Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park
United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda
Editor: Mike Riordan (503) 256-0425 Contacts: Larry Smith (503) 777-1857,
Jeanette Benson (503) 649-4118
Next meeting Tuesday, April 10th, 2007 @ 6:30 PM
APRIL TUBER SALE AND AUCTION
Wow! The major fundraising event of our Society is almost here!
Thanks to all the volunteers who assisted at the workshop at Swan
Island Dahlias on Saturday, March 31st in preparation for this sale!
For those helping with set-up, we will have access to the Church
basement as early as 5:00 PM. Doors will open to the public at 6:30 PM
and the auction will start at 7:00 PM. Bring your money and
enthusiasm. A flyer for the event is again enclosed. Please see if you
can post to stir up some last minute excitement for this event.
COOKIES FOR APRIL
Eric Toedtli and Linda Stirling are bringing cookies for the April
meeting. Since it is our big fund raising event and we anticipate larger
than normal attendance, if anyone else would like to help out with the
cookie supply, this would be most appreciated.
PORTLAND DAHLIA SOCIETY NEWS
(Editor’s note: This article was submitted to the ADS Spring Bulletin
by our Corresponding Secretary, Tiffany Boatwright. It exemplifies
how, here paraphrasing Mayor Pettygrove, “The treasure of our society
are its members.” It is reprinted here for the benefit of those not
receiving the ADS Bulletin.)
After a less than stellar growing season with record heat for months,
dahlia growers in the Pacific Northwest are hoping for a more favorable
and productive year ahead. During the cold winter months we are all
busy looking over the new dahlia catalogs, devising show strategies, and
deciding which varieties to add or delete in our gardens. Our club
members produced some outstanding trial garden and seedling bench
winner this year for your consideration. Eric Toedtli has a winner with
Felida Snowflake; a beautiful BB sized white cactus that earned him
the Derrill A. Hart award. It will be available from Clack’s Dahlias.
Hollyhill Chloe garnered originator Ted Kennedy the Lynn B. Dudley
award for his lovely B sized dark blend semi-cactus dahlia. Check the
Hollyhill Dahlias site for this one. Bill McClaren currently retails his
originations through one of our club’s commercial growers; Alpen
Gardens located in Gaston OR. They will be introducing his Derrill A.
Hart winner, Alpen Bill, a light blend B SC.
The PDS is fortunate to have a large number of commercial growers
associated with our club including Swan Island Dahlias, the largest
commercial grower of dahlias in the United States. Swan Island has
provided our club with many services, donations, and use of their
facilities over the years that have been invaluable to our club’s well
being. If you are passing through Oregon this summer, be sure to stop
at their farm. It is a beautiful site to see 40 acres of blooming dahlias in
one place. They also have a display garden and host the location of the
ADS Canby Trial Gardens. The last weekend of August and the first
weekend of September they have a dahlia festival with over 400
professional dahlia arrangements on display and many educational
seminars available. Our club’s annual dahlia show is also the first
weekend in September and is only a short drive from Swan Island
As spring approaches, we are looking forward to our main fundraising
activities. Our tuber sale and auction will be at our regular meeting
location at Rose City United Methodist Church on April 10th and will
include a tuber and plant auction of new and hard to find dahlias as
well as our regular sale tables. The sales tables open at 6:30 PM and
the auction will begin at 7:00 PM and are both open to the public. We
also sell tubers at the Master Gardener’s Fair at the Canby
Fairgrounds, May 5th and 6th. This is a wonderful event full of lots of
booths of commercial growers of everything horticultural. Bring a
wagon and load up, you won’t be disappointed.
PNDC SPRING MEETING
Mark or revise your calendars!!! (Last month’s Bulletin incorrectly had
the event slated for the 14th of April.) The Pacific Northwest Dahlia
Conference will hold their spring meeting at Steamer’s Restaurant,
8303 NE Sandy Blvd., Portand, OR 97220 on Saturday, April 21st. The
banquet facility is located on the upper level. PNDC Delegates meet in
executive session at 11:00 The luncheon and general meeting begin at
noon. The bill of fare features Teriyaki Chicken and Roast Pork Loin
at $14.99 each with gratuity included. Please send your reservation and
payment to Elva Sellens, 2651 Loma Vista Dr., Roseburg, OR 97470.
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet and network with the top
originators, growers and exhibitors in the PNW and British Columbia.
The most exciting part is the tuber and plant auction which begins at 1:
00 PM. Many growers bring their newest and best introductions and/or
imports. The bidding is spirited and entertaining.
Membership in the PNDC is not required to attend any portion of this
event. It is perfectly acceptable to arrive at 1:00 PM and participate in
the auction only, if this is your preference.
APRIL TO DO LIST
Plan your work and work your plan. Some growers map out their
garden on paper, prior to making planting commitments in the soil.
This really comes in handy if somehow a variety’s identifying tag has
disappeared after frost. Just check the schematic diagram and you
know which was where. The map method also forces all of us to be
realistic about what we have room for, or don’t have room for. This
way we are forced to make the hard choice for what we most want to
Many growers have a timing sequence to their planting. By planting
the AA and A sizes first, they are more assured of having those blooms
available for the earlier shows. Later plantings of B and BB size may aid
in timing the first flush coincidental to show time.
Those of us interested in saving seed and coming up with the new and
improved, sometimes group plantings by form and/or color. If for
instance the Cactus and Semi-cactus are planted together, they are
more likely to produce seed true to form. Even if one is doing only hand
crosses, it makes sense to have what you are working with in one place.
So why not have a row of yellow Cactus and Semi-cactus? Perhaps this
organization even makes sense for the cut flower seller, knowing just
where to look for that missing bouquet component.
April is generally the time of year we start seedlings. There are
probably as many methods of starting seedlings as there are methods of
taking cuttings. Some growers will start them and later pot them up
into individual pots. One grower told me he sowed them in the open
ground in late May. My approach is somewhat in the middle. I start
the seeds in potting soil in nursery flats. The seeds are planted in rows
in the flats about an inch to an inch and a half apart. They seem to
germinate just fine in a vertical position. This also makes it easier to
get them close enough together. The flats are placed under lights inside
until they have grown to the point of forming their first true set of
leaves, (not just their cotyledons) . At this point they can be set outside
in a sunny location, at least during the daytime. Never set a
germinating flat of seedlings in the full sun. I tried this once and they
While we are discussing the subject of sun damage, let’s talk about a
seldom discussed phenomenon. We all remember that odd day or string
of days in May or early June where temperatures soared into the ninety’
s or even the 100 degree range. Some growers report seedlings or green
plants being burned off at the soil line by the sun’s intense rays. In most
instances, these plants had been in the ground less than two weeks.
Small plants growing from tubers in the open ground didn’t suffer the
same fate. What I think happened with the burned off plants is that
they were “hilled up”. In other words the soil was higher around the
base of the plant than it was in the pot or flat. These stem cells now
right at ground level were not adapted to take the intense reflective heat
off the surrounding soil. What can be done? Some growers use shade
cloth over their planting of seedlings until they become more
established. What works well for me is to plant the seedlings in
furrowed rows. The furrows are three to four inches deep and formed
by dragging the pointed side of a garden hoe. Key point is the soil
around the seedling is no higher than soil level in the flat and the sides
of the furrow provide some shade. With green plants, I plant them to
normal depth leaving a depression roughly four inches deep to a
diameter of six to eight inches. Key point here…the soil is at the same
level at the base of the plant as it was in the pot. After the plant has
grown to the degree that the lower leaves are beginning to shade the
base of the plant, then the soil can be filled in. Many older reference
works on growing dahlias suggest placing a wooden shingle vertically in
the soil on the South side of newly planted plants from cuttings, thus
providing shade. A piece of cardboard support by a few small stakes
would work just as well and be more available than wooden shingles.
This same treatment is helpful when plants begin to wilt because the
mother tuber is rotting. Shading the plant reduces transpiration and
helps the plant buy time to grow new side roots.
April is a great time to get a head start on reducing the slug menace.
Most gardeners use a bait that has as Meta as its major active
ingredient. Cory’s has increased the level of its bittering agent, thus
reducing the danger around pets. There is another product called
“Sluggo” which is completely safe around pets.
TUBER SALE FLYER
Included in this mailing is a flyer for our sale and auction April 10th. If
each of us could place (with permission) the flyer or copies thereof in
our area stores, community bulletin boards, health clubs, garden
centers, places of employment or any other place interested parties
could take notice; this would help with the success of our sale.
Society Annual Tuber Sale
Held Tuesday, April 10th, 2007
At the Rose City Park Methodist Church
5830 NE Alameda, Portland
(One Block South of Sandy Blvd.)
Doors Open at 6:30 PM
Great Bargains on Locally Grown
Premium Dahlia Stock
Pricing beginning as low as $2 each!
Join the Dahlia Society for $10 at his event and receive a Coupon good
for $7 worth of Dahlias, Your Choice, from the tubers available at this
Grandma's Lemon Pie