Archive for January, 2012

February 2012 Newsletter – Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Seattle, Washington
Nancy Halleen, Secretary


MEETING OF THE ECA – is scheduled for THURSDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2012 at
7:00 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila.

TELEPHONE COMMITTEE MEMBERS call your lists early in the week of February 6th as your calls do help to increase attendance.


For those of you who haven’t yet renewed membership, the cost is $15 per member or $20 per couple. Only paid up members names can be included in the 2012 year book. So please make checks payable to ECA and mail to Christopher Brookes or pay in at the February meeting. If a member has any doubt whether they have paid or not please check with Chris. Thank you

Club Plant Sale The club has three membership only plant sales, one each at our February, March and April meetings. Additionally, a public plant sale is held in April. For this year it will be at Furney’s Nursery on Sat. Apr. 14th.
ECA growers are encouraged to bring started plants to the sales to help others who do not have the facilities to start new cuttings and/or to provide a cadre of plants for growers who wish to add new varieties, replace old, nonresponsive stock, etc. The price to the general membership is: $1.00 per plant. The price for plants to the public (April Sale) is: $2.00 per plant. In general the plants available at the Feb. and March sales will be the late varieties, classes 1 through 10. By March and through April, the earlier blooming varieties, i.e. Early English and many American varieties will show up.
New Members are promised 10 free plants with their membership. No more than 5 of the free plants should be selected at the Feb. meeting/sale and if the new member is not yet ready with facilities to care for the plants in Feb./March, he/she may wait till March or April to pick up their plants. This helps to assure the new grower success, avoid the early season pitfalls, and also provide access to a larger selection of plant varieties such as the early English and American varieties that are typically available in March and April.
Now is the time to develop your new growing plans. Then you can come to the plant sales ready to explore and buy. Don’s to 10 list for the exhibition varieties is included below. It may be helpful as you fill out your growing plans.


Thanks to Bob Ewing for tieing down the dates of the Fall Show. It will once again be at Furney’s on November 2, 3, and 4. Set up will be November 1st at 1 PM. Takedown will be on November 4th at 3 PM.

Other calendar dates will be set at the Board Meeting and shared with all members.

New Members are encouraged to contact Bob Ewing to be assigned a coach who will provide personalized growing instruction and advice. It is highly recommended that new members take advantage of this membership service. Don’t be shy give Bob a call!!!

Don’s Top 10

Below is a cherry picked list of exhibition mum varieties that are reliable, somewhat easy to grow and usually blooming at show time. I haven’t included garden varieties/American varieties or others, as there are multitudes of these available through Kings and other sources. There are doubtless many many good varieties that a few of you grow or have acquired. Most are early blooming and can be the subject of another report if someone so desires.

Don’s Top 10 (Cherry Picked) Exhibition mums for 2012

1. Connie Mayhew: (#2 Yellow that everyone should grow) One of the highest quality and most reliable
Cultivars in the club. A consistent winner and keeps well. The 2011 “Best Bloom Open Classes” was
that beautiful Connie from Ron Elliott.
2. Lundy and Yellow Lundy: (#2’s) Real winners and hard to beat in any category. They were also the
Cream of the crop of #2’s in the NCS National show of 2011. The White is brilliant and BIG and you’ll
love the yellow. These are Winners!
3. Apricot Harry Gee: (#1, AOC) Best Bloom in our Show 2011, It’s relatively easy to grow and comes
Into full bloom on time. Need I say more?
4. Len Hall: (#3 pink) this incurve is reliable and in my opinion the best incurve in our stable. It wins
Best Bloom novice, best incurve and best vase of three on a regular basis. It’s been declining with old
Age; but if you still have some good stock, start it and share with the rest of us.
5. Primrose Fairweather: (#3Y) this seems to be the best of the very good Fairweather family, it comes on
Well, finishes out the top and holds up for 2-3 weeks.
6. Seychelle: (#2P) A dark pink reflex that grows BIG, has almost perfect form, very smooth and likes
lots of fertilizer. Best Bloom in show twice.
7. Alexis and Apricot Alexis: (#5 Pink/AOC) Grows big and strong and epitomizes the form for #5’s.
8 Duke of Kent family: White, Cream, and Pink Dukes are the strongest and all can win Best in show.
New stock has revived these old time favorites.
9. Vienna Waltz: (#10 Purple) One of the best spiders to come along. It will hold its deep color well. It
Blooms reliably and on time and is a mainstay in the 3 bloom and 5 bloom vases. It’s a winner!
10.Lili Gallon: Purple with silver under petal (Cougar Colors) Changed from a #5 to a #2 in 2011

Sorry If I missed your favorite drs, 1/25/2012.

PLANT CULTURE – Continue to start plants for our public sale in April. Plants must be given protection for the first few months and carefully nurtured to establish strong root systems before potting or repotting. In February, take starts for the early blooming varieties. At this month’s meeting, the focus is growing plants, cultivar selection, materials and your reference books. Cultural recommendations are attached.

SUPPLIES – Supplies to be available at the February meeting.
· Plant Labels, White and Yellow 100 per pack.
· 2½” Plastic planting/starting cubes
· M&R Soilless Growing Media (Need enough orders to buy a pallet for a lower price). The cultural committee has decided to provide only M&R mix. It is a better product for mums than the mix used previously. This mix can be used for all pottings from the first 2 ½” pot to the 9 or 10” final pot. Contact Don Stark with Soilless orders.

Novice Handbooks will be available at the next meetings and the Public Plant Sale at a cost of $2.00 (payable to the Treasurer)

To receive monthly Newsletters by email only rather than U.S.mail, send an email to Nancy Halleen.

FEBRUARY TO DO LIST.. (New: 1-28-06 DRS)

Continue with cuttings:

Continue taking cuttings throughout Feb. and into March for some. A few early Feb. cuttings can be available for the March/April Plant sales (March Members sale at the March meeting and the public plant sale on Sat. April 14th). Most Feb. and March cuttings should be of the early English and American varieties. Late Decoratives) Classes 4, 5, 14 and 15) should be started primarily in Feb. Take cuttings for yourself and for the plant sale.

Most varieties in classes 1,2 and 3 should have been started by the end of January: however here are some varieties that can be successfully grown from Feb. cuttings. #1 & #2’s Lundy, Yellow Lundy, David Dando, Ralph Lambert, Yellow Ralph Lambert, Athabaska, Harry Gee, Jane Sharpe and Seychelle. #3’s Len Hall, Salmon, Primrose and yellow Fairweathers, Stockton and Heather James.

Cuttings started directly in the cutting bed media should not require fertilization before potting on. If you are starting in the cross bottom bands or 2” clay pots, fertilizer should be added after 3 to 4 weeks as these cutting generally require 5-6 weeks before potting on. Start fertilizing once a week beginning with the 4th week. Use an early Mum fertilizer, Peters 9-45-15 or Plant Marvel 12-45-10 (One Tsp/Gal once a week)

Potting on:

Most growers are using the soilless M&R potting mix sold by the club. In general no additives are required for the early pottings (2” and 4” pots); however some growers like to add some special ingredients. For instance Alfalfa meal or pellets is a good stimulant that can be added. Avoid adding Bone meal, as you will probably find fungi growing on the top of your pots due to too much potassium.
– Pot the mums directly from the cutting beds into 2” pots, or from the starter bands or pots into 3” or 4” pots.
– Use new pots, or wash previously used pots with a mild bleach solution (Clorox) to kill moss and eliminate the viruses. When bleach is used thoroughly rinse pots in fresh water to get the bleach out of the pot.
– Clay pots are recommended for the 2”, 3”, 4” and 6” potttings as the clay pots will dry out better than plastic after watering. This is especially important during the cool March and April days.

– Pot on from cutting beds when the roots are ½ to ¾ in. long (Typically 4 weeks) into 2 ½” or 3” pots.

– Pot on from cross bottom bands, or pots when roots are growing thickly out of the pots or bands (Typically 6 weeks). Do not compact the mix!

– Place the newly potted mums out of the light or under the bench for 2-3 days to stimulate root growth.


– Shelter mums in the greenhouse, cold frame, or other shelter (Kitchen table or south facing window)
– Temperature should be between 50 and 60 degrees.
– Glass overhead will help keep mums from getting leggy.

Care Continued:

– B-9 is a good growth retardant that tends to help plants from getting too leggy. It is available through the club. If you choose to use B-9 it should be applied at the time of potting on and again at or near pinch time. Caution: Do not use B-9 on plants that tend to naturally grow short: i.e. all the Fairweathers, all the Alexis, Port Stanley and others.

– Plants will remain in this first potting for 4-6 weeks until they have produced a noticeable root ring around the bottom of the pot. Don’t be afraid to knock the root ball out of the pot after several weeks and examine the roots.

– Fertilize with 9-45-15, or 12-45-10 beginning the 4th week
(1 Tsp/Gal once a week) These fertilizers are available through the
Club at the monthly meetings.

See you at the February 9th meeting!

End of the road for Volunteer Park Conservatory?

Seattle’s Volunteer Park Conservatory is in danger of closing next year unless the city finds a new way to fund it.

NASA Studys Mums

Who would suspect the common mum of being such a hard worker when it comes to cleaning up the air quality?

Happy New Year – January 2012 Newletter

Seattle, Washington

Jim Anshutz,Secretary


MEETING OF THE ECA – THURSDAY January 12, 2012 at 7 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila. Lots to discuss as we begin the New Year.

Dates of Spring sale and fall show.

Bob Ewing reports that the Miller Library will pass out information about our spring plant sale at the NW Flower and Garden Show at the Convention Center in early February. Bob is exploring with Furney’s a date of Saturday, April 14 for our spring sale and he will report on his findings at the January meeting. Other key ECA dates, including the Fall show and tour/picnic and Board Meeting are yet to be set/confirmed and will also be discussed at the meeting.

2012 Club Dues Reminder:
Please bring your check or cash to the January meeting to pay your 2012 Club Dues. (You may also pay dues by writing a check to the “ECA” and mailing it to Chris Brookes. Dues are $15/member or $20/couple. Paying in January helps us finalize our Annual ECA Roster for our Club and makes Chris’s job as treasurer more manageable.


We will elect officers/board members at the January meeting. Nominations for Officers and Trustees for 2012 are as follows:
       President:           Sydney Ogilvie         
       Vice President:    John Harden   `
        Secretary:           Nancy Halleen
        Treasurer:           Chris Brookes
        Past President     Ron Elliott
        Trustees:             3 Year Term   Don Stark – Bob Ewing                              
                                   2 Year Term      Jill Aldrich           – Larry Mayer 
                                   1 Year Term      Steve Backstrom – Mike Kubo
            Cultural:                 Mark Ross,   Don Stark,   David Rynes. 
            Membership:          Bob Ewing
            Show Committee:   Don Stark,     John Harden (Co)

Special thanks to Nancy for agreeing to take over the duties of Secretary as I get ready for a new hip!

Supplies At January Meeting
Make sure to call Don if you have items you need. M & R mix needs must be know in advance of the meeting by calling Don. Price is $5.50 per bag)   Also we will have available:  2 1/2″ cross bottom starting bands and lots of tags.   Fertilizer will come along at the Feb. meeting. 

.January to-do List – (Revised 1/2/06, DRS)
Success for the upcoming growing season begins with the taking of new cuttings needed for ourselves, other club members and for the upcoming public plant sales. Taking the cuttings and potting on the newly rooted cuttings are the major January activities. Hopefully we have kept last years’ stools alive and have added some 20-10-20.fertilizer. At 55 to 60 Deg room temp. our stools should now be producing the strong shoots we need.
-Cuttings for classes #1 and #3 should be taken in late Dec. and all of January.
-Most #2 varieties are started throughout January: but Keith Luxford, Ivor Mace and
James Bryant should be started in Dec. or early January, if the stools are far enough
along to produce healthy cuttings.
-Cuttings of classes #4, #5, #14’ & #15 are usually started in late Jan. or Feb.
-Plants to be grown for Specimens (11 or more blooms) should generally be
started earlier, Nov. Dec, or Early Jan. for example.
Spiders Quills and spoons are also good candidates for January starts.

The cutting bed should be a flat four-sided box with heating cable, mat or other devices for heating the cutting medium. The box should be at least 18 in wide so that it can hold 1 or more of the 17 in by 9 in. flats. An overhead Fluorescent lamp such as a 4-foot, two-bulb shop light will provide needed light supplement for the new cuttings. Plantgrow or GrowLux bulbs are good but expensive and simple white bulbs seem to work adequately. Fill the box with 2 ½ to 3 inches of cutting media and provide heating controls to maintain the required temperature.
– Cutting bed media -A 50-50 mix washed sand and peat moss
– Cutting bed Temp -65 to 70 deg F.
Taking the cuttings:
We offer two different methods for handling the initial cuttings:
1. Place the cutting directly in the cutting bed media, maintain cutting bed heat at 65 deg
(In approximately 4 weeks the new cuttings will have roots 1 in. long and are ready to
be transplanted into 2 ½ or 3 inch pots.)
2. Fill the 2 ½ in cross bottom bands with our standard M&R growing mix. Set these
bands directly on top of the cutting media and insert your cuttings directly into the
M&R mix. Maintain cutting bed Temp at 70 deg. In 5-6 weeks the cutting should be
ready for transplanting into 4 in pots.)

The cuttings should be from 1 ½ to 2 inches long with the cut off or break at the bottom of a leaf node. It is recommended to dip each cutting into a mild insecticide/fungicide solution (1/4strength). Then dip the base into Rootone or other rooting hormone before setting the cutting into the growing media.
Cover the newly taken cuttings with a glass or clear plastic cover for up to 3 days after taking the cuttings. Leave some room under the cover so that air can get in and circulate around a bit.
Keep the cuttings moist. Don’t let the bottom of the bed dry out

Place a plant label with each cutting Label should contain the name and classification of the cutting, the date of the cutting and the grower’s initials. For example
Charlie’s Mum, (1Y)
DRS, 12/30/05