—aphids and snails—as examples to follow all the steps of his IPM model.
Aphids in their summer flying (alate) form eat all kinds of things. Munching on a plant with mosaic virus transfers the virus to their mouth parts. If they next nip a dahlia, the mosaic virus will transfer to the dahlia with a single bite. A virused dahlia plant should be immediately dug up and thrown away—NOT composted. To prevent dahlias from being eaten by aphids one could tent the dahlias. This not only protects the blooms from aphids, but also from other flying bugs such as moths, butterflies, wasps etc. Tenting also shelters dahlias from heavy dew or even rain which can cause blotches on petals. Some farmers spread reflective films up and down the rows to confuse flying aphids thereby dissuading them from landing. Another strategy is spraying the leaves with Kayolin clay which interferes with aphids’ visual clues.
How do you monitor the effectiveness of these strategies? Andrew suggests posting yellow sticky cards. These will catch not only the bad bugs but also the good ones; they will also show you at a glance who’s living in your patch and whether your prevention lessens the invasion.
Andrew suggests using reduced-risk tactics first. Remove weeds where bugs and disease lurk. If you find a dahlia stem encrusted with aphids, simply snip off the stem and remove it completely from your garden. Consider biological means. Aphids have natural enemies, parasites, which prey on juicy aphids. Provide alternative plants which the pests prefer to your succulent dahlias.
If you choose to use chemical means, begin with the least toxic. Andrew compared this strategy to a cop stopping you on the street. Does the officer talk to you first or does he pull out his gun and shoot you? Andrew suggests that simple dishwashing soap with neem oil would be a mild start followed by a more aggressive tactic, spinosad (also called Conserve) which is a “green” bacteria agent. Short acting insecticides can be used before the systemic ones which can negatively affect bees as well as nasty bugs. Best of all, keep a close eye on your patch. The sooner you spot a pest, the least lethal your solution will have to be. Check out UCIPM on line. There are Pest Notes for over 200 specific garden wretches.
DID YOU KNOW – California has 280 species of snails! Eliminate leaves and debris around your dahlias where these mollusks can hide. Instead provide a half a melon groundside down for them to slick under with sunup. Then simply feed them to friendly chickens or otherwise dispense with them. Drip irrigation limits humidity making a less attractive habitat for these slimy munchers.
WHO’S THE FAIR-EST OF ALL?
Over the Fourth of July, Paula encouraged Deborah to enter the Marin County Fair. The first step: collecting beer bottles from drinking neighbors and soaking the labels off, since all flowers are shown in beer containers! At 6 am Deborah picked 30 dahlias, driving them to the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael. There were only 10 categories for dahlias but almost 50 classes for roses???? Obviously the Rose Lobby has major pull in Marin. Nevertheless, Paula entered only one single perfect rose and won Best Rose at the Fair. Not only did Deborah’s Rolf take Best Dahlia at the Fair, but it went on to capture Best Perennial–beating lilies, hydrangeas, and yes, roses, too
Look what Erik discovered on his latest trip to Sweden. He had to share this lovely block of Svenska stamps with DSC. How do we suggest that the US Post office ought to issue a decorative set like this for our ADS 100th birthday next year???
NEW CULTIVARS AT CABRILLO
Check out Devorah’s fabulous sidewalk garden at 39th and Cabrillo. Can you spot the new dahlias? How will they fair at the shows?
BIG SHOW NEEDS BIG HELP
Our big exhibition/competition will be Aug. 16-17. We need volunteers to set up tables on Friday afternoon and tear them down on Sunday. Please contact John Dale 415-681-7630 if you can help. We also need dahlianistas to answer the public’s questions for 4 shifts: Sat. am and pm and Sun. am and pm.
Devi, our master of membership, is looking for someone to assist her in the membership duties: explaining the benefits of joining DSC, accepting membership forms and $, encouraging participation in People’s Choice, and giving directions to the Dahlia Dell. Interacting with the awe-struck public brings out the best in us. Please contact Devorah 414 831-1221 or Deborah 415-816-2118 really soon.
Who will clerk? The clerks accompany the judges Saturday morning beginning at 9:30. The clerks document the judges’ evaluations and award first and second place stickers. Take this great opportunity to learn more about how judges arrive at their conclusions, meet more bloomerati, experience more cultivars up close, and provide a valuable service to your DSC. Call Deborah NOW to get on the roster: 415-816-2118.
Society Show dates Show Location Flower
San Leandro Aug. 2-3 San Leandro Library Leslie Renee/Alpen Pearl
DSC Aug. 16-17 Hall of Flowers SF Lakeview Glow/Pooh
Monterey Aug. 23-24 Museum of Art and History Santa Cruz (corner of Front and Cooper Streets)
2014 at the Museum of Art and History Santa Cruz Paul Z/K K Katie
National Dahlia Show Aug. 30-31 Tacoma, WA
John Stowel Sept. 13-14 Valco Mall 10123 N. Wolfe Road, Cupertino Baron Aunt Dorothy/Just Peachy
Avid dahlia growers and showers, the Shirley Family from Auckland, New Zealand, toured our Dahlia Dell and Devorah’s Cabrillo Playground dahlia collections. They marveled at the size and variety of types we grow here.
Meeting Pat and Sue at the Dell, they said they felt like they already knew everyone through our DSC newsletters! They grow about 200 clumps on their five acres, sharing with the chickens, cows, and hay fields. Of course they also toured Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Lombard Street. Good to know our Dell is in the Top 5 SF Destinations for those Down Under.
NEW STARS IN THE CABRILLO FIRMAMENT
Check out the Cabrillo Playground Dahlia Garden at 39th and Cabrillo. How wonderful to see the first blooms of Apopa Beauty, Fancy Pants, Hollyhill Black Beauty, Hollyhill Moonsong, Irish Glow, Sandia Warbonnet and many others. Devorah reports that she purchased tubers from: Mike Iler’s Blossom Gulch, Wayne Loubaughs, Sandy and Steve Boley’s Birch Bay Dahlias, and Ted and Margaret Kennedy’s Hollyhill Dahlias.
Sandia War Bonnet
Hollyhill Black Beauty
Monterey Dahlia Society graciously hosted a judging seminar. In their format, Karen Zydner, Kevin Larken, Ken Masurat, and Marilyn Masurat all expatiated over aspects of form, color, substance and distinction. We need more qualified, educated judges. Sign up to clerk—the first step in this process.
Looks like a magic act with dahlias instead of rabbits
You be da judge
Famed artist, Kevin Woodson, has returned! On several occasions Kevin zoomed in on his specially tricked out bike with all his painting paraphernalia and set up his plein aire studio. How did he continue composing as the public plied him with continuous questions? On a special white board kept continually wet with a little spray bottle, Kevin layered his colors, literally growing dahlias through daubing accretion. His dad, visiting from Seattle, proudly read the article about his son in the recent San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland voted Kevin Best Artist in their Reader’s Choice poll.
Check out the following shows and galleries for more of Kevin’s work:
Art and Soul in Oakland, Frank Ogawa Plaza, Aug 2-3
Creative Framing Gallery, Sept 1 – Oct 28, Reception: Friday September 5th 6-9 PM
For more information visit www.creativeframingoakland.com
Do you have a splendid incurved? A cool Variegated? What about trying the first-timer arrangement category?
BEAT THE HEAT
John Kreiner, editor of the Georgia Dahlia Society e-news, allowed us to extract this excellent article. There is an organic foliar fertilizer on the market that contains yucca extract. It is called Golden Harvest Fertilizer. Using this fertilizer each week will keep the dahlia plants from wilting during the heat of the day. Another treatment you can use is to spritz your plants with a short watering of the plants during the heat of the day. This will reduce the stress on them.
What is Golden Harvest made from?
COMPETITION CHECK LIST
Pen/pencil, printout of the SF show schedule, pre-printed entry tags, CLEAN vases with frogs glued in place at least 72 hours beforehand, a couple of towels, ADS Classification Book, watering pail, 5 gallon bucket for trash on entry day and for water dumping on tear down day, very sharp scissors, extra fat stems from jettisoned blooms, and your patient, helpful attitude. I wear an apron with pockets to stay relatively clean and have things ready to hand. Lou P and several others wear surgical gloves to keep gunk from staining their fingers. I keep my cultivar varieties on an XL sheet and print it out so I have an immediate access to ADS #, type and size in a list in front of me. If this is your first or second show, calculate how long you will need to set up, run your entries to their designated tables, and clean up; then double it! Print out the sections of the SF Show Schedule that you will need. Look at the special categories. Yucca extract that truly help plants withstand heat, drought and stress. Yucca also works as a surfactant or spreader-sticker which helps the fertilizer adhere to the plants for optimum absorption.
Seaweed powder the finest grade of cold-processed providing a multitude of trace minerals, vitamins, and enzymes. It also supplies microbial stimulation of the soil, and helps plants to grow strong root systems. Seaweed may repel aphids and can lessen the chance of viral wilts and nematodes in the soil. Seaweed improves cold tolerance in plants via displacing the water content in the foliage with minerals thus reducing the chance of frost damage to emerging growth. The natural growth regulator effects of seaweed, specifically polyamino compounds also play a role in cold resistance. Seaweed as a plant supplement treatment has consistently proved to be the BEST for doing this.
Alfalfa for soil improvement and humic acid content. Alfalfa is an excellent soil additive for alkaline soils! It also is a source of many important minerals. Alfalfa contains triconatol, which promotes plant growth.
Comfrey contains minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus along with vitamins A, C, and B-12. Powdered comfrey leaves enrich the soil making these elements available to your plants. It works synergistically with the other ingredients.
Humic Acid which is great for soil improvement, root growth and foliage!
Equisetum (horsetail) for disease resistance and enhanced light absorption.
Ascorbic acid for enhancing disease and pest resistance.
Yarrow for its outstanding fertilizing and insect repellant properties.
Pure cane sugar an excellent source of trace minerals.
Powdered Hydrolized Fishmeal: a good supplier of nutrients and trace elements. This fishmeal is a by-product and not from fish harvested only for fertilizer.
Contains no synthetic growth hormones! Completely natural and safe to use.
DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT COLD GARDEN
In the recent ADS Bulletin one of our DSC members wrote, “In the dead of winter, I was doing some work in my now empty dahlia patch. My mp3 player was not working so I tried to occupy my mind with my own thoughts. Working alone in the site of so much recent beauty, and without stimuli on which to focus, I believe a mental vacuum was created which allowed something in the ambience to enter. I further believe that what entered was a poetry muse. In my case it was probably a low level muse, possibly one on disability or in recovery, because instead of sonnets or lyric poems, my mind was flooded with limericks. Try as I might, I couldn’t stanch the flow of doggerel …I am copying them for your hopeful amusement as a cautionary tale: do not work alone or without a source of distraction for prolonged periods, especially if you might be in a state of dahlia withdrawal.
A dahlia grower named Isabel
Had a problem that made her life misrabrel:
She would often amaze
With size of her A’s
But her BB’s were darn near invisable.
If you want to read the other more risqué limericks, check out the June ADS Bulletin and look for the by line, Frank Schulkin.
So many great visitors and volunteers at the Dahlia Dell! Lola and her “kids” deadheaded. Jackie deadheaded and disbuded several times. Larry, Pam, John, Annette, and Sandy all attended the grooming seminar with Deborah. While Kevin painted, John Caddell, loaded down with three humongous cameras, found his special fabrege light, making all the dahlias look like precious jewels. Lou patiently explained the difference between seedlings and pedigreed, competition cultivars—AGAIN.
Pat reveled in the size of her humongous Bryn Terfel. Sue and Valeria educated from the Hillside; the public loved their oh-so-readable labels. Deborah pointed to where the bathrooms are—AGAIN and AGAIN. Diana Brogiotti’s daughter, Johanna, came by in memory of her mama’s birthday. Come join the party some Saturday morning.
The future of the DSC
Show Time! For the next 6 weeks your garden should be at the height of its glory. Always dead head back to new growth. If you’re not sure what this means come by for hands-on practice with some of the Dellions. The more you cut, the more your dahlias will continue to produce blooms. I like to foliar feed with a super bloom—low N, super high P, and medium K—fertilizer in water soluble form. Philip found some terrific liquid fertilizer at the hydroponics store. I use fish emulsion with kelp and trace minerals. Mildew often begins to plague us now especially as we get heavy morning dews and dense foggy evenings. Strip off the infected leaves and spray with a fungicide or Stylet oil. Are all your plants robust? Are there a couple crummy looking bedraggled stragglers? Might they be virused? When in doubt, throw them out! This is why you should have some extra dahlias growing in pots or milk cartons as your “insurance” plants. Replace poor performing specimens with hale and healthy ones. Make sure labels match the ADS descriptions. If uncertain, bring blooms to our meeting or to our show on Sunday and check with other growers. The evening breezes are getting to be downright winds, so a bit of dahlia bondage is in order. I use the string that comes wrapped around hay bales; it’s like Chernobyl twine—survives everything. Philip has begun using Velcro tie ups. Excellent choice and re-usable. Fuzzy pipe cleaners work well. Kevin and Karen at Corralitos use the fittingly corral method. They stake the ends of each row and run lines around the outside of whole blocks of plants. The Parshalls of Clearview Dahlias, Bob Papp of Long Beach and the Shirleys of New Zealand, use 4” hatched nets which they string parallel to the ground at 18” intervals. Their dahlias grow up through this mesh which keeps them erect. However you do it, give your dahlias some support. Our first competition is at the San Leandro Library Aug. 2-3. Doors will be open at Midnight on Friday into Saturday for set up. Volunteer with John Morton to clerk. 510-276-0530 Follow the judges around to learn how they evaluate various cultivars. Definitely participate in the huge DSC Floriganza Aug. 16-17. Invite all your friends and neighbors. Post our show poster on Facebook. Tweet our gala. Hashtag it???
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Snail mail editing and mailing: Pat Hunter
Photo credits: Caddell, Dietz, Gaensler, Harris, Hart, Joseph, Shirley, Woodson
Originally Organized in 1917 in San Francisco
the Dahlia was adopted as the Official Flower of San Francisco
on October 4, 1926 by its Board of Supervisors