To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: July 2017 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: July 11, at 7:30. Program: Deborah will lead another hands-on demonstration of deadheading and disbudding at the Dell at 6PM. This month’s program will be a round table pre-show discussion. Who will donate scrumptious goodies for our delectation?
HEALTHY GARDEN HIERARCHY
Suzanne Bontempo outlined pest management algorithm:
- Can you live with the problem? For example, if a bud is covered with aphids, just snip off the bud.
- Are there cultural countermeasures? For example, marigolds in and around your dahlias discourage many pests.
- What sort of mechanical measures could you take? Gopher cages thwart rotten rodents and neither disturb the soil balance nor threaten bees.
- What biological solutions obvert your issue? Release lady bugs for aphids or beneficial nematodes to gobble up troublesome nasties in your soil.
- LAST RESORT: Chemical. Start with greener solutions and use prophylactically like CaptainJack’s or Stylet Oil and then depending on the severity of your crisis, work your way up Death Row of pesticides.
Using this “decision making matrix,” Suzanne says you will build happier soil. “Compost Compost Compost! “rang out her mantra. Everyone enjoyed answering Suzanne’s quiz questions in the hopes of winning cool product prizes.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS
Thanks to John Dale for bringing in more “seedling competition” plants. Devi’s last tubers were scooped up. Deborah donated her final two dozen milkcartoned lovelies. Thank you to Frank for another rousing raffle of a snazzy label maker.
SOMETIMES SIZE DOES MATTER
Bob Papp has established public dahlia gardens in three places: Orange County Fair Centennial Farms, the Long Beach Veterans’ Administration, and the Botanical Gardens in Pacific Palisades. If you find yourself in SoCal, check them out. Every year Bob comes up with new ideas to save himself time and bodily wear and tear, especially his back. This year’s astonish- ing contraption needs its own aluminum ramp and sturdy van. Imagine a 15 gallon electric plug-in sprayer! Bob proudly demonstrated his compost tea juggernaut, chortling, “It’s almost too easy.”
SUMMER SHOW SCHEDULE
(Print me for future reference 🙂 )
JUDGING SEMINAR HOSTED BY THE SAN LEANDRO DAHLIA SOCIETY:
601 MacArthur Blvd, San Leandro.
(Parking at Church of Christ) 9-3:30, lunch included
SAN FRANCISCO: One Hundred Year Anniversary Show.
9th & Lincoln in Golden Gate Park
Flowers of the Year: Skip to My Lou and any open centered Juul introduction.
Set up: any time after 8PM Friday through 8:30 Sat. morning
August 19-20 SL Library
Flowers of the Year: Just Married and NTAC Solar Flare.
Set Up: Midnight Friday into Saturday
MAH (Museum of Art and History) 705 Front Street Santa Cruz, CA. 95060
Santa Cruz Flowers of the Year: Elfin and Lo RedEye
HEIRLOOM EXPO: TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS IN PRIZE MONEY
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa
Set up: 8 PM Labor Day through night until 8AM Tuesday morning.
Annual DSC Picnic Potluck
At the Dell Set up 9am; party Noon to 4:30.
YOU BE THE JUDGE
The San Leandro Dahlia Society will host a judging seminar on Saturday, July 22 at 601 MacArthur Blvd, San Leandro. Parking at Church of Christ. 9-3:30 or so depending on how many questions are asked. Lunch included. Bring your ADS Classification Book and ADS Judging Manual—both available for purchase at seminar. Who should attend? Already certified judges; those hoping to become judg- es; dahlia growers who would like to grow better dahlias; gardeners who wish to understand the dahlia aesthetic; those who will clerk at upcoming competitions; and dahlia addicts who want to meet fellow smitten dahlianistas.
GEODIETZIC DOME DAHLIAS
To ensure special bridal bouquet dahlias for his daughter Christina, Jon Dietz planted his 26’ diameter geodesic dome with dahlias includ- ing Just Married. To shield his beau- ties from the punishing sun, Jon covered the top half of his Buckminster Fuller structure with a French parachute. As the breezes puffed across his backyard, the dome ap- peared to breathe: quite meditative.
Note how Jon topped his sharp rebar stakes with soft tennis balls. This also encouraged very long stems, perfect for all the blooms he takes in to work.
We marveled at the photo that surprised the Dietz table at the wedding! The one-year old toddler at the Dell is now a 26 year-old glowing bride.
Note: no fence around the teardrop—such a blast from the past.
Check out Jon’s dome company: sonostarhub.com
JUMPIN’ JUBILENT JULY
I left for vacation mid-June when 16 dahlias in the Dell were blooming; when I returned a week later there were 35; three days later 41 danced in the sun. A gaggle of girls gushed, “It’s like Alice in Won- derland.” Wow. Disbudding took FOREVER.
Make sure you deadhead back to new growth. Follow the stem below the leaf pair down until you hit a crux where there are productive stems thrusting forth. Each time you cut off a spent bloom, your dahlia releases a hormone that says it needs to begin growing another chance at dispersing seeds— hence more flowers.
I begin cleaning off the lower stalks when my dahlias are about a foot and a half high. This decreases the likelihood that munchers will climb aloft, clears out dead leaves where famished earwigs can hide during the day, and increases the air circulation to discourage mildew. Both Pat, Sue and I commented on incipient mildew in our midst. Grrrr. I’ll have to increase my Stylet Oil to the full 4 tablespoons per gallon in my bi-weekly cocktail.
Cathy Fletcher traveled down all the way from Kenwood to help on Saturday morning. We fluttered through the butterfly exhibit at the Conservatory to reward our valiant efforts. Have you seen the light show at the Conservatory? Psychedelics illuminate the greenhouse and spill over its banks for seven minutes after darkness falls every night until Oct. 1. Groovy.
Sign up for the judging seminar whether you choose to exhibit or not. You will learn a lot about the dahlia aesthetic, dahlia vocabulary, and hobnob with other bloomerati.
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout and digital publishing: Mike Willmarth
Snail mail mistress: Pat Hunter
Photo credits: Bergman, Bett, Boley, Clear Creek, Connie, Dietz, Gordon, Griffiths, Hunter, Kennedy, Larken, Leone, Mayo and Weinberg
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