Archive for January, 2016

Cultural Notes for January 2016

January 2016 Cultural Notes drs 1-16-2016
To Do LIST -January
1. get your stools growing and producing shoots for cuttings.
You should have several already producing good shoots for January cuttings
2. Clean up your cutting beds, check temperature sensors overhead lights etc.
See Dec. 2013 news letter for details.
3. Lay out your growing plans for the year- What verities and how many you plan
to grow. I like to break it down to 3 or four sections i.e.
-Large and Mediums (#1s & #2s)
-Incurves (#3s & #13s )
-Late Decoratives & Fantasies
-Early English and Garden Varieties and
-Any special categories you may be growing
4.Plan your pinch dates and starting dates
5. Start the cuttings per your plan; refer to previous notices or your he ECA
Novice Handbook
6 collect material you will need when transferring cuttings to next stage;
i.e. 21/2 inch cross bottom cubes– M&R mix, or other soilless growing mix
plant labels, B-9 stem growth retardant etc.
Cultural notes
1. Taking cuttings:
The club now follows either of two basic starting media/methods for starting the cuttings:
-the first method employs the old standard cutting bed where cuttings are placed in rows
in the starting media. separated as chosen by the grower. The basic cutting bed material
being peat moss and sand or our standard growing M&R mix. , or sometimes starting
directly in 2 1/2 inch cross bottom cubes. Recently, I (Stark) have changed my basic
starting media to 60% ProEarth#2 and 40 % Green Mountain sharp white sand. The sharp
white sand helps produce many more roots as the sharp edges penetrate the cambian layer
and new roots develop where the layer was broken.
The alternative cutting method employed by several uses “Earth Pots”. A few years ago
Chris Brookes picked up on this method used by Ray Gray of Kings Mums in his large scale
commercial business. The Earth pots come in trays of 72 starting modules containing the
required soilless ingredients. The cuttings are inserted directly into each module. A cutting
bed not required per se; but you still, but you still need to provide controlled under the pot
heat, overhead protection (Covers), overhead lighting and frequent overhead spraying.
The Earth pots come in trays of 72 pots. Mark Ross is the focal point for ordering the Earth
pots and you need to order them a month in advance.
Both methods have shown to produce excellent rooted cuttings, The Earth Pots are liked by
several grows because they allow a denser starting flat (72 starts per flat.
Downsides include additional costs and the need for frequent spraying.
The cutting bed seems to have an advantage with the white Sand enabling more roots per
cutting and the ability to get a good look at the roots when they are taken from the bed.
Of course the starting media or the under flat temperature must be controlled (65-69 DEG) by
heating heating elements such as heat pads, heat coils, heated room etc.

2. Starting dates:
There is always varying opinion for different starting dates. let’s try to put some logic into the Question. First we must recognize that different varieties require different starting dates to provide the best chance of getting a full flowered bloom read for our show date.
It has always been my position that for most of the year we must concentrate primarily on root development. In line with that position I generally recommend that we get our final potting, (8″ or 9″ pots) completed by the first to the fifteenth of June. This allows sufficient time to develop strong fully root bound roots by the time we expect the buds to appear. A basic tenant for pot grown plants is that the plants seldom bud out until they become root bound. if you are still potting-on into July you don’t have sufficient time to develop roots before you need buds o appear. The result is often late and anemic blooms. pushing them along with additional fertilizer can’t really save them. This concept is mostly independent of the planned stopping dates.
All that having been said there is still a lot of latitude in selecting your starting dates; including tardiness in getting your stools growing early enough to take healthy cuttings . You each will have to decide when to take your cuttings. To give you some Ideas I’ve listed my generalized starting dates. maybe they will be helpful, but keep in mind there are different growing facilities and climates so these might not all fit your needs. Hopefully it’s a start.
– Late Dec & early to mid January, Mount Rainer, Elsie Prosser James Bryant, Keith
Luxford, All Fairweathers, Most Fantasies (Spiders, quills and spoons). King George, plus
anything you plan to grow for specimen plants (10 or more blooms).
-Late Jan. Connie Mathew, Seychelles, Dukes, Jessie Habgood
– February, Lundys, Harry Gees (all), Jane Sharpe, Ralph Lamberts, Athabasca,
-Late Feb. to early march, Lots of #4s & #5s plus garden varieties.
To some extent, we as a club may have been starting many varieties earlier than necessary. Many of us have started fairly early because of usual April blahs where our plants tend to stall out and we barely get our plants into the final pots by early June. Many have overshot the desired potting-on dates resorted to using 8″ pots for the final potting in order to get the root system more quickly semi root bound. That works to some extent, but keep in mind that we are trying to attain exceptional flowers and the smaller pot with less roots significantly limits the potential of the final blooms
Most of the above relates to the Exhibition class mums; Sections 1 through 15.
-Early English classes , sections 23 through 25 and to some extent classes 13 through 15 are a different story entirely as they have been cultivated and developed mainly for growing in the open garden, not in pots. They tend to bud more quickly and flower earlier than the other varieties. Further, their budding dates are not usually affected by the need for roots to become semi root bound. Most garden varieties fall into this same category.
One final note regarding cuttings. We need healthy strong growing shoots for the cuttings in all cases. It is better to delay starts to get a healthier cuttings than to take earlier week cuttings. Another observation is that the shoots tend to be growing faster in February and on.
3. Use of B-Nine to control plant Height.
We have been recommending B-Nine to control the height of our plants. In general it is recommended the first application be made when potting on from the cutting bed. This works quite wee in most cases, but there several varieties that are generally quite short, and B-Nine is not beneficial as they could be so limited in height one could not produce a significantly long stem. To name a few here’s a list of those cultivars where B-Nine should not be used.
-All Fairweathers, -Alexis -West Bromwich King George -And all shorties.

January 2016 Newsletter – Happy New Year

Hi All
Hoping everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Celebration! Looking forward to seeing you Thursday January 14 and in the New Year!
Our next meeting is Thursday the 14th of January @ Seattle Police Athletic Association big hall @ 7 PM. See our website under “about” for a map & directions.
SUPPLIES: Please place your orders for Feburary Delivery of Earth POTs with Mark Ross. Please call Ronnie Elliot or Don Stark by Tuesday, January 12th to order M&R mix for both January and February meetings. We will have plant tags and twistems at the meeting.
Dues: Please pay your dues for 2016 at the January Meeting

Elections: Our discussion regarding Elections at the December Meeting was postponed to the January Meeting. Our organization is all volunteer – please consider taking a leadership or service role in our club!!

Draft Minutes from the December 10th Meeting as taken by Don Stark and to be read at January Meeting:

Minutes-ECA Meeting-Dec.12, 2015 Draft Page 1/2
Meeting called to Order by Secretary, Don Stark, in absence of our president John Harden. and Vice Pres. Rich Blaisdell.
-12 members present.
-Introductions: Three of this year’s new members were present:
> Kris Stephens who comes all the way down from Shoreline,
>Erica Harris who lives in Burien and grows Bamboo
>June Kubo (daughter of mike Kubo who recently passed away)
-Secretary’s report: Don Stark.
1 Minutes from the October meeting were reviewed and approved
2.There was no formal meeting in November (Replaced by the Awards banquet).Let it suffice to report that approximately 30 people enjoyed a good feast and all awards were presented. including a new trophy donated by June Kubo and her mother, honoring her father Mike. The trophy was given for the best Fantasy Challenge which was won this year by Ron Elliott. A special thanks to the Kubos for sponsoring this Trophy!
Don Stark was presented with a bottle of Champagne for the best of the flowers displayed at the banquet,
(A vase of 3 Mt. Rainiers).
3. The Aldriches reported we have three new members signed up from the show:
Carol Wall, Michael Kerkes & Tili Hipol
4. It was reported that Ken Smith, Manager of Furneys Nursery and a special supporter of ECA was killed in an Automobile accident last Sunday, Dec. 10th. We have no further data at this time but Bob Ewing is getting a special floral bouquet to honor him.

-Treasurer’s report. Sydney Ogilive
Balances:/year Checking Savings Cash Coin Total
Nov. 2015 $3,315.48 $2,740.75 $219.00 $49.35 $6,584.58 (+$1,646.78
Nov. 2014 $2,075.44 $2,737.56 $118.00 $ 6.80 $4,937.80

-Cultural: Ron Elliott
Ron emphasized the necessity for protecting last year’s stools from frost–Keep stools protected ,covered from rain, and sheltered from frost and Ice. One or two frosts in a row, the stools will probably survive; but a 3rd frost might likely kill many of the stools. Protecting from rain is necessary tol keep your stools relative dry so they can experience a semi dormant period. If stools are wet you run much greater risk of killing frosts as new shoots will be growing and as such are much more susceptible to freezing weather. Also If the pots you have the stools in are wet a hard frost will often break your pots in half due to expansion of the wet media when it freezes.
The stools can be kept in this semi dormant period until 20-30 days before you wish to take cuttings. To wake them up feed moderately with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as Miracle Gro. to urge the new shoots on.
Ron also talked about cutting beds and the surrounding environment. He reported what he uses which are in a heated green house, keeping the soil temp. at 65-70 degrees etc. and using overhead fluorescent lights. Stark emphasized that the beginner and many older members don’t need to go to extensive lengths with the cutting beds and that all you really is a heated box with a medium of sand and Pete moss , protected from the surrounding medium and with sufficient light, whether it be from fluorescent lights, a sunny window or a semi clear roof.

– Business:
Ron Elliott reported that the U.S. Chrysanthemum society’s annual show will be held in the Portland next year. It could possibly interfere with our show if it would coincide with our show dates: Action, Ron to Find out their planned show dates and report back at our Jan Meeting.

Election of Officers:
It was planned we would have the election of officers at this meeting, but since the President could not be here nor was there a nominating committee report, we unanimously decided we should postpone the election until the January meeting.
We then had a round robin session to consider possible nominees for the forthcoming Jan. Meeting. The following is a list of thoughts and recommendations for next year’s officers.

1. Officers willing to continue next year:
-Treasurer Sydney Ogilvie
-Cultural Instructor, Ron Elliott
=Secretary, Don Stark
-Newsletter and Web Master, Steve Backstrom

Other possibilities
Trustees, Ann Schreibe , Jill Aldrich, Mark Ross
Vice Pres: Bob Ewing
-June Kubo
-Erica Harris

Respectively submitted, Don Stark, ye Olde Scribe.11/16/2015

NOTICE: If you are growing mums that ARE not listed, in our CULTIVARS of ECA PINCH LIST, please let Ronnie, Don, or Steve B know what plants they are, if you wish to show them.