Archive for December, 2011

Blue light irradiation promotes growth, increases antioxidants in lettuce seedlings

An interesting article shared by John Harden may help our cuttings this coming season.

Here is a link to a Blue LED light panel that is less than $40.00 and serves 6 square feet or six trays of 2×2 cuttings.

Chrysanthemums : The ultimate e-book

by Ivor Mace & Paul Barlow. Learn more. Want to improve your mum growing? These gents are some of the best and most experienced growers and frequent show winners.

December 2011 Newsletter

Seattle, Washington

Jim Anshutz, Secretary


MEETING OF THE ECA – Thursday December 8th at 7 PM. Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila, WA.

NOMINATION OF 2011 CLUB OFFICERS – The December meeting includes the election of officers for the upcoming year. Assuming incumbents are willing to serve another year – here is the current slate and positions we need to fill –as noted by “vacant”.

Offices :

Sydney Ogilvie President
John Harden Vice President
Jim Anshutz Secretary
Chris Brookes Treasurer
Past President Ron Elliott
Cultural Inst Mark Ross

Trustees 3 year term: vacant & vacant (with Don Stark agreeing to fill one the two vacancies)

2 year term: Jill Aldrich, Larry Mayer

1 year term: Vacant & vacant

Nominations are encouraged from the floor at the December meeting for all officer and trustee positions. It is up to all of us to rotate as officers periodically to provide the club fresh ideas and new perspectives.

Awards Banquet

We had record attendance at our annual awards banquet and had a good time with good food and friends. Many thanks to everyone who made it a success; the food was good (see Seattle Times food review in the December 2 paper noting Angelo’s as one of the best family-Italian restaurant in Seattle) and the trophies looked bright and shiny.

2011 CLUB DUES – Members are encouraged to pay dues for 2011. Annual dues are $15/member or $20/couple. Checks made out to the ECA or cash should be given to Chris Brooks, ECA Treasurer.

If you wish to continue receiving the Newsletters and “To Do” Lists, I encourage you to pay your dues for 2012 by January, so you are not dropped from our Database. The ECA By-Laws, Article 1, states that fees are due no later than the March meeting for members who have paid dues in 2011.


The cultural for the December meeting will include a review of the last growing season and cultivars response, planning for the upcoming 2012 growing season, and getting new plant starts growing well.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at the December meeting. Come and vote for your choice of Officers for 2012!

Attached is the “To Do List for December”. I’ve also added Don Stark’s recommended top ten mum varieties that he gave us for 2010. (Don is working on an update to this list.)

Have a Merry Christmas/wonderful holiday season and hope to see you
Thursday and in the New Year!

Jim Anshutz, Secretary

DECEMBER TO DO LIST – (adapted from DRS 12/03/98 notes, Modified ll/26/04)

Success for the upcoming year begins with the care of our stock to produce the quality cuttings needed for other members, our club plant sales and ourselves. It is important that you identify your best plants of each variety and try to get your cuttings from those plants. Weak or diseased plants should be destroyed. Get a new start from another member at the plant sale if your stock is weak.

Cultivars in classes #1, #3 and#4 are usually started in late Dec. and January. The #1 varieties such as Jessie Habgood, Gigantics, Mark Woolman, Dukes and Lancaster Fold need early starts and so do the Fairweather family of #3’s. Most #2’s can be started January. Cultivar classes #4 & #5 and 14 & 15”s are usually started in Feb and March. Plants to be grown for specimen (10 or more blooms) should be started ASAP. In spite of the above suggestions for starting times. It is always a good idea to wait on the cuttings till they are ready. Cuttings should be 1” to 2” and growing vigorously.

+ Keep pots outside and sheltered from the wind, cold, rain and slugs. It is
important for the plant stool to chill and remain relatively dry during its
dormant period until 2-4 weeks before you want to start taking cuttings.
The chilling period will produce much stronger cuttings for the next
growing cycle.
+ Protect stools from hard freezing (less than 28 degrees). Most plants
can stand a night or more of freezing temperatures but three
consecutive hard freezing nights will probably kill all but the hardiest
cultivars. During severe cold snaps a garage, shed, greenhouse, or
a tarp can be used temporarily to protect the plants until the cold
+ Two to four weeks before the desired cutting-time bring pot stools
into heated area (60 degrees for example) and feed with a
nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle-Grow to stimulate new growth.

+ The recommended cutting media is a 50% sand 50% Peat Moss.
However, I and others have recently switched to starting in the
M&R soilless mix that we pot into for the rest of the year. I start
Right in the 2 ½ or 3 inch pots and set them in or on the bed of
Sand in my cutting bed. I also start some of the later varieties
Directly in the 2 ½ plastic cubes that we use mostly for plant sales.
+ The cutting bed temperature should be maintained at 65F.
+ Cover the newly taken cuttings with a glass or clear plastic cover
for the 3 days after taking the cutting.
+ Cuttings should be from 1 ½ to 2 inches long with the cutoff or
break at a leaf node.
+ It is recommended to dip cuttings in a mild insecticide/fungicide
solution before setting the new cutting in the cutting media.
+ Cover the newly taken cuttings with a glass or clear plastic cover
for up to three days after taking the cuttings. Leave some room
under the cover so that air can get in and circulate around a bit.
+ Provide overhead light for the new cuttings. A 4-foot fluorescent
shop light with Growlux bulbs works great.

Don Stark’s Top Ten Mum Varieties (prepared for 2010)
1. Connie Mayhew is a #2 yellow that everyone should grow. Ed
Pawlowski has won best bloom open classes with it.

2. Len Hall is a #3 pink incurve that is reliable and in his opinion
the best #3 in our club.
3. Port Stanley is a #5 yellow incurving bloom with good form and
Color that does well with 4-5 blooms per plant.
4. Lundy and Yellow Lundy are #2 reflex varieties and in his view
the best #2 blooms in our club. You will love the yellow and the
white is brilliant. These are winners.
5. Seychelles is a #2 dark pink reflex that is big with good form
and likes a lot of fertilizer. Don Stark won best in show with a Seychelles in 2008.
6. Fairweather family (Pink, White, Salmon, Primrose Yellow)
Produces all good #3 incurves. The Primrose and yellow varieties are new and very healthy and vigorous.
7. Ralph and Yellow Ralph Lambert are #1 bronze and yellow
reflex varieties that are easy to grow two up.
8. Alexis and Apricot Alexis #5 pink and apricot varieties that you
will love to grow.
9. Stan Addison is a good #5 new comer, it grows fairly big as a
#5 when grown 2 or 3 blooms, and can be grown successfully
as a #3 when grown 5 to 7 blooms per plant.
10. Vienna Waltz is a #10 purple spider that is one of the clubs
best varieties in this class. It blooms on time, beautiful and a