To see the full original newsletter with all the photos click here to get the pdf: October 2013 Newsletter
NEXT MEETING: October 8 @ 7:30 @ 9th and Lincoln
Program: Jenna Kaiser will lead us through a hands-on class making corsages with our lovely dahlias. Come with a willingness to follow instructions and try new things. This will be so much fun. Who will bring goodies to share?
What a great finale for our final mini show! Graciously serving through pressure, Judges Ron and JoAnn evaluated over 100 blooms. Pat scored a first with a fine single, Wyoming Velvet. Warren scored with a precise Verrone’s Sandra J and Juul’s Amethyst. Deborah gratefully nabbed first in the few categories not dominated by Devorah: BJ’s Rival, a darling anemone; Badger Twinkle; and a glorious x5 Jessica. The juggernaut known as Devi crushed with stunning Bryn Terfel, Camano Prospero, Twister, Catlyn Rose, Tahoma Sarah B and a dainty Little Willo. By popular acclaim Devi’s Snoho Sonia reigned as Best of Show. Thank you for all who brought in blooms and staged them for our erudition. We learn a lot from your sharing.
September and October in the foggy Bay Area are plagued with miserable mildew. What to do? Mike and Martha have been plying their 700 haute dahlias with compost tea every other week and see nary a powdered sugared leaf. Devorah sparked a huge discussion about JMS Stylet Oil, an organic treatment available on line. Two and a half gallons with shipping cost @$60. Gallon versions are available for slightly less. It’s 4 tablespoons to the gallon and can be mixed with other “cocktail” ingredients. Devi recommended stripping off as many mildewed leaves as possible before spraying. As you take leaves off, look at the underside. Butterflies portend caterpillars. Adding Spinosad, an organic systemic, to your cocktail should thwart these leaf munchers. Pat recommends spraying after watering well and doing so at night so as not to burn your leaves with too much exposure to sunlight right after spraying. DSC was happy to welcome newcomers, Loretta, Sandy, Lola and Nancy. We hope to see more of you.
A SOGGY DAY IN MUDVILLE
With no rain in three months and no rain after noon, nevertheless the deluge on the morning of our annual picnic proved a frog strangler. By 8 am the tables and food had been delivered, the drinks tucked in wheelbarrows on ice, and Soc, Beth, Erik, Tinnee and Deborah huddled under one of the three “shade” palanquins watching it pour. As 10 am washed up we could not see the Conservatory stairs for the cataracts gushing down. Realizing this deluge was not diminishing, Erik brilliantly approached Mario about the likelihood of camping in the auxiliary tent room normally rented out for weddings on Saturday afternoons.
In no time General Jenna turned the empty room into a festive party picnic. Gigi the Clown set up an early stool and began painting faces on the young and old. The meatballs, salmon bagels with capers, and roasted veggies tasted even better for defying the storm outside. Eventually, the sun peaked out behind a few clouds, the showers decelerated, and the fire truck showed up by 2 to let throngs of children board and ring the bell. Erik disseminated dahlia facts from the hillside. Tinnee introduced new cultivars. Deborah shared dahlia care tips. We all agreed that Sue and Valeria’s fiefdom on the right side of the Hillside looked Delicious thanks to Baker Bill for his cherry cake and to Sandy for her chocolate chip cookies. Devi’s lemon blueberry muffins are ALWAYS welcome. The Dingwalls generously brought us Cinnamon bread. Thanks to Bill and the Dingwalls for tidying up the kitchen after all our fun was done.
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?
I love visiting other people’s dahlia gardens. Marie invited me to Atherton where she tends a huge rose circle and a lovely dahlia cutting bed. Collerettes captured Marie’s imagination so she cultivates more than 8 varieties. Marie artfully planted raised boxes with miniatures and collerettes galore to camouflage the pool fence. Some of her second year dahlias grew over eight feet tall. Already planning for next year, Marie composts to enrich her soil and plans to divide all her sophomore clumps to bring to our April Tuber Sale. Fleurieu Rojo
STUNNING CABRILLO PLAYGROUND
Devorah has outdone herself this year with her sidewalk display at 39th and Cabrillo with almost 120 dahlias of every form. Go check it out! Fleuriu Rojo, b ic r, and Rae Ann’s Canis Majoris, o var caught my eye. With a new grant, Devorah plans to build a composter and a compost tea brewer. In her backyard, Devorah showed me a whole contingent of 4×4” pot roots waiting for the winter greenhouse cutting production. Rae Ann’s Canis Majoris Pot roots collection
VAMPING IN EDEN
Iris invited Orlando and me to park our Vanagan overnight in her glorious Santa Cruz garden. Her Alberta Sunset, nx or, stood almost 10 feet tall with over 20 blooms! Must have that one! Her seedling bed bodes a wonderful future for us all. We wandered her garden, munching on crispy apples, nabbing handfuls of all kinds of tomatoes, and gathering big avocados from both Iris’s trees. Her two asparagus boxes overwhelm her family in the spring.
Two humongous amaranth plants wave their red flags at the entrance to Kristine Albrecht’s humongous garden. Hay mulches her entire lot, keeping down weeds and keeping in moisture. Her AC Dark Horse, aa sc pr, had more than 10 blooms—amazing for an AA! She had a whole hedge of Mexicos, an pr. Walking past the bean tents, the tomato high-rises, the squash and the kale, visitors discover her seedling patches. Wow! How does Kristine get so many viably FINE seedlings so fast???
YAHOO! MAJOR PARKS GALA
This year’s fundraiser for Golden Gate Park took place at the Equestrian Center. The Dellians donated dahlias for the festivities which took place in a huge tent. Jenna designed 70 marvelous corsages for the board of directors and other luminati. Deborah, Orlando, Erik and Shelly watched daring women perform death-defying horseback riding stunts and then later dined, danced and answered dahlia questions. Orlando accepted the mechanical bull challenge and lasted the whole time! “I think the operator went easy on the geezer,” O opined.
As the sun wanes, your dahlias produce less and therefore need less water. Wait until you see actual wilting before irrigating. Cut back to good looking new growth. This healthy whacking might spur a final growth spurt. I start double disbudding—taking not only the two extra buds to a central stem, but also removing the new sprouts coming out directly below. This way all the energy will go into producing one really fine flower, not 3 or 5 bobbly headed twerps. I gave my final foliar feed on Oct. 1 combined with some Stylet Oil that Devorah gave me. Check your labels against your blooms. Collect some seed heads to play the genetic lottery in the spring. After I cut mine, I put them in water until they turn brown. Then I store them in a cup right side up. You might also experiment with taking cuttings from the lower stalks. Pot them in 2×2” or 4×4” and water thoroughly, then only spritz for the next 4-6 weeks until they have rooted. If these thrive, you can use them to take cuttings in Jan. or Feb. or to plant as BIG plants in April. This is another way to take out insurance on your favorite cultivars. Go visit other DSC gardens before they lose their luster. Mark which clumps you plan to leave in; which you plan to donate, and which you plan to throw away. Do it NOW whilst you can still see typical blooms. Take photos to remind yourself in the spring what you were thinking. Take photos to submit to the ADS for its annual photo contest. Remember there are 9 categories.
Yours in Dirt,
Dahlia Society of California, Inc., San Francisco, CA — Copyrighted
Editor: Deborah Dietz
Page layout: Mike Willmarth
Photo credits: Dietz, Harris, Gaensler
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