Portland Dahlia Society Bulletin
Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda
Editor: Teresa Bergman (360) 274-8292 Contacts: Ted Kennedy(503)655-6951 Jeanette Benson (503) 649-4118
Next meeting Tuesday, February 8th, 2005 @ 7:30 p.m.
PROGRAM FOR FEBRUARY
---Demonstration of how to prepare to take cuttings
(If you want to try the Oasis method, I will have Oasis wedges and trays for sale at the meeting.)
---How to prepare tubers for our sales, and (if we have time,)
--- a discussion of what new varieties you grew last year and liked or didn’t like.
It was felt by some of the members that when we do all the auction in April, that some of the varieties don’t bring what
they should. So, anytime someone brings in some of these better varieties to a meeting, it will be auctioned off at that
meeting. Also, if you have clumps you would like to donate, you are welcome to bring those in at any meeting and we
will do a silent auction for them.
COOKIES FOR FEBRUARY
Since this is the first meeting of the year, we do not have people signed up for cookie duty. If you could join me in
bringing some cookies, please let me know.
Your Board met on 22nd, to go over Dahlia Society business and plan for 2005. I think we have put together a very
exciting line-up of meetings for the year, as well as starting some new and much-needed programs.
In a nutshell, here is a rundown of future meetings:
March – Growing seeds. Not only will you learn how to grow them, but seed packets will be available. Try your hand at
growing seeds to enter into the seedling contest in September. How to take cuttings will also be demonstrated.
April – Auction & Tuber Sale
May – Continuation of sale, Seedling plants available to buy, and presentation on garden fertilizers – chemical and
June – Taking dahlia photos – both digital and conventional
July – Open panel on pest control.
August – How to stage flowers, How to do baskets and mini-show
September – Seedling contest, Flower of Year selection.
October – Digging, Dividing & Storing. Nominations for Officers.
November – Photo show (Trial garden) and clump auction.
December – Annual Holiday Potluck.
AWARDS FOR 2005 SHOW
If you have donated awards in the past or would like to sponsor an award for our show, contact Mike Riordan at 503-
256-0425 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We need this information ASAP to complete the awards book.
2005 DUES ARE DUE.
If you haven’t already paid, dues are past due. Judges please remember that you are required to carry membership in
both the American Dahlia society and the PNDC (Pacific Northwest Dahlia conference). PDS dues, ADS dues and
PNDC dues should be combined and paid to the Treasurer as noted above.
PDS ADS PNDC
Juniors: $1.00 Individual: $20.00
Family: $23.00 Individual $10.00
Mail to or pay at next meeting
Larry Sawyer, 11015 S.W. Berkshire, Portland, OR 97225
This is the time of year when many members receive catalogs from commercial growers. Check your notes form 2004
to select your new varieties. Order as soon as possible as many of the newer and more popular varieties sell out
quickly. Make sure to purchase tubers from reputable and experienced growers. If you find that the dahlias you
ordered do not perform well, you are within your rights to seek a refund or replacement from the seller. New members
often find it beneficial to study price lists, compare, and get information from experienced PDS members before
If you have tubers in storage, you will want to crack open containers to see if they are storing well. If they appear to be
drying out, sprinkle a little moisture into your storage medium. If you detect rot, you can cut off the bad spot and dust
with sulfur if the tuber is a variety you cannot lose.
February is also a great month to get a head start on control of slugs, snails and earwigs. Clean up around your
garden area and you can remove many of their hiding places. Check under lumber piles, bricks, along wood fences
and areas of heavy grass. Slugs lay egg clusters under such protection. The eggs look like translucent BB’s. The
more eggs you find and destroy now, the better chance you will have of keeping them under control.
If you have never had a soil test done before, or if it’s been several years, it might be time to consider it. I had one
done about 3 years ago, but because I have very sandy soil that tends to allow the nutrients to leach out easily, I am
going to have one done this spring.
A formal soil test involves taking samples from your garden, bagging up some of it and mailing it off to a test laboratory
at an agricultural test lab, where staff perform a number of tests to isolate the specific elements in your soil. Generally,
a standard garden soil test will check pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and perhaps calcium and
boron. The report will give you detailed quantities of those elements, and, usually, a fertilizing recommendation for the
type of ‘crop’ you are growing. A full test is probably more appropriate in early spring, since some nutrients will leach
out of the soil over winter. The sampling involves taking soil from several parts of your garden, mixing it well, and then
selecting enough to fill a plastic sandwich bag. You might check with your county extension agent to find out the
names of places that do this. Sometimes if an agricultural college does it, the cost is considerably lower than at a
commercial lab. I had mine done at A & L Western Agricultural Laboratories in Portland. The cost was about $30,
including the report. Their phone number is 503-968-9225, or you can find them online at www.al-labs-west.com.
When you have a test like this done, you remove the uncertainity about what the makeup of any fertilizers you use
should be. You may find out that you have a very high level of something you are planning to add.
As some of you know, Tiffany Boatwright has offered to put together a catalog of pictures to be used at our tuber sale.
Attached you will find a list of the pictures she currently has. She needs donations of pictures that aren’t listed
(especially ones you are going to donate), to be used for this project. She prefers hard prints, but would accept digital
pictures as well. The pictures will be laminated and then put on the front of the boxes of tubers. Print size should be
3x5 or 4x6. Close up views are preferable to distant shots. Also, if you were at the meeting where she had some
pictures identifying 2 of the tuber clumps that were being sold, and happened to pick up the pictures of Mingus
Gregory and/or Hillcrest Kismet, please return them to her. The pictures can either be brought to the meeting, or
mailed to her at 1351 N.E. Kennedy Lane, Hillsboro, OR 97124, or e-mailed to: email@example.com. If you are e-
mailing, they should be high resolution so they will make good prints.
The Board decided to start a Challenge Flower category for our show. The flower selected will always be one from a
hybridizer who is a member of the Portland Dahlia Society (and there are a lot of them.) Because it is so late getting
started this year, the decision was made to choose from the hybridizers who were present at the Board meeting. The
names were put into a hat (Mingus, Mishler, Kennedy, Riordan and Swan Island), and Mike Riordan’s name was
chosen. The flower he selected is Scott’s Fireworks, a very nice BB SC L that he introduced last year. Several of us
will be taking cuttings that will be offered to the membership for a very nominal fee. Purchase will be limited to 2 tubers
or plants. Flowers from these will be entered in our show, and the winner in each of the divisions(Novice, amateur,
open and youth) will receive $10, and the best in show out of the 4 divisions will receive $50. We hope everyone takes
part in this so we can have an impressive display of this flower.
TUBER WORK PARTY
Once again this year we will have a work party to prepare the tubers for sale at our auction. It will be held at Swan
Island on March 19th from 9 to approximately noon. Last year we finished before noon because of the number of
members who showed up. We hope to do the same this year. More information will be available at our meeting and in
next month’s Bulletin, but we wanted to let you know now so you can reserve that date.
VISIT OUR WEBSITE!!!
If you haven’t already, you need to make a visit to our website. You’ll find it at www.Portland-Dahla-Society.org. Mike
and Lisa Pridgen have done a fabulous job getting information and pictures on here to share with the rest of the
world. They are always in need of articles, pictures, etc and would appreciate any contributions you may have. If you
have any suggestions, please contact them. And while you’re at it, say a big “Thank You” for all the time they’ve
devoted to doing this. It’s members like them that make Portland the growing club it is.
MEMBER ATTRACTION AND RETENTION
One of the topics of discussion at our Board meeting was how to get new members and, once gotten, how to keep
them. The Board voted to begin offering an incentive to new members of a $7 gift certificate that can be used toward
the purchase of any tubers or plants at any of the sales we have. The certificate will be included in their membership
packet, and must be used in person. The $7 coincides with our membership fee, so it is like getting the membership
free. Once we get these new members in, we need to do all we can to help them feel welcome. If you see we have a
new member who lives near you, give them a call and ask if there are any questions you can answer for them. At the
meetings, be sure to introduce yourselves and welcome them to the club. If we make them feel welcome and a part of
things, the chances are better they will stay.