To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: February 2020 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: February 11 at 7 PM. Great Program: Make your own gopher cage. Tinnee will lead everyone through the steps to make your own way to foil those greedy munching marauders. EVERY DSC member will go home with a cage he/she has built. You will see how simple but oh so effective Tinnee’s elegant design proves. Please bring wire cutting shears and HEAVY DUTY gloves if you have them. Our benevolent DSC will provide the materials.
RAFFLE DRAWING – WHO WILL WIN THE GIFT CERTIFICATES?
Also, for those at the meeting, more exhibition containers with frogs will be raffled off!!!!
Who will bring Valentine’s treats to share with our gopher cage factory workers????
WRESTING WEEDS: Erik worked with Parks and Recreation Volunteer co-ordinator David Burnett to bring some hearty volunteers to pluck weeds in the tear drop. What a lovely group! We got lucky: sunny with no rain! Every weed pulled out today prevents a hundred from proliferating next month. Plus: weeds make great compost. Ha! Meanwhile Deborah and Peter took some late season cuttings from Pennhill Dark Monarch, Jessica and Bloomquist Candy Corn. In the midst of all this activity, Loren biked in with freshly sharpened loppers, Pooh, Eden Star, Delta Red and 5 raspberry plants. Joanie hiked in with some tuber masses for dividing, too. What a happening Saturday morning!
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DAHLIA CONFERENCE: February 22, 2020, Los Gatos Lodge, Los Gatos. Kevin exhorts, “We will meet all day Saturday and provide lunch culminating with a buffet dinner and awards ceremony for the Pacific Southwest Dahlia Conference Annual Show that was held in Santa Cruz last summer. The evening will be capped off with an exciting raffle! This is a great opportunity for newer dahlia growers to gain insights from experienced pros.
There is an option to stay over Saturday night to spend time with our dahlia growing friends into Sunday morning. Basic room rates are $139 which includes hot breakfast buffet, however if we reserve 10 rooms the lodge will reduce that to $99. If you plan to stay over please contact Kevin Larkin as early as possible. We believe we have 4-5 rooms reserved already. Click link for schedule and registration form. This is a great opportunity to meet more dahlia folks, learn more about our favorite flower, meet some bloomerati, and perhaps win some fabulous raffle prizes.
BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES IN THE MUD MONTHS: Just to whet your appetite for lovely dahlias. Check thedahliaaddict.com for availability. Order something new and beautiful today.
WARDEN GENEROSITY: Phil and Marilyn have again donated all their tubers to DSC with the provision that we dig them up! Utterly magnificent, last season bloomed their very best yet, with a combination of treasures from Cowlitz in Washington and fill-ins from our own DSC Tuber and Plant sale. Many of these gorgeous clumps will flourish on Lou’s cutting bench including Porcelain, Allen’s Heart Blood, Belle of the Ball and Cabrillo. Instead of Women Marching, we demonstrated Women Digging. Christine and Pat disinterred 50 lovely clumps whilst Deborah hefted them all to her Element’s capacious maw. It took just over an hour to unload all the bundles of promise and stack them on the driveway for later managing.
LUNCH AND LEARN: Instead of their usual morning at the Dell, John, Peter and Christine came to the Maus Haus to dine and divide. We tackled Christine’s 3 largest clumps: Black Satin, Fluffles and Tutti Fruiti. Christine fluffed off potting soil; John taught electric Dremmel dividing techniques, whilst Peter toothbrush cleaned the separated tubers and popped them into 10% bleach solutions. Deborah sulfured and bagged them in vermiculite. The smallest tubers and the ones with slender necks she potted up in milk cartons. (Please bring any extra quart or half gallon milk cartons to our dahlia meeting to share with Deborah. She can’t drink enough to supply demand.) We were laughing about the cost of tubers on the internet and then we realized that in 2 hours of the four of us working diligently, we’d only processed 3 varieties. “These tubers should cost at least $50 each!”
FINE TUNING FEBRUARY: I have been so busy digging up the Warden’s tuber trove, I haven’t even begun with my own. I have put 5-gallon buckets over the tops of a few to fend off over saturating them. Cross your fingers. I will purposely leave in those which began as cuttings last spring. Cuttings often produce small snarly tuber masses, almost like pot roots. Another season gives them a chance to get well established and produce a goodly tuber mass. Those left in more than 2 years begin to dwindle in size and are literally starved for nutrients.
Dividing seminars: I have quite a bunch of clumps to divide. Anyone interested in learning about dividing, processing and storing should call me and come to the Maus Haus for some hands-on practice. I’d love your help and your company. Bring gloves and an apron.
Definitely attend our February DSC meeting to learn how to make gopher cages from hardware cloth and zip ties. We have the pattern and lesson on our website (CLICK HERE), but there’s nothing like muscle memory for really nailing a skill. Sue begins digging her cages into the hillside in March. It takes a lot of energy, so she does a few at a time. By the time April dawns, Sue has all her cages in place and just plants normally. Easy Peasy.
Please dig and divide your tuber clumps. Although our cutting team produces magnificent plants, our annual Tuber Sale NEEDS tubers. Yes, it’s a hassle. I sometimes save up a days dividing results and sit in front of the TV to label them. Or invite friends over to help you. They enjoyed your garden all summer and fall, now they can contribute some energy to making sure this coming season will be even better.
Keep up the good composting! Leaves, banana peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags, onion skins, apple cores: delicious worm fodder. Good compost makes magnificent dahlias.
Yours in dirt,
Photo credits: Blossom Gulch, Bonci, Demeter, DeWitt, Dietz, Gavrilenko, Jansen, Kacere, Leconti, Showcase, Cowlitz, Goodman, Kelly, Cassidy, Hurdy, Kapp, Kneblowski
Layout and Membership: Devorah Joseph
Snail Mail Maven: Patricia Hunter