Archive for April, 2017

April 2017 Cultural Notes and To Do List

Here are some notes from our April 2014 meeting about soils and fertilizers by Chris Brookes:

Soil mixes: At the March 2014 meeting I talked about the importance of increasing AIR near the roots and the possibility of adding more Pumice to the soil mix. I grow in a 60% – 40% mix of M & R Soilless and Harvest Supreme Compost. Looking back through all of the cultural notes I see Don has the same mix but has also been adding 1-2 parts more of pumice. I guess I don’t always listen well enough, as Don’s mix is spot on in terms of creating a better soil mix capable of holding more AIR. I’m finally on the same soil track as Don this year.

Next it’s fertilizers where I often seem to have more questions than answers. e.g. If we are using the right fertilizer amounts, why were over 50% of blooms exhibited by some experienced growers fully or partially blown last Fall? ECA has made a several major changes in soil mixes over the last 40 years. I joined the club at a time when we grew almost entirely in M & R mix which has a very fast release of fertilizer. Today’s recommended mix of composts, and M & R soilless has a very much slower release soil. Yet as far as I can tell we still have the same fertilizer recommendations that were developed by Jim Ball and his Brother in Law for soilless mixes in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. Can this be right? FOOD for Thought!!

APRIL TO DO LIST (edited from DRS 3-21-05)

1. Potting on mums into 4” or 6” pots
· Soilless growers who are using the club recommended M&R mix. This mix is ph balanced at 6.5 and contains a good mix of fertilizers that carry the plant for 3-4 weeks. It requires no additives at this time, but some growers like to add a little Alfalfa meal and some additional pumice for increased aeration.
· Soil or compost mixes: See McGlashen mix in the McGlashen Hand Book. You’ll need to mix your own soil, consisting of compost, or garden loam plus slacked Lime or Dolomite to keep soil sweet plus Steamed Bone to promote root growth. Also, ashes and a little Rose and garden fertilizer (i.e. 4-10-8 or 5-10-10) Pumice or grit may be added to loosen the soil mix.
· Wash previously used pots in a mild Clorox bath (bleach), then rinse in clear water.
· Clay pots are recommended for 4 or 6 inch potting as they breathe and dry out faster during cool April days.
· Pot on when a significant ring of roots forms around the bottom edge of the pot (semi root bound). Do not compact the potting mix. Tie plants to small stakes.
2. Move mum pots outdoors as weather warms. Choose a sunny location.
· Bury pots to rim if using clay. Protect from frost, wind, dogs, cats and Children.
3. Review stopping dates. Most ECA cultivars are stopped Between April 15 and May 30.
· Pinch date lists for most club cultivars are on our website CULTIVARS OF ECA. Please let Steve B know if you need a copy at the April 14th meeting. Contact your Coach for other cultivars not on the list.


· Control Aphids. Spray for Aphids every 2 or 3 weeks, with liquid Diazinon, or other insecticides. Water only as needed, do not over water.
· Continue culling process in April to get to your final growing group. The 6” potting should be used for this reduction. Don’t always keep the first plants to reach 6” potting stage. Keep the best cultivars. Share surplus plants with other club members. Throw away damaged or diseased plants.

Fertilize weekly starting the 3rd or 4th week after potting. And the Club Early Fertilizer. Water soluble 10-50-10 Peter’s upper blossom booster is also a good substitute.

(Please note the change in recommendation for starter fertilizer. In 2009, Don Stark indicated that water-soluble 10-50-10, Peters Super Blossom Booster plant food, is available at local garden stores or McLendons Hardware in 1.5-pound bags. The application directions indicate 1 tsp per gallon of water for indoor use. Use this fertilizer as a supplement through the 6” pot stage. Don noted that Peters 20-10-20 will be available for use through the summer growth season.)

Lastly, I would like to suggest a discussion of 2″ square pots we use for NEW plants. Some prefer the pots with the + bands on the bottom – about 50% open. Others seem to favor the pots with the small holes in the corners. What are the benefits of each & why?

April 2017 Newsletter, Meeting Notice and Plant Sale Announcement

Seattle, Washington

Evergreen Chrysanthemum Association

Furney’s Nursery >>——-> Partners with ECA in Chrysanthemum in Propagation and Exhibition

If you have NOT paid your dues, please do!! Our Treasurer is Sydney Ogilve – please contact her if you cannot make the meeting on 4-20-2017.

Please note that our April Meeting is One Week later than usual on Thursday, April
20th at Seattle Police Athletic Association. For directions, please click on the ABOUT ECA tab above. This meeting is important as we prepare final details for our Annual Plant sale on Saturday, April 22nd. Please bring plants to the April 20th meeting for sale to members. Please note that NOVICES have first preference for plants – Novices please have your coaches help you select plants. Members are reminded to bring in their extra plants for our member plant sale and the public sale. Only healthy looking plants are accepted for the “Sales Events”. For those bringing in plants, please also bring in newspaper or a cloth to cover the table if your plants are in an open bottom carrier. This will help the clean up crew when tidying at the end of the meeting.

A huge THANK YOU to our tireless & more prolific growers who have been providing so many plants for so many years to benefit our club. This is how we fund our activites.


(At Furney’s Nursery in Des Moines – 21215 Pacific Hwy South).

Remember to bring your plants in to Furney’s and help with set up on Friday, April 21st starting at 1 P.M. The Saturday, April 22nd public plant sale will be held from 9 A.M. to-1 P.M.

Club Library/Publications Notices Notes

Mark Ross is now our Club Librarian. We have a limited collection of excellent reference books and the goal is for Members to take books out for one month only. Thereby we can give as many growers as possible a chance to read and learn from the experiences and knowledge of other growers.


Please contact Gary Ronnie Elliot by Tuesday April 18th for club supply orders including soilless for delivery at the April meeting.

Bud Cloven, an early ECA member is ALIVE. He had been wintering in Arizona and summering in Leavenworth, WA with his wife Carol. I apologize for the previous incorrect statement.

Draft March Meeting Minutes by Sue Joyner:
ECA March Draft Meeting minutes 3/9/17
Attendees: Erika, Mas, Bob E, Ron E, Mark, Jill, Rich, Anne, Satsoshi, June, Sydney, Richard and Yvonne Thompson, Steve and Sue
Meeting brought to order at 7:00 pm by VP Steve Joyner. February 2017 meeting minutes were read by Susan Joyner
Bob E moved to accept the February meeting minutes. The motion was seconded by Mas and approved by those present

Treasurer’s report – $6094.98 in total (checking, savings, cash)
1) Our SPAA contact, Buzzy Katzer is retiring the end of March.
Steve McNew will be replacing him and Duane Hendrix will be moving to the house on the property. Duane will be the person who will unlock the building after March 31, 2017
Prior to the March ECCA meeting Steve and Sue had a brief conversation with Buzzy regarding the change of guard. Buzzy reported that the SPA board of directors was contemplating charging the ECA a fee for using the building. He also mentioned that historically the ECA had held weeding work parties to clean up the grounds around the SPAA building we meet in. Buzzy’s recommendation to the board was that they do not charge us to meet in the building. He also suggested to Steve and Sue that it might be appropriate for ECA to have a conversation with the Duane about weeding or grounds clean up in return for the use of the building for meeting space. This conversation brought up the question of who sponsored us here at the start. Bob Ewing reported that it was Curt Jacobson that landed this meeting location for the ECA. We also learned that if we need SPAA sponsorship Erika Harris is a member of SPAA.
2) Email Steve Joyner at [email protected] with list of varietals that you are growing. The club needs to know what varietals we have and we also need to send this list to the national Chrysanthemum society to facilitate the process of entering any of our varietals in their fall show – Oct 27 – 29, 2017
3) Reminder – our fall show dates have changed to accommodate the national show dates – 2017 ECA fall show dates are Nov 2 – 6, 2017
4) ECA Meeting date change: The April ECA meeting will be held at SPAA (where we usually meet) on Thursday April 20th at 7:00 pm
5) Furney’s nursery public plant sale – Saturday April 22, 2017 – EARTH DAY!
a) Thursday evening, April 20th after ECA meeting – load up plant sale cuttings
b) Friday afternoon, April 21st, 1 pm set up for plant sale at Furney’s nursery
c) Rich and Jill will bring easels, signs and sand. Ron will bring the plants
d) Public plant sale starts Saturday at 9 am
Plant starts are $3.00 for public; $2.00 members
e) Rich and Jill will bring the laminated ECA fall show date sign and postcards with fall show dates
New Business:
1) Steve Backstrom was contacted by Heidi Garman from Anacortes about joining the mum club. Sue and Steve Joyner have been in contact with her. She plans to attend the April meeting and join the club. She was excited to learn that there were other growers “up north”.
2) Bob Ewing has lost Merlino wants to know if anyone has this varietal
3) David Helgerson at Volunteer Park would appreciate any mum donations
Bob will bring a flat for us to fill at next meeting.
He will check with Dave to find out what kind of flowers he is interested in
4) Contact Mark Ross for earth pots
5) Contact Ron Elliot for soil needs, fertilizer, starting pots and tags
6) Ron Elliot brought up discussion regarding reimbursement for growing starts –
Group feeling was that this is a hobby
7) Jane Stark has 60 – 6” pots 10 – 8” 40 -9” pots she would like to donate to club members
8) Reminder – Purple tags are used for #1’s from England
9) Question about general liability insurance came up. ECA members wanted to know if this bill had been paid? Mark Ross reported that he thought Sydney had taken care of this.
10) Welcome new member: Richard Thompson (Yvonne)
14247 143rd Ave SE Renton 98059
(425) 277-7788 or cell (425) 761-1474
Plant Sale:
The meeting was recessed while we conducted the member’s only plant sale.
Five members brought plants and we had about 10 flats to choose from. Essentially all the plants were healthy and growing strong. There was a good selection of varieties. There will be another opportunity to purchase cuttings at the April ECA meeting on April 20th.
Cultural discussion:
Ron asked the group who is taking cuttings this year – Mas, Bob, Steve, Mark, Ron, June, Erika, Sydney
Be sure to closely follow the recommended pinch dates in our club literature.
Ron stated that he pinches his Connie’s two weeks ahead of time
Mark provided an explanation about cutting dates and how these are estimates

Meeting adjourned at 8:56 pm
Respectfully submitted, Susan Stark Joyner, Secretary