To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: March 2019 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: March 12, at 7 PM. Program: the first of the green house cuttings will be for sale!!!! Yay! Bring any tubers you’d like to donate to DSC. It would be oh so helpful if they were labeled and sprouted…..Otherwise, please save them for our tuber sale extravaganza on April 27. Any swapping of tubers and plants between DSCers should be conducted in the parking lot. Anything that enters our meeting room will be FOR SALE. Who will generously gift us with delicious somethings to dance on our gardeners’ palates?
NEW AND TEMPTING: Thanks to Frank for purchasing the ADS New Introductions CD. Angel Rowen, a red collarette showed off white pettaloids. Another attractive collarette, Baron Wendy is an OR/Y bi-color. Clearview introduced several, among which Clearview Cracker Jack, BB FD O/Y blend stood out. Crazy Mary, LB OR/Y, looks to be a stunning MiniBall. The Kennedys launched several cool 2019’s including Hollyhill Dragonfire, a B IC OR/R variegated. How proud are we of Kristine Albrecht with her Derrill Hart award winning KA’s Khaleesi!!! Wow. A very attractive Lakeview Storm showed fine BB ID flare. Check out Dahliaaddict.com to hunt down some of these beauties for your own 2019 garden.
SO MANY RAFFLE WINNERS! Does Devorah know how to throw a raffle! Into her beautiful basket went 3 tickets of members who renewed by the end of the year; 2 tickets from those who renewed by Jan. 15th and 1 ticket to those who re-upped before February. Congratulations to the Peter & Ayako YEE who earned the $15 and the $25 certificate to our Tuber Sale. TINNEE lucked into the $20 coupon. But Devorah didn’t stop there. She raffled off beautiful containers WITH FROGS. Gino even snapped up two! Thank you, Devi, for a great raffle but even more, thank you for wrestling all the niggly details of our DSC membership!
COMPOST AND COVERS: Devi described her Bokashi Japanese style compost set-up. Chad noted that even though he put his compost barrel with turning handle in a nice sunny spot, it was not terribly successful at producing “good product” in a timely fashion. Lola warned against putting too much fallen citrus in a compost pile as it can attract fat rats and other hungry vermin. Maggie described cloth bonnets she puts over her dahlias. Devi delineated hoop houses out of PVC pipe afurled with cloth like covered wagons. They protect emerging plants from bugs and act like mini greenhouses.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS: First in the door to an empty room, Lola discovered that our cupboards had been ripped open and plundered. So she immediately went out to buy more milk, sugar and creamer for our coffee to go with the cookies she donated. Such quick thinking and thoughtfulness. Maggie, where do you find such exotic treats? Green Tea encased macadamia nuts and Irish whisky fudge???? Wow. Pat wet our palates with lemonade and cookies. Annette and John tempted diets with coconut bites. Gino brought ruggallah. In keeping with the spirit of the forthcoming holiday, Burnie gifted us with heart-shaped cookies. Devi brought the chocolate covered cookies! MMMMM!
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Bob Papp sent this photo from January in his front yard garden in Long Beach. Wow. Way to grow! Then knowing that killer rain was predicted, Bob cut them all down and took them to church so more people could appreciate their unseasonal beauty.
HOMELESS ENCAMPMENT OR DIVIDING WORKSHOP? Right after Tony and John helped Deborah pull all the clumps from the Wardens’ garden, major storms deluged SF. Deborah’s efforts to protect the tuber trove encrusted her driveway. Tony volunteered to clean masses, sift dirt, and break down boxes. Tessla supervised. He delighted in climbing the datura tree and then leaping down with a huge thump to admonish: less chatting and more work!
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DAHLIA CONFERENCE:
UNRAVELING OCTOPLOID DNA: Kristine updated us on the exciting progress of the Dahlia Genome Project. Dr. Virginia Walbot at Stanford has invited Dr. Alex Harkness to prepare 15 species dahlias and 11 modern dahlias for transcriptome analysis in China. We should be hearing about this first batch of data any day! With this, scientists can organize a dahlia family tree, also called a phylogeny. Is the dahlia from which all modern dahlias evolved still growing in the wild or have even the wild dahlias’ genetics changed? All the data becomes public domain so we hope many other scientists will be interested in discovering dahlia genetic secrets. What is the most primitive dahlia still extant today? When did dahlias go from being double to quadruple to octoploid? Or were they always octoploid??? We are lucky that sunflowers, also of the asteraceae family, are such an economic crop; because they are so related, all that information will help us understand dahlias better and vice versa.
GLINTS OF GOLD! Each year one society hosts the PSW CONFERENCE SHOW. DSC hosted the conference show in 2018. Winners in the “conference categories” win fabulous medals. These gorgeous medals–$39 each!–went to Lou P for his Best B, Chimacum Julia and Best Min, Pink Paradise. Louise Hendrikson hefted a conference medal for Best Disc, Low Red-eye. Kristine not only won two PSW awards but also received the Derrill Hart award from ADS for KA”s Khaleesi, the Best AA in the entire US trial gardens. Wow! Monterey Bay hosts the Conference Show this year, so check out their award categories! Maybe you, too, can bring home the gold.
DO YOUR BEST: How can we reduce virus transmission amongst our dahlias? Lou adjures the #1 motto: when in doubt, throw it out. Get rid on any “funny” looking plant. How often should we sterilize our tools? Ideally, we should dip scissors into a 10% Clorox solution BETWEEN EVERY PLANT! Egads! Lou suggests that we have multiple scissors in the garden; dip them in Clorox after each plant; then let dry whilst using another pair. Moreover, just dipping is not enough; Chad explained that it’s the DRYING out that kills things. So when you are dividing, you should employ multiple blades as well. “Just do your best,” Lou encourages.
PEST PURGING: Kevin listed many “vexing challenges” dahlia growers encounter. Then he suggested both cultural control practices and organic treatment with the active ingredient listed. Click Here for a copy to printout. For example: Powdery Mildew. He suggested removing lower leaves from stalk to increase air circulation. Or you could spray with sulfur, potassium bicarbonate, bacillus subtilizes (Serenade) or Stylet Oil. Curtis reported that he’s picked up 2 1/2 gallons from Romeo’s in Half Moon Bay without expensive delivery charges demanded from on-line stores.
SWAG! LOOT! GOODIES! Tinnee aggregated a bucket full of fun: dahlia magnets made by Jenna, blue surgery towels from Erik, DSC bookmarks, Sharpie, big and small snazzy scissors and a Swan Island catalog all in a a medium bucket with a jaunty picture of dahlias. Such treasures on the raffle table! Amongst the top items, a $75 bottle of Red Wine from Cris Serrano (Pat’s son-in-law), a plum throw blanket in the shape of a dahlia hand-made by our Devorah, a gorgeous quilt and place mats sewn by Lynda Paradise, and first to be snatched up, an exquisite necklace designed by Tinnee Lee. But wait, there was more! Four commercial dahlia companies donated gift certificates: Cowlitz River, Julie’s Dahlias, Lobaugh’s and a big $50 from Swan Island. Hollyhill sent 3 of their new introductions. Puget Sound promised a copy of Dahlias of Today. Max Ruddick (Pat’s son) made two sets of cooking chopsticks and a lovely box. Kristine Albrecht not only donated an entire box of English pot roots to DSC’s cutting team, but threw in KA’s Khaleesi and a couple other plants joining Eden Predator and For Robin in a cavalcade of waving leaves. Because good dahlianeers need rewards, the raffle table was heavily larded with chocolates and wine wine wine. Devorah’s large containers with frogs were scooped up fast. Please support these wonderful people as they have so generously supported us. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and donations.
DAHLIA SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA
Tuber sale April 27, 9:30 AM to Noon
Show Aug 17-18
DSC Flowers of the Year Bloomquist Candy Corn and LoBlush
SAN LEANDRO DAHLIA SOCIETY
Tuber Sale, April 27, Root Park, 134th and Estudillo, San Leandro
MONTEREY BAY DAHLIA SOCIETY
Tuber Sale April 6 Deer Park Shopping Center, 783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos. Tubers $4 and $6; plants $8 and $10
Show: Aug 24-25
Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St. Santa Cruz
Flowers of the Year Bloomquist Butch and Kelsey Annie Joy
SOUTH COAST COUNTY FAIR July 17 and July 24, San Louis Obispo
HEIRLOOM EXPO Sept. 10-11-12
EYE CANDY: Here are a few more glorious dahlias to whet your NEED for newer, cooler, snazzier, finer, more wonderful dahlias in your plot this year. Enjoy!
MARCHING MARCH MUSTS: Move your tubers from their cool, dark slumber spots to warmer climes. I use my loft, as heat rises. You want to wake your dormant potatoes into germination! Some of the early achievers, I put immediately into milk cartons so they will be lovely plants by April 27th, our Tuber and Plant Sale date. If you left any clumps in, put 5-gallon buckets over them. Both Tony and Maggie have sprouts already. Maggie’s solution was to pot her erupting tubers in 1-gallon pots in preparation for our Tuber Sale April 27. Tony thinks he will make cuttings with his sprouts and let them bask in his bookshelf greenhouse in his basement.
Weed Weed Weed! Lou has turned over his green pasture at the Dell hoping that the weedy mass will get turned into yummy soil by April planting. Deborah and Pat prefer pulling their weeds up so the roots are eradicated. Or you could put out flattened card board boxes to suffocate the nasty intruders and block their sun. If you have particularly rocky dirt, run it through a sieve. DJ made me this 1’x2’ ¼” screen. I ran all my raised boxes through it. You can separate the rocks, glass, garbage and compost the biodegradable material separately. Sue sunk several gopher cages in preparation of March planting.
Compost compost compost! Nab the leaves from the street. Consider the commercial bags of steer manure: very little nutrients, but excellent “filler” to break up cloying clay. Chicken manure provides more urea; turn it under. Sue gets bags of wonderfully fine coffee grounds to perk up her patch. My neighbors know how great calcium is for dahlias. Their eggshells appear periodically in my compost bucket in the driveway. With crab season in full spate, remember that smashed carapaces, shrimp tails and fish guts make glorious amendments. Cultivate your fishing neighbors!
Offer to help fellow DCSers with their digging, dividing, processing and planting. It’s so much more fun with company.
Yours in dirt,
Webmistress and Membership Queen: Devorah Joseph
Snail mail mistress: Pat Hunter
Photo credits: Dietz, Gobson, Harris, Jensen, Kennedy, Moeller, Parshall, Smith, Therese