To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: March-April 2013 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: April 9 @ 7:30 @ 9th and Lincoln
PROGRAM: More cuttings and tubers available only to people at our April meeting before our big tuber sale. Devorah reports that Lou, Pat and she have been producing cuttings from over 160 varieties! Some have grown so large they’ve been transplanted into gallon pots. $5 for plants and $3 for tubers. We will pass around the signup list for helping at our tuber sale. Who will bring yummy noshes for us?
HIGHLIGHTING PHOTO EXPERTISE
John Caddell takes thousands of pictures in a single photo shoot with one of his 5 digital cameras. He looks first for the background for his subject and determines his f-stop or iso based on how much he wants to blur the background and how sharp he wants to focus the foreground. He reminded us that most point and shoot cameras assume all light reflects from medium grey. Obviously light off water or white would be brighter and light off shadows or deep green would be dimmer. Overruling the standard settings helps in these situations. For more advanced techniques, John walked us through stamping: a technique in Photoshop whereby he can erase little dots caused by smudges on his lens. Using histograms, John showed us how to manipulate color saturation of the whole photo or just parts of it. He even showed us how to straighten out a slanted horizon. John reviewed 5 photo editing programs: Photoshop, Lightroom, Paint Shop Pro, Picasa, and PicMonkey. John uses the professional version of Photoshop. He says that Photoshop Elements is cheaper and simpler and recommends it for starting out. Picasa, from Google, manipulates photos on line; you save them to your own computer. John recommends you back up or save to disc anything you don’t want to accidently loose in a disaster. Check John out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GENEROSITY OF FRIENDS
Wow! What spectacular cuttings Devi and Pat brought from the greenhouse! I have seen plants like these go for $20! HH Tiger Lily, Pink Jupiter, Nick Sr., HH Dark Monarch, Penhill Watermelon, Porcelain! Such a great preview of the wonders we’ll see at the Tuber/Cutting sale. Thank you Devi, Pat and Lou for all your painstaking hours of work.
Our jaunty ex-prez, Lou Cornish, leaves for England soon. In his inimitably generous fashion, Lou arrived at our meeting with 4 boxes of frogged containers to share with his fellow DCSers. He will remain in our memories every time we stage a bloom in one of his vases. With the help of his daughter, son-in-law, and many fellow square dancers wrangled a humongous garage sale. Erik reports amazing treasures everywhere. Until April 15, our Lou will be staying at Aegis in Corte Madera. Do give him a call, or better yet, go visit! Lou led DSC through many successful years.
TUBER SALE PROTOCOL
We need your help! If you have volunteered at our DigOut, at our Floribunda show, or at the Dell, please get on the list to help before our Big Sale. Call Deborah to get on the list if you can’t make our April meeting: 415- 816 -2118. Please arrive by7:50 am on Saturday a.m. April 20. We need to lay tubers out into sizes and forms, put up signs and label items. If we get done by 9 a.m. we’ll get a half an hour of shopping before the public comes in. Then we’ll need ambassadors to help people find what they want, find eyes, count items, check receipts at the door, host our membership table, and take names for next year’s sale. Arm yourself with surgical gloves, black sharpie, magnifying glass, ADS Classification book, and your most patient and hospitable attitude. Afterwards, we’ll share a potluck lunch so please bring something delicious to tickle the palates of your fellow dahlianeers.
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE
San Leandro threw a great party, that is, conference. Many national medals went out to Lou Paradise, Chris Dix, Kevin Larken and Karen Zydner. Karen passed out stats from our shows last year.Click here for Ranked Cultivars, Winners by class, and comparative show results. Naturally the raffle galvanized hopes. Besides great gift certificates from Arrowhead, Corralitos, Frey’s Dahlias, Mountain Valley Dahlias, Verrone’s Pride of the Prarie Dahlias and Evergreen Nursery, Kevin brought prize Corralitos cuttings. A hot item proved to be a misting fan for serious greenhouse growers. Click here to see all the PSW Conference results.
DSC lost long-time treasurer Diana Brogiotti after a valiant fight with cancer. Diana enjoyed helping at DigOuts and later just sitting in the Dahlia Dell surrounded by so much beauty. Always giving chocolate away, former Ice Capades Queen, Diana delighted her friends with her zest for new experiences and love of family.
Walt Wynn perished when his burning house collapsed upon him and the basement where he stored all his tubers. Walt, famous for hybridizing A and AA dahlias in Washington, shared his magnificent garden on the 2004National Dahlia Tour. Some of his famous introductions are: Wyn’s King Salmon, Wyn’s Dark Dancer, Wynn’s Sensation and Wyn’s Moonlight Serenade.
Philip and Marilyn had a garden full of special Corralitos dahlias which they donated to DSC. IF we’d pull the clumps out. It took two days and two teams. Blessed with phenomenally warm weather for early February, Pat and Orlando lifted clumps; Devi adhered labels to each and packed them up; Sue and Valeria weeded. Deborah divided and processed roots for weeks. In equally beautiful weather, John and Orlando wrested clumps from snarly roots; Deborah is still dividing, soaking in chlorine, sulphering, labeling, and potting up the results. You’ll see these amazing beauties at our Tuber/Cutting sale!
MILK CARTON MAGIC
My neighbors save me half gallon and quart cartons; so do the generous people at Martha Brothers Coffee. First, I wash the cartons out. Next, I slash three sides to make a flap. You have the option of stapling the pointy end; by all means keep the plastic cap in place. Lou Cornish always puts holes in the bottom of his for drainage; I don’t, but I’m really careful how much water I eventually give them. Write the name of the cultivar on the flap. Adding the ADS size, form and color designation is very helpful.
I usually put 1-2” of potting soil in first. Then I lay the tuber on top of the soil and gently barely cover it. These I can stack in a warm spot like my loft. Others pop them into their heated greenhouses. Even a warm sunny window suffices. Once a week, I open each carton to discover if green sprouts have emerged. The discovery is always so much fun! By starting my tubers in milk cartons early, I can have 12-16” dahlias ready for planting in mid-April. I simply rip open the milk carton and have a lovely brick of beautiful roots ready to thrive in their new garden. Sometimes this yields flowers by the end of May!!!Evolution of a milk carton- creating a dahlia incubator in four easy steps
MORE MARCH MUSTS . . .
Now is the time to move your tuber stash from its cool spot to a warmer place. I put mine in my loft, the warmest place in my home. Paula puts hers in the top of a warm closet. Ideally, they will all germinate in time for our tuber sale April 20, third Saturday in April. I now have over 100 plants happily growing in my unheated but illuminated greenhouse. I make a solution of weak Bayers 3 in One, Hoist, fertilizer and malethion. Then I add only a few drops of this already weak solution to my spritzer. Too much of any of these things will KILL your young plants. Devi reports that Lou has made cuttings from over 160 terrific varieties; we’ll have so many great choices come Tuber Sale. Do suck off the Tuber sale poster into a thumb drive and print up a few at Costco or other place. Display the posters at your local nursery, library, hardware store, bakery, bodega, or wherever you deem the most people will see it. WEED your patch. There’s still time to augment with chicken manure, compost, or even grass clippings. Check any tubers you’ve left in the ground. I had my first one come up already in Golden Gate Park in mid-February! You want to get slug/snail/earwig protection going immediately. Super Sluggo is a mite expensive but it kills all these wretches, and is safe for pets, birds and children.
Attend the Tuber and Cutting Sale! Print out posters and put them up everywhere! Treat yourself with dahlias you’ve never seen before or with ones you’ve ahh’d over in others gardens. Weed before you plant. Earwigs and slugs love debris. They also love wee green sprouting dahlias so immediately after planting, sprinkle bait. Super Sluggo Plus takes care of all these critters whilst being safe for birds and kitties and kiddies. I like to plant with a balanced fertilizer, some granular Bayers Tree and Shrub—available at Costco right now for $19.99. Pound in the stake first BEFORE you place the tuber or cutting. Lou likes to dig small basins around his plants which will hold water. Tubers do NOT want water until they have established some roots to absorb it; wait until you see green stubs before you water. Cuttings, on the other hand, need a little bit of water EVERY DAY for the first 2 weeks; they have fine roots which can absorb only a little moisture at a time, but no fat tuber to draw sustenance from. Over fragile plants, I slip milk cartons with the short ends cut off, forming a long sleeve around the new treasure. This shields from some wind, some rain, and some sun. Immediately LABEL each dahlia. I write on venetian blind slats with a pencil; the sun does not bleach this out. Later I print up bigger labels that the public can read.
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA – Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Photo credits: Dale, Dietz, Gaensler, Hart, Harris
Originally Organized In 1917In San Francisco the Dahlia was adopted as the Official Flower of San Francisco on October 4, 1926by its Board of Supervisors