Archive for September, 2019

September 2019 Cultural Notes & To Do List

Editor’s Note:
You have slaved over these plants for more than half a year, now – please pay close attention to Don et al’s notes below for best results.

Once the buds have broken the membrane and some petal tips are showing it’s imperative to get the pots into or under some kind of shelter where they will remain through the final bloom is developed. The basic idea is to protect the blooms from rain or dew, provide adequate temperature control and ventilation. The watering and fertilization program must also be modified to assure proper bloom development, and lastly we need to continue with pest management and fungus control throughout the bloom development.
Sheltering of your plants is necessary throughout the bloom cycle. Shelters come in a variety of sizes, names and shapes including porches, Large overhanging eaves, garages, car ports, green houses or temporary wood /plastic structures. Basic requirements are Shelter from rain, dew, & Winds; adequate daytime light (though it can be shady), or light supplements, temperature control, and ventilation.
Maximum temperature should be kept below 80 Deg. If possible. Above that temp. the probability of bloom damage due to petal rot is high. If the shelter is exposed directly to the sun in early Sept. days the temperature within can skyrocket. Big fans can be used to increase ventilation and keep the temperature down. The fans also hopefully can bring in air from the shady side of the shelter to cool the overall area as well. Lining the inside of the shelter roof with old sheets or muslin will also reduce the heating and filter the sunlight. In general I like to keep the temperature between 50 deg and 70 deg. F for most of the finishing, but for the last few weeks of October, letting the nighttime temperatures dip into the 40s will probably accelerate your bloom development. If your temperatures dip into the 30s you will probably get pinking on the edges of some blooms. You can contact Don Stark or Chris Brookes to discuss your specific shelter questions or ideas.
Considerably less light will be required during the bloom cycle, but never the less it is necessary to provide supplemental light in most cases where you have sheltered the plants. If you are finishing in a green house or similar structure, It will probably be necessary to add light filtration in the ceilings as the opening blooms generally can not accept full sunlight through clear plastic or glass. You can purchase black screen like materials to put over your roofs to reduce the amount of sunlight. Alternatively, I have pinned old white sheets across the ceiling to filter the light. This works very well and at the same time the sheets tend to absorb the early morning dew that tends to collect in the cool mornings.
Getting back to light supplements, the most common and functional method is hanging 4’ or 8’ Fluorescent light fixtures in the ceiling. Plain white light lights work or if you choose you can buy
Gro- lights which are reputed to be better. Don’t buy “Grow-Lux” lights unless you are very rich as they are a specific brand name light and very costly. You can run the lights all day, 8-10 hours, during the day or all night if you so chose. I prefer just the time during daylight hours. Another clue that might help is an old adage –In general reflexing varieties like it light and cool while Incurves usually like it warmer and and less light” I use that adage to help me decide where I want to house each plant since I Use more than just 1 housing unit.
Bringing the plants into cover
Around Labor day, when the buds are starting to break the membrane, bring them in. Wash the pots thoroughly around the bottom to get rid of the crud moss and residue that have formed in your growing area. Clip off all excess roots that are hanging out the drain holes and pick off all old and damaged leaves, mostly around the bottom of the plant, that harbor pests and fungi.
Spray the plant with both a good fungicide and insecticide, taking care not to get any of the spray on the blooms. Watch for and destroy Earwigs, worms, caterpillars etc. They can wreck blooms when they get on or inside.
Top-dress the pots for one last time. Add about ½ to ¾ in. of your 9” mix or some compost to the pot surface and level it. Top-Dressing the plants helps finishing the plants now and also promotes new growth for next year’s cuttings. Now’s the time to cut off (not tear out) all new basil shoots that are developing, If your pot exhibited significant moss growth , add ½ tsp of Hydrated lime to the top dress mix to help sweeten the soil.
Optionally for colored blooms, not white or yellow, you may add ¼ tsp of Ferrous sulfate (Fe2 So4 ) to enhance the color. In particular The Athabasca needs this Fe2,So4 to show a significant ring of pink tips on its blossom. Pinks in general look more intense if we feed it.
Additionally, if you have not started feeding potash in your fertilizer formula (see Aug. Newsletter) then add ¼ to ½ tspn Sulphate of potash to the top mix to harden off the plant and keep the bloom petals from being too soft.
Staking and bud support:
Now’s time to start cutting back to your final selection of laterals, Stake the securely and start getting the support shingles attached to the stem and the support stake. Stake and tie up all selected laterals and add support shingles under the blooms. Keep moving the support shingle up under the bloom as the neck stretches. Use support shingle to straighten the neck and keep the bloom flat atop the stem
Finally, remove all side laterals as they appear on the selected stems below the bloom so that the bloom is all that is left.
Fertilizing and Watering:
For the bloom cycle, we reduce the fertilizer to ½ strength immediately after taking the bud and at the same time switch to a different fertilizer formulation that is higher in Potash content as discussed in the August news letter. Basically we mix ½ tsp of our basic 20-9-20+ fertilizer with i/2 tsp with ¼ tsp of Sulphate of Potash per gallon of water. After the petals begin to drop it is safe to increase the strength of this solution gradually to up to 2 times or less of this formula to promote blossom growth. Note: It’s easy to overfeed the plant at this time, and produce ragged, cocked, or deformed blooms; so increase the fertilizer sparingly.
Watering is different at this stage also. Water more sparing using about 1pint per watering and do not water when the temperature is over 75 deg. Water /fertilize from a bucket using a 1-pint jar or similar small container. Do not use a hose and scatter water everywhere on the shelter floor. Keep the finishing area dry and clean.

September 2019 Meeting Notice and Newsletter

Seattle, Washington

Email us at: steve at ecamumclub dot org

MEETING OF THE ECA – THURSDAY September 12, 2019 at 7 PM at the Seattle Police Athletic Association Office (SPAA) site, small classroom on right at 11030 East Marginal Way South, Tukwila.

A Sad Note: Long time member and Cutting College Founder Bob Ewing passed away August 30th. Memorial Service details soon.

SEPTEMBER MEETING – Please, please, please, come to the meetings in September and October! These are very important meetings as we begin to prepare for our annual show at Volunteer Park Conservatory which will take place on November 1, 2,& 3, More details at the meeting. This will be our third show at VPC. Many hands make light work – please try to help out if you are able.

Mark your calendars for the following events:
National Chrysanthemum Society Show in San Marino, CA(Los Angeles County) November 7-10.
For more details, see:
ECA Awards Banquet November 14th, 2018. Location to be determined

PLANT CULTURE and SUPPLIES: – The September meeting will devote time to the care and feeding of the blooms as they develop. Place supply orders, especially Soiless for top dressing with Ronnie by Monday September 9th. With possible rain or showers consider your sheltering options for September as we move to the latter part of the growing season.

Draft Minutes from August 8th ECA Meeting:


THURSDAY, AUGUST 8, 2019 7:00 pm – 9 pm


Clinton Bamboo, Inc

In attendance: Ron Elliot, Alva Nishimura, Erika Harris, Lizzie Whetstone, Sue Joyner, Rich Aldrich, Jill Aldrich, Mark Ross, David Rynes Gerald Quintua

Cultural Notes

Erika gave us a fabulous tour of Clinton Bamboo (and more!).  We also got to see Erika’s Chrysanthemum’s and learned about some of her growing strategies.  It was a warm and beautiful evening for an outdoor meeting.  Thank you Erika for your warm hospitality and delicious food!

Business Meeting

No treasurer report

1) Old Business

a) ECA shirts – 

Steve Joyner will bring an example to the Sept meeting 

one time set up fee – $75

Polo Shirts $29+$6 embroidery fee =$35 total

Long Sleeved poly/cotton button up shirt $34+$6 embroidery fee =$39 total

ECA will cover the set-up fee.  Members will pay for shirts and embroidery fee

Discussed using the clover credit card cube to make shirt purchases and practice using the machine

b) ECA non-member best bloom ribbon and certificate will replace the non-member trophy. 

c) Plant sale chairperson – Still no plant sale chairperson however Erika volunteered to take care of the paper work related pieces of the plant sale.  Sue Joyner to outline job responsibilities. Sydney Ogilvie will ask her granddaughter if she would photograph the show flowers so the photos can be used at the spring plant sale.  Sue will follow up with Sydney.

Plant sale items for for Fall show 

1) Take bloom pictures with names – Sue to check with Sydney

2) ECA business cards on hand – Ron Elliott

3) Use Clover for shirt purchases – Sydney Ogilvie

d) Missing Trophies – Sue Joyner will bring trophy recommendations to the September meeting for Incurve Challenge and Garden Variety Challenge.  Best vase of 3 incurves, need to add a new trophy for the Garden Variety Challenge

e) Replating trophies – Sue to contact Heidi Garman for update

f) VPC greenhouse steps – Steve Joyner contacted David Helgeson at VPC regarding handrail installation and how ECA might grant funds for the project.  David Helgeson reported that handrail project has been presented to the city of Seattle engineering department.  The project now includes replacing the steps and the handrail.. 

g) Updating ECA Web page – Sue spoke with Steve Backstrom regarding change to the ECA web page.  He reported that our web master is not able work on our web site right now but gave the go ahead to get someone else working on it.  The web page is built in Word press.  Will need to provide administrative privileges. 

h) Media (TV) coverage for ECA fall show – would like to see TV coverage at the show

5) New Business

ECA Fall Show Preparations

A) Erika Harris to have fall show flyers available at the Sept ECA meeting

B) Sign-up sheets for show tasks

C) Volunteer Sign-up sheets – Sue and Erika

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