Archive for July, 2019

July & August 2019 Cultural Notes & To Do List

July and August are the primary growing months for your mums. Topics of our concern and guidance during this time are: Lateral selection and control, Staking, Feeding, Pest Management, watering, Flushing your pots, Top Dressing, and Taking the buds for the final bloom selection .

1 Lateral Control:
As side laterals develop after the final pinch, select the number of laterals to carry through the summer
And remove all other side shoots. Generally the topmost lateral below the stem break is removed, as it is the weakest lateral structurally and easily broken off by accident. At this stage you should carry 1-2 more laterals than you want at bloom stage. An old saying goes “I grow one for the bug and two for me”.
Surplus laterals are removed later using the following guide. The
-For #1 & #2 cultivars carry 2 or 3 laterals initially, cull tot back to 1 or 2 in late Aug. after buds are secured
– For #3 cultivars carry 5 laterals initially and cull back to 3 or 4 in Sept. or Oct.
-For #4 & #5 cultivars carry 4 or 5 initially and cull to 2 04 3 in Sept.
-For Eearlys (#13-15, and 23-25) Cary 4-5 laterals initially and cull back in Sept. as appropriate.
-For Spiders, quills, spoons, singles etc. Follow the guide for #4s & #5s.)
2. Staking:
All the saved laterals should now be individually staked to prevent losing them to wind, rain, accidents etc. You will need stakes ranging from 3’ to 5’ depending on the normal height of the individual plants, with the majority being in the 4’ range. I make wooden stakes nominally 5/8”x 1/2” ripped from ½” or 5/8” fence boards. Others use Bamboo stakes or whatever. You should point the stakes so that when you push them into the pots they don’t tear away large sections of the roots. The stakes look better and wont rot easily if you paint or stain them green. Don’t use Pressure treated lumber! Also 4’ and 5’ heavy bamboo stakes seem to work somewhat well.
Start fastening the laterals to the stakes with 4-6 inch twistems when laterals are 1-2 foot long, being careful not to spread the laterals too soon as you can easily break of the laterals if you spread them too early.
3. Feeding & Top dressing:
Keep feeding! Keep feeding! The club sells Technigro 20-9-20+ water-soluble fertilizer at our meetings @ $3.00 per 1# bag. This is the recommended fertilizer for mid season growing-July & August. While other fertilizers may be your choice this balanced fertilizer has been our staple since we started growing in soilless. Miracle grow is not recommended as it generally contains too much Nitrogen and tends to produce much taller stems at the expense of stronger roots. However it works well on some plants such as specimen plants where much stronger nitrogen dosage is used to produce the many laterals i.e. 11 to 20 laterals.
-After 3 weeks in the final pot start the summer feeding program with Technigro
20-9-20+. Standard dosage for all is 1 tsp per gallon of water, fed once a week. If you feed with every watering you should cut the dosage to half that or less. It is common to gradually increase the dosage up to double that for heavy feeders i.e. Connies, Dukes, Jessies, Ralph Lambert, Gigantics, Harry Gees, Elsie Prosser etc. On the other side, most reds and Purples and most incurves require a lighter feeding level such as 2/3 tsp per Gal. Keep in mind that it is very easy to overfeed so be prudent. Watch and feel the leaves to gage the fertilizer needs. If leaves tend to be hard and curl up or the upper leaves turn over you are feeding too much.
-Some plants may tend to be yellowish instead of green (Jessie Habgoods, Dukes, Lundys and Connies) for instance. If you have yellow plants first try drying the plant out with less water. If unsuccessful feed ½ to 1 tsp Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulphate) per plant. Leaf feeding with liquid Iron products such as Sequesterine or chelated Liquid Iron will also help green up the plants. Also, you might need to add some lime to sweeten your mix. Try adding ½ tsp per pot of slacked/hydrated lime. Ph control should be addressed for all your plants. If you have general yellowing on new leaves or green mold on the pot or soil, it’s a sign of acidity. In general you could add ½ to 1 tsp slacked lime once a month until housing. In general a ph from 6.25 to 6.5 is desired. If you increase the ph too much on reds and purples the bloom color will be less bright.
– Continue this feeding program right up to the bud formation, then drop to approximately ½ tsp per gallon through most of the bloom formation. Heavy feeding during the early bud growth can seriously deform the buds.
-Water thoroughly when you water but don’t water until the plant needs water or feed. Jessies and Dukes generally require less water than most, so don’t water them just because you are walking by with the hose. On the other side, Gigantics and Pat Brophy need more frequent watering. In following your watering program, it is good to let your pots dry out a tad before rewatering as that tends to promote stronger roots. Note: I did not say you should let your pots dry out during the starting stages, nor during the bloom stage.

4. Flushing:
If you are growing in a straight Soilless mix such as M&R you should flush your pots every 4-6 weeks to get the excess salts out of you medium. If you are mixing compost or loam with your soilless the excess salts will be absorbed by the soil and flushing isn’t generally necessary. Never the less it’s a good idea to give your pots a good flushing once or twice. For flushing, fill the pot with clear water, let it drain, refill and drain twice more. After you have completed the flushing, there will be little feed left so it’s a good idea to add a new weeks supply of fertilizer.

5. Top Dressing:
Top dress the pots in late July or early August and again when the buds show color(around Sept 1 to 15). Spread 1 to 2 hands full of your final potting mix on each pot. This gives the upper roots a better growing environment.

6. Pest Management:
Continue to review your pest control program every 1-2 weeks. You need to keep the plants free of black aphids, other bugs and fungal diseases, especially before the blooms open. Aphids in the blooms are unsightly and can cause your bloom to be downgraded or disqualified by the judges.
. Marathon systemic insecticide is applied once per growing season to each pot at the rate of ½ tsp per pot to control aphids, (particularly black aphids). It is imperative that all members use Marathon as an outbreak of black aphids can destroy your whole crop and spread any virus you may have to many other plants. Some other insects such as leaf hoppers, leaf rollers, earwigs and Capsid bugs need to be picked off the plants or they will invariably ruin the bud. Earwigs are particularly dangerous, and a product called Seven when spread around the roots and or sprayed on the plant can be very effective in controlling them.

7. Disease Control:
For disease control, we need to spray regularly with a fungicide during the summer and Fall season. Fungal damage to the leaves will result in significant penalties by the judges.The plants you grow are fairly lush which makes them a great target for Fungi etc. I use Daconil exclusively. It’s the best I know. It covers Botrytus, Early blight, Rust, Late blight, Ring spot, Powdery mildew and other diseases that we typically associate with the heavily fertilized mums. It’s legal and available at some garden stores. I know that McLendon’s carries it. It’s also in demand by Rose and Bean growers. A word of caution: as advertised on the bottle, always use a good fine mesh Nasal filter with this and don’t expose yourself, others, or pets to this as it can be very harmful. In particular you don’t want to get any of this spray in your lungs. See detailed uses and precautions attached to the package. Spray with fungicides every 2-3 weeks, don’t wait until the fungus is visible. I always thoroughly spray my pots when I clean them for housing.

8. Taking the buds:
From mid July to late August the terminal buds will start to appear on your laterals, followed by a ring of smaller buds just below the main bud. It is necessary that the ring of smaller buds be removed, leaving only the single bud on each lateral. This process is termed “Taking the Bud”. You need to let the ring of smaller buds develop to near ¼ inch before attempting to remove them so as to prevent damaging the main stem and primary bud. To remove the buds simply push them sideways with your thumb and they will easily break off. Don’t pinch them off. At this time it’s a good idea to add the bloom support stick i.e a small 16” long stick, tied to the main stem and to the support stake. This support will keep the growing stem straight and the bloom sitting square on top.

As a note we will be changing our fertilizer mixture by adding more Potash after the bud is taken. The August newsletter will cover this in more detail.

Good Growing, Don JULY To Do List: DRS, 7-1-13

July 2019 Newsletter and Meeting Notice

Hi All

Our July meeting is Thursday July 11th @ 7 PM at the South Classroom.

Heads-up: The Cross Sound District of Garden Clubs may need 1 or 2 Chrys. Judges at our November 18, 2019 District show, because we plan to have a section on mums………….. This is an opportunity to help at a grade show and carry the message about ECA. Please prepare to discuss at the meeting or you can contact Madeline West for more details.

Please contact Ronnie if you need supplies.

DRAFT Minutes of ECA June Meeting:

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 7:00 pm – 9 pm

Seattle Police Athletic Association

In attendance: Mark Ross, Gerald Quintua, Steve Joyner, Susan Joyner, Ronnie Elliott, Erika Harris, Alva Nishimura, David Rynes, Sydney Ogilvie

Cultural Presentation by Erika Harris

Growing Bonsai

Soil Composition – ½ Cocoa fiber and ½ M&R mix or like

Mix with water to make mud

Remove starting soil and place plant into depression on rock surface

Compress mud around the plant and rock

Wrap in wet newspaper and keep wet for about a week

Spray with liquid fertilizer

Apply B9 weekly to help keep shape 

Growing Cascades

Solzan – Pink

Snow Dome – White

Firefall – Orange – really flexible

Place plant in shallow pot with wire frame attached

Carefully tie plant to frame and continue to train it as it grows.

13 weeks prior to show date cover w black plastic 12 hrs/day to force blooms

There’s a lot more pieces to this.  Secretary will clarify with Erika

Fertilizer education – handout provided for everyone present

Reviewed  June “To Do” List

1) Stopping Dates 

refer to cultivar list on the website for specific cultivar recommended stopping dates

2) Final potting into 8”, 9” or 10“ pots

a) Prepare pots by washing them in a mild Clorox solution (1 Tablespoon per gallon of water) then rinse in clear water.

b) with the goal being to make the plants semi root bound consider placing # 1 & #2 cultivars, 9” max, 8” could be used. #3s, 8” max

c) When potting take place after June 1st consider dropping down one pot size because the roots will not have enough time to fill the larger pots.  

3) Potting up process:

a) Place a piece of broken rock in the bottom of the pot to keep the drain clear. Place about 1-2 inches of dirt in the bottom of the pot. 

b) Add Marathon systemic to control black aphids. 

c) Place the 6” root ball on top of the dirt so that the top of the root ball is 1 to 2 inches below the rim of the pot. 

d) Fill around the root ball and stake in place with a shingle or bamboo stake.

4) Feeding Program

a) After 3 weeks in the final pot start a mid-summer feeding program (1 to 2 Teaspoons of 20-10-20 fertilizer per gallon of water. Watch leaves to gauge fertilizing. If leaves become hard, curled or turned over then you are overfeeding. If leaves are weak and lighter green then more fertilizer would help. If leaves are yellow you are overwatering or there is an iron deficiency.  First try drying plant out. If drying the plant doesn’t help try feeding ½ teaspoon Epsom salts per plant or leaf feed liquid iron. Do not over feed liquid iron. 

Pest Management Program

Review pest management program every 2 weeks. Spray with a fungicide every 2 weeks- Ortho Funginex or Daconil are recommended. Organic fungicides – Neem Oil or Botaniguard

Lateral Control

Side laterals will develop after the final pinch. Select the number of laterals to carry through the summer and remove all other side shoots. Generally the topmost lateral below the stem break is removed, as it is the weakest lateral structurally and easily broken off by accident. At this early stage you should carry 1-2 more lateral than you want at the bloom stage. An old saying goes: “I grow 2 for me and one for the bug.”

Surplus laterals are removed later in the summer using the following guide.
For #1 & #2 cultivars, carry 2 or 3 laterals initially, cull to 1 or 2 in Aug.
For #3 cultivars, carry 5 laterals and cull Sept. or Oct.
For #4 & b#5 cultivars, carry 4 to 5 laterals and cull to 2 to 3 in Sept.
For Earlies (13-15 and 23-25) carry 4-5 laterals and cull to 2-3 in Sept.
For Spiders, Quills, Spoons, Singles etc. follow the guide for #4 and #5.
Note: Cutting back to the few laterals seems to be a most difficult task for the novice. You must do it however if you wish to get large blooms.


By now all plants will require staking. A 16-24 in stake should be placed along the main plant stem and tied to it to support and protect the plant. As the side laterals develop it will be necessary to add longer stakes that can support each lateral all the way to bud development. Care must be exercised so as to not spread the new laterals too far apart when staking, as one or more could be broken off. In other words let the laterals grow till they can be easily tied to the new stakes.

Business Meeting

1) Welcome our New members – Gerald Quintua, Bruce Fischer, Benjamin Bentler

2) Approved May meeting minutes – Gerald Quintua and Erika Harris approved and seconded motion

3) Treasurers report presented by Sydney Ogilvie

June Balance $8497.48

Plant sale balance – $2183.00

4) Old Business

a) Erika found some small boxes on Amazon that we can purchase for 10 cents per box for next years’ plant sale – Erika will order them for the show.

b) Plant sale chairperson – 

c) Missing Trophies – Steve Joyner to research replacements for

Best Bloom Non-Member, 

Best vase of 3 incurves, 

Garden Variety Challenge

d) Replating trophies – Heidi Garman to research – no update at this meeting

e) ECA shirts – Steve Joyner presented shirt information will contact an embroidery company to inquire about their shirt requirements

f) New member coaching assignments – coaching contact information has been distributed to new members

5) New Business

Review show rules for Bonsais and spray categories

ECA 2019 Calendar

Meeting Dates:  All 

Thursday, January 10, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, July 11, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm  

Thursday, February 14, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, August 8, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

Thursday March 14, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, September 12, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

Thursday, April 11, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, October 10, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

Thursday, May 9, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, November 14, 2019 – Banquet

Thursday, June 13, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm Thursday, December 12, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

 Trustees Meeting:

Saturday, January 5, 2019 10 AM – NOON

Cutting University (VPC):

Saturday, February 16, 2019   10:00 am -1 pm Confirmed with VPC

Club Plant Sales:

Thursday, March 14, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

Thursday, April 11, 2019 7 pm – 9 pm

Public Plant Sale:

Saturday, April 13, 2019  10:00 am – 2 pm Confirmed with VPC

2019 Evergreen Chrysanthemum Show: Confirmed with VPC

Set up: Tuesday, October 29, 2019  

Wednesday, October 30, 2019  

Thursday, October 31, 2019  

Judging:  Friday, November 1, 2019     9 am – Noon  

Friends of the conservatory open house: Friday, November 1, 2019   6 pm to 8 pm

Public Show:  Friday, November 1, 2019     Noon to 4 pm  

          Saturday, November 2, 2019     10 am – 4 pm  

          Sunday, November 3, 2019       10 am – 4 pm  

Clean up:  Sunday, November 3, 2019    4 pm – 6 pm  


Thursday, November 14, 2019  6 pm Location to be determined