To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: July 2012 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: July 10, @ 7:30 time @ 9th and Lincoln
PROGRAM: Tuesday July 10 @ 7:30 PM @ 9th and Lincoln. The owner of the Urban Farmer, Tom Bresson will TALK WATER SYSTEMS: drip, spray, mist, filter and even fertigation. Bring your questions. Who will ply us with wonderful yummies?
GROWING TIPS ROUND TABLE
Losing our green grower/shower, Kristine, at the last minute to a family emergency, prompted a great discussion about pest management from green to black, and our August show. Upon hearing that the Juuls more than doubled the normal sponsorship for their Juul’s introduction, Martha volunteered a $20 prize for best A or AA semi cactus.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS
Thank to DJ for donating HUGE blooming epiphytes and to John sharing azaleas with our group. Thanks to Roger, Devorah and Deborah who brought the last plants, cuttings and tubers for sale, including Kenora Frills, Porcelain, Poppers, Ben Huston, CG Paragon and wonderful others. We appreciated the kitchen volunteers; without kitchen volunteers each month, we cannot open the kitchen and dine on goodies: someone has to promise to clean up each month. Please volunteer once or twice a year for kitchen duty!
AMBASSADORS TO JOHN STOWELL
Returning the compliment from John Stowell Prez, Jeanette Schnell, Deborah and Tinnee attended the JSDS meeting. Deborah led an interactive Dahlia 101 talk with much support from Roy Stier and Ken Masurat. JSDS, too, had a too tantalizing sale of great cuttings, so we snapped up a couple rarer ones. Orlando demonstrated his cool tool, the dividing dremmel. ZZZZ! The techies really buzzed. Cross pollination provides such serendipitous outcomes.
U B THE JUDGE
The Monterey Bay Dahlia Society will host our annual Dahlia Judging Seminar on July 14, 2012 from 9am to5pm. Should you attend? YES! Whether you ever aspire to be a dahlia judge or not, this is a fabulous way of learning more about our favorite flower: its forms, its colors, its development, the whither and thither of its evolution, and the latest dahlia aesthetic–which has changed over the last 100 years. You will become more discerning about what to grow in your own garden (and what to discard). You will meet more bloomerati and learn some of their secrets. And it’s FREE!!! There may be a slight charge for lunch, or we may be sent out to forage on the town for a quick hour. But basically it’s FREE. Take advantage of this excellent seminar.
Santa Cruz Montessori School (Winston Campus)
2446 Cabrillo College Drive, Aptos, CA95073.
Lou Paradise will be leading the seminar with the help of John Morton and other senior judges.
Please contact Kristine Albrecht as soon as possible if you would like to attend.
Call her at 831-566-2523 or email email@example.com
DAHLIAS AND PING PONG?
Cabrillo Playground needed a cement ping pong table. Devorah offered 500+ cuttings of Karma Choc, Harvey Koop, Porcelain, Holly Hill Purely Purple and lots of great Wyn’s Intros as well as sprouted tubers. From a billboard displaying photos of all her varieties, lucky neighbors picked their fancies. Then Paula, Pat, Sue, Deborah, DJ, Peg, Jocasta and others plucked from the cuttings all alphabetically arranged on rows of tables. Devorah was interviewed and filmed. Politicians and Parks Wheels had their pictures taken with Devi. What a rousing $ucce$$.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
“Jessica is the first flower to bloom on the hillside,” reported Nickolas proudly.
Pat claimed first bloom in the teardrop simply by planting an already blooming Elvira. Lou followed quickly with stunning Franz Kafka, Sir Richard and a cool Eden Lemonade, despite a terrible scourge of gopher devastation. Lou lost 8 great dahlia plants to the wretch before he nailed it. Tinnee came to assist with more traps, castor oil pellets, and lethal gopher sticker.
With the help of Mary Ann, Sue and Valeria, Deborah finally finished planting. They gasped at the humongously gorgeous Amulet, new this year from Corralitos. Similarly great Swiss Miss, Midnight Star, Clearview Arlene, Fern Irene, and Pam Howdens greeted the public.
John Mani reports “Here are a few pics of my back yard. I used black 50% shade barrier and used 3/8” rebar as struts. Upon the struts I zip tied misters at the 6 foot level. When my fertigator clock-run drip system turns on each day, it runs for 3 minutes, every 90 minutes x 4 so that the misters mist my self-watering grow buckets during the heat of the day at that same frequency.” DJ reports that Ronda is first in his pom bed and Oriental Dreams leads off his waterlily area. Al Almand looks great. Check out the rest of DJ’s dahlia brood in Beresford Park at the corner of 28th Avenue and Fernwood, San Mateo.
My Juul’s Amber bloomed a lovely bb fd white! Obviously a mislabeled tuber. Likewise I’ve been surprised (disappointed) by the Granny Normans that bloomed as Shea’s Rainbows, and the Bode that appeared as an orange semi cactus and not pink incurved. So maybe it’s going to be one of those years….. First off, change labels on anything not what it’s supposed to be. Decide whether you should dig out the mistake and replant with back up winners. What’s ailing? Any plant limping along should probably be dug out and replaced. Put it in a pot if you can’t stand “dahlia murder” but make sure everything in your garden thrives fabulously. Pat reluctantly relegated her Edna C which refused to grow beyond ½” sprout, back into the greenhouse so valuable geography in the Dell could accommodate a more agreeable grower.
Devi fertigates (fertilizes as she irrigates) every other watering. I foliar feed every other week. Whilst slugs and earwigs can still ruin plants, aphids and LBAM’s are starting to be problems. Kevin suggests that if you catch these problems very early, you can eradicate them by hand. Spraying aphids with a solution of dishwashing soap (not detergent) will suffocate the hermaphroditic suckers. DJ and Bob Papp swear by worm compost tea sprayed in a very dilute solution over their dahlias. They claim the microorganisms thwart many bugs and really plump out their plants; however, compost tea only bestows it’s green gifts in the first 24 hours. After that, it’s just brown water. DJ recommends Rainbowworms.com for more information and a snazzy compost tea kit. Beneficial bugs such as ladybugs and preying mantises, while fun, soon wander off for greener pastures. Nevertheless, Devi recommends Arbico-organics.com if you’d like to order some on line. Mike touts Spinosid. Disbud, deadhead, and trim up the cruddy under leaves of your plant.
I pull off some of the bottom laterals and pot them up for pot roots. Many of the laterals will bud up and start to bloom, only to grow too heavy to support themselves and crash. This wastes a lot of time, energy, and expectations. Pluck them off early before disaster strikes. When planting frail new cuttings, you might want to protect them from wind with milk cartons around them. Devorah even gives hers wind screens or plastic fortresses.
Figure out if you are going to corral your dahlias, tie them up, or use a horizontal grid to maintain their erect positions. Corralitos and the Mortons corral theirs. They plant fairly close together and use string on the outside to box in the bushes. Bob Papp and the Clearview Parshalls use Hortonova, netting made by Tenax, spread horizontally over the bed at 18” and 36.” The dahlias grow up through it. This has to be strung/spread before the plants grow 18.” The Dellias (growers at GG Dahlia Dell) tie individual plants to individual stakes.
Continue to use whatever cocktail of ingredients you like at least once a month: fertilizer, insecticide, fungicide. The more prophylactic you are the greener you can maintain. Always err on the side of dilution. (Ask John Mani how he learned this.) Start cutting your glorious blossoms and playing wit arrangements! Give some away and watch the smiles bloom!
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Photo credits: Dietz, Ecklebarger, Mani, Schnell
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