Archive for February, 2013

Northwest Flower and Garden Show

Are you going to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show at the Washington State Convention Center? Please plan on seeing “Spectacular Fall Color Riot” @ 6PM Thursday February 21st in the Rainier Room. This lively presentation about “garden mums” for fall color is presented by Ray Gray of Kings Mums and Christopher Brookes of the ECA

Let Ray and Chris show you how easy and fun mums can be!

Contact ECA

Contact “Steve at ecamumclub dot org” OR click on “No Comments” above and send us your request.

February 2013 Newsletter Happy Valentine’s Day!

Seattle, Washington

Big thanks to Furney’s Nursery for hosting our plant sale and fall show:
Partners with ECA in Chrysanthemum
Propagation and Exhibition


MEETING OF THE ECA – is scheduled for THURSDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2013 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 11th 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 2013 year book. So please make checks payable to ECA and mail to Mark Ross, or pay at the February meeting. If a member has any doubt whether they have paid or not please check with Mark by phone or email.

Club Plant Sale The club has three membership only plant sales, one each at our February, March and April meetings. Mark Ross has stated “Given that many of us are just getting cuttings started or have yet to start taking cuttings, I would indicate there will not be a February member plant sale as in past years. I spoke to Ron Elliott earlier and neither of us would have plants for sale at the February meeting”.
Additionally, a public plant sale is held in April. For this year it will be at Furney’s Nursery on Sat. Apr. 13th.
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, non responsive 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.

Breaking news from Chris Brookes:

February 21st 2013 – 6:00 pm -Seattle Convention Center – NW Flower & Garden Show (Presentation time – 45 minutes)
Presentation Title: “Spectacular Fall Color Riot”
Subtitle: Top performing Chrysanthemums for NW gardens
Presenters; Chris Brookes – ECA, and Ray Gray – Owner Kings Mums.

If you and any friends are planning a visit to this years “flower & garden show” and can be there on Thursday 21st February please come to the show. I’ve no idea how well attended the presentation will be. The room holds 400, but our time slot is unfortunately not the most convenient. Garden Chrysanthemums are a very different direction for me – a whole new world of Mums I never knew existed. The Garden Chrysanthemum focus is very much at the request of show management.
Hope to see you there!

If anyone in ECA would like to show this Power Point presentation to other gardening groups its very easy to organize. The presenter’s notes and all of my images can be saved to a memory “stick” and given to you for your computer. If you would like to use the ECA projector please let me know a week or so in advance and I will arrange to get it to you.

Yoko Arakawa

Yoko is the Japanese gardener who has very successfully grown multiple 1000 bloom Chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens in Philadelphia. She is taking a six month sabbatical starting this month, and will be living in the Seattle Area (Edmonds). She plans on spending much of her time hiking and climbing but also very much wants to visit ECA. She arrives on February 26th and will be here until November 2013.
Her email address has changed to: [email protected]
I thought it would be nice if ECA members could send welcoming emails to her and hopefully schedule a meeting for her to show something of her Chrysanthemum work at Longwood Gardens. My travel schedule is such that I may not be the best contact until later this Spring. I will unfortunately be overseas for both the March and April meetings.

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: Mark Ross or Ronnie Elliott with Supply and 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)


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 Seychelles. #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.
– 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.