A big thank you to everyone who entered our show!!!
Here is the list of winners – congratulations on a growing job well done!!
Novice growers encouraged to submit their blooms! Entry is free to all (you don’t need to be a member!) Please come by to see some of our best growing efforts with these spectacular flowers!!
It’s mid-June and my dahlias are growing well, soon it will be time to start disbranching and disbudding! It won’t be long before the blooms are ready and it will be time to bring them into the VDS Annual Show, taking place on August 16th and 17th at Westshore Town Centre.
If you want to be ready to enter your blooms (entry is free and open to anyone interested) please have a look through our catalogue! And do come to one of our meetings to learn more about how to present dahlia blooms for the show!
Spring is coming soon, and while it rains and is windy, now is a good time to be inside and plan your garden for the upcoming year. Fill it with beautiful dahlias!!
Our 2014 Plant and Tuber Sale will be held in two locations:
Saturday, April 12, 2014– VDS Plant & Tuber Sale (Day 1)
10:00am to 4:00pm at Knox Presbyterian Church, 2964 Richmond Rd, Victoria map
Sunday, April 13, 2014 – VDS Plant & Tuber Sale (Day 2)
11:00am – 4pm (or until sold out) at the Westshore Town Centre in Langford map
October is the month to start thinking about storing your dahlia tubers over winter! Our club’s preferred practice is splitting and storing. If you do not already have a tried-and-true method, please come to one of our info sessions on tuber splitting and storage!! Info sessions are free and open to the public! All you need is to attend!
If you are new to growing dahlias these info sessions are really informative and valuable! Some of the topics we will be discussing:
– How to look for eyes on your tuber clump(s)
– The best way to divide them
– A few different storage techniques that work well.
For those with questions, experienced club members will be available to answer questions about splitting and winter storage.
Choose from one of these times:
Thursday, October 3, 2013 – 2800 Blanshard St. at the Wellesley. General Victoria Dahlia Society Meeting starting at 7:30 pm. Program topic: Tuber splitting and storage.
Saturday, October 26, 2013 – at Victoria Dahlia Society President Phil Newton’s house. Time to be determined; but likely late morning-early afternoon. To attend, RSVP to: email@example.com
We really hope to see you there!!
Hopefully everyone made it out to our 67th Annual Dahlia Show at Westshore Town Centre on the weekend of August 17th and 18th!! The blooms entered by everyone were absolutely spectacular and I for one enjoyed seeing everyone’s entries. Each bloom represents time and care and effort on behalf of the grower and I want to say “Well done!” to everyone who entered. I hope you will enter your blooms again next year!!
As this is a show, entries were judged and ribbons awarded. Without further ado here is the list of winners:
One of the many great things about our society is the opportunity to learn pretty much whatever you care to about dahlias; from how they are grown to how to show them and judge them! Many thanks to Connie Young-Davis for hosting this event and providing a delicious dinner afterwards!!!
Dahlia blooms may be brought to Westshore Mall on Friday, August 16th from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and Saturday August 17th from 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Please use the exhibitor’s entrance shown on this map:
Many thanks to Judith for her excellent presentation on pest control at our last general meeting! For those who weren’t able to attend or would like a recap, here is the information:
Pest Control Strategies
The “big” growers in our club have offered some ideas as to how they manage the pest problem with dahlias. Some other ideas have been gleaned from the Internet, with website addresses given where you might want to check out a Youtube video or read for more detailed information. Happy hunting!
Barry: use 2 ½ inch plastic pots and paper napkins from Costco – check every 2 days
Cathy: earwig traps
Internet: containers with narrow slits near base, filled with a little oil – they crawl in and drown. Refill with oil as needed (google “how to make an earwig trap – chemical free” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gJNZd4mp4Y
Internet: another oil idea – use shallow tin cans (tuna, cat food, etc) and fill with ½ inch of oil – place a ground level
Internet: rolled up, dampened newspaper laid in beds – shake out in the morning into soapy water (or a short length of hose); fill a flowerpot with crumpled, dampened newspaper – place upside down on ground, propped up with a stick; bait a container with pencil-size holes in sides with oatmeal or bran; beer baits – jars on sides (might get slugs with one too!) – google “natural earwig control” – http://www.weekendgardener.net/garden-pests/earwig-110811.htm
Barry: no sprays but hand squeezing on a daily basis when seen
Cathy: Safer’s Trounce (on contact only so no residue to harm beneficial insects)
Ryan: Safer’s Soap (but watch out for residue affecting blooms and leaves)
Internet: hand crush (sends out warning to other aphids); snip off affected section; encourage or purchase ladybugs and lacewings; plant mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, cosmos, larkspur, asters, zinnias, nasturtiums to attract aphids to those plants; plant garlic and onions near dahlias – aphids don’t like the smell; use a homemade garlic spray on aphids. Mix crushed garlic and water together, allowing the water to become infused with the scent of garlic. This smell acts as a deterrent against aphids, driving them away; create a home remedy to protect your plants against aphids. Mix together 1 cup of vegetable or white mineral oil with 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of bleach-free dish soap. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spritz it on infected plants to suffocate the aphids. Keep the treated plants out of direct sunlight, however, since the spray could magnify the light and burn the leaves. Google “how to control aphids” – http://www.wikihow.com/Control-Aphids
Internet: 1. Water, water, and more water. Blast aphids off of the plants with a strong spray of water. Nothing is more eco-friendly than water! As aphids are attracted to the color yellow, a bright yellow pan one-quarter full with water will draw aphids, who will then land on the water mistaking it for a plant, sink, and drown.
2. Pruning – Isolate the problem area. Often this is an excellent solution, as the females of many aphid species produce live young during the summer, without a mate. Aphid populations can “explode” in this way, making the sacrifice of a few infested plants a strong, immediate, and eco-friendly action that protects the rest of your crop.
3. Nitrogen fertilizer. Reduce your use of fertilizer heavy in nitrogen; high levels of nitrogen helps aphids reproduce. An alternative is to spread out application of nitrogen instead of applying it all at once.
4. Natural pesticide: diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth (DE) appears as a fine talcum powder, and is made of miniscule fossilized water plants. DE is lethal to aphids and many other types of common pests, including fleas, ticks, flies, cockroaches, ants, mites, and earwigs. A regular dusting with natural DE (not crystalline DE available at pool supply stores, which can be dangerous to humans and pets) with keep your garden, backyard, and even living room pleasantly insect-free.
Paul: At planting time, use Corry’s Slug Bait (no problem for his cat)
Barry: Corry’s at planting; slug hunting at night which are then dumped into salt water and dumped next morning
Cathy: Safer’s Slug bait at planting and later if necessary
Ryan: resident frogs at Mill Bay plot!
Judith: copper mesh over plastic collars (juice bottles, etc) at planting time (can remove collars or leave in place (use Coke or vinegar to remove tarnish)
Internet: newspaper soaked in sugared water and placed under boards attracts more than just plain damp paper; instead of beer in bait cups, use ½ tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp flour, 1 cup water. Google “controlling slugs organically”
Internet: Iron phosphate containing slug baits – pet safe, last 2 weeks or more, act as fertilizer if not consumed (ex: Sluggo); grapefruit and orange halves (melon rinds also work) – discard slugs in salted water; use deep bait cups for beer or yeast mixes (yogurt containers buried to rim); dry cat or dog food placed under an overturned foil pan with “doors” cut in for slugs to enter – scoop and discard slugs in morning; copper banding or wire – gives them a slight shock – must be high/wide enough that big ones cannot just bridge over it; spray slugs with vinegar and water mix, or 1 part ammonia to 4 parts water with a bit of liquid soap (avoid salt – it will damage soil); 2 TBSP cornmeal in jars placed on their sides – desiccates the slugs! Google “how to kill snails and slugs” – http://www.weekendgardener.net/how-to/snails-slugs.htm
Internet: avoid watering in the evening when slugs come out – water in the morning and soil surface will be dry by nightfall; use seaweed as a mulch (dried is best); coffee grounds as mulch. Google “natural slug control” – http://eartheasy.com/grow_nat_slug_cntrl.htm
Deer and other four-legged critters:
Paul: totally lined property with nine foot high hedges (I wish for this!)
Barry: high fence for deer; rabbits present a small problem at start but once plants are larger there is little damage from them
Judith: “Wireless Deer Fence” – http://wirelessdeerfence.com/ – these can be moved around in the garden to surprise the deer; Bobbex on hostas, roses seems to discourage deer from coming into garden (try giant Q-tips with Bobbex!)
Barry: try to keep spraying to a minimum but if mildew shows up early, spray all plants near affected ones
Cathy: keep good air flow by removing bottom leaves and those from inside the plants. Use foliar fertilizer to heighten resistance within leaves themselves. Remove mildewed leaves immediately and wash hands before touching any other plants.
Internet: Homemade Sprays Research studies in 1999 and 2003 on infected zucchini and winter wheat (respectively) indicated that spraying cow’s milk slowed the spread of the disease. To try this at home, mix 1 part milk with 9 parts water and spray the stems and tops of leaves with the solution. Reapply after rain.
Spraying leaves with baking soda (1 teaspoon in 1 quart water) raises the pH, creating an inhospitable environment for powdery mildew.
More on using milk (explains why it works & recommends ratios) http://www.growveg.com/growblogpost.aspx?id=242
Cathy: (yellow vein lines can indicate virus) – use clean shears/scissors for each plant when cutting flowers or cleaning up – 70% alcohol solution to “sterilize” between plants. When deadheading, just take off the flower heads by hand and then go back and cut stems with “sterilized” scissors. Chuck any unhealthy looking plants (NOT composted). Maybe try Epsom salts to see if a missing nutrient might be at root of discolouration before discarding.
The catalogue for our 67th Annual Show is now ready! Find out what you need to know about entering your blooms into our Show! We strongly encourage anyone growing dahlias to think about entering our Show. You don’t have to be a member to do so! Have a look through our catalogue. I’m a novice grower and I will need some friendly competition in that category! 😀← Older posts Newer posts →