Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park
United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda
Editor: Mike Riordan (503) 256-0425
April 2009
Next meeting(Tuber Sale and Auction) April 10th, 2009 @ 6:30 PM
Crazy 4 Jessie BBIC DB
One tuber of this 2009 Derrill Hart Winner
will be auctioned at our sale


Our April meeting is our annual tuber sale and auction.  Doors will open to the public at 6:30PM.  Pre-packaged tubers
with color pictures attached will be available for sale.  Premium pricing will be in effect for Waterlilies, AA’s and some of
the more plentiful newer desirable varieties that otherwise would be on the auction table.   Please remind your gardening
friends that the sale and auction is open to the public so anyone can participate.  New members joining at the April
meeting will receive a coupon good for $7 toward the purchase of dahlias from the sale table or at auction.  So the first
year’s dues are free!

Bonus for current members paid up for 2009, and new members or renewing members - the doors to the sale tables will
open at 6:00 PM.  This will give members first choice over what is available for sale.

For those members volunteering to help, the hall will be available as early as 5:00PM.  I know the coordinators could
always use a few extra hands.

We are still welcoming tuber donations.  Just please be sure the tubers are well marked and be willing to help sort the
tubers to the sale tables or the auction table.   If you are donating tubers, please send a list to Aaron Ridling. Aaron’s e-
mail address is  Last year we used our digital projector to display photos of the tubers being
auctioned.  This was a great help in selling varieties that were unfamiliar to some bidders. One digital image is worth more
than a thousand words.


On Saturday, March 28th, our first work party was held at Swan Island Dahlias. Thanks to all who gave of their time,
energy and resources to prepare the tubers for our sale and auction.  Mega thanks to the Gitts family for their tuber
donations, supplies, lunch and use of their facility.  Thanks to Marge Gitts, Ted Kennedy, Teresa Bergman, Justin
Ridling, Larry Smith, Monte Stowell, Tiffany Boatwright, Hairy Bramel, Shirley Bankston, Helen Bair, Bob Patterson,
Clair Kidd, Gordon Jackman, Bob Merrill, Jerry Rasmussen and Jeanette Benson for volunteering their time.  My
apologies to anyone not mentioned and kudos to all who help make our sales a success.

A second work party will be held at Swan Island on Saturday, April 25th at 9:00 AM.  This one will be to prepare
tubers for our Clackamas County Master Gardener’s Spring Sale.  Please consider helping us prepare for this event.  
The last two seasons this sale has been our largest revenue source.

Treats will be provided by Ted and Margaret Kennedy, Eric Toedtli, Monte Stowell and Larry Smith.  Since we expect
a large crowd for the Auction, maybe a few others could bring in a few extra.


Now is a great time to start preparing your dahlia growing area for this year’s crop.  If there are weeds or grasses
growing, now is a good time to knock them down.  Remember the old adage that one year’s weeds means ten years of
weed seeds. Moreover, this time of year they are much easier dislodged and in many instances permanently discouraged,
due to their small size.

Slugs are the most persistent and insidious enemy of the young dahlia plants.  Why not eradicate them now, rather than
wait until there are dahlias to munch on?  Baits have improved over the years.  Those with a “Meta” base have added a
bittering agent to make them less appealing to pets.   There is a new class of baits that work differently.  One brand name
is “Slug go”.  The mollusks will ingest and then go back to where ever they came from to die a quiet, less messy death.

The soil is much too wet now to work mechanically.  However, one can still hand spade.  Soil amendments can now be
spread.   Composts and manures can be left on top of the soil to leach nutrients in until the ground is dry enough to till.  
Beside local newspapers, your local Feed Store is a good source for where manures can be obtained locally.  Just check
the postings on their bulletin boards. Organic amendments benefit the soil two ways.  Added nutrients and improving the
soil texture and its moisture retention capacity.  Remember that dahlias are gross feeders, putting their nutrient
requirements in the same category as tuberous begonias and fuchsias.

An occasional application of lime is advisable to overcome the excessive soil acidity common to most soils west of the
Cascades.  Regular garden lime (Calcium Carbonate) is available as powdered or prilled (palletized) lime.  Calcium is an
element that is essential for the production of cellulose, the fibers that hold plants together.  Better available Calcium
means stronger stems and overall plant growth. Dolomite lime (ground limestone) can also be used.  It too brings
Calcium and the added benefit of Magnesium. A great local source for limes and natural soil amendments is
Concentrates, Inc.  They are located at 2613 SE 8th Avenue (between Division and Powell) in Portland.   Peruse their
offerings and pricing at .


Mark your calendars!!! The Pacific Northwest Dahlia Conference will hold their spring meeting at Georgetown Realty,
1000 NE 122nd Avenue, Portland, OR  97230 on Saturday, April 18th. The banquet facility is located on the lower
level.  PNDC Delegates meet in executive session at 10:30. The luncheon and general meeting begin at noon.

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 and is handled by a
professional auctioneer.  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.

The cost of the luncheon is $15.00 per person, including gratuity.   Please send your reservation check to Elva Sellens,
2651 NW Loma Vista Dr.; Roseburg, OR  97470.  Make your check payable to PNDC.


By Ted J. Kennedy

Note: Our 2009 Auction is on April 14th at 7:00 PM

I attended my first Portland Society Auction in about 1990. My wife and I were fairly new to dahlias and had grown
dahlias as one of many types of cut flowers to sell at our modest farm. We quickly noticed that dahlias were “cut flower
machines” in that they had more flowers and really better flowers than the 30 or so other types of flowers we grew.  We
had been bitten by the “dahlia bug” and wanted more varieties.

The tuber sale in those days was held in a church in the Lents district near 97th and SE Holgate. The tubers not sold in
the auction were upstairs in a small room and it was wall to wall people nearly fighting over the selection of tubers on a
few tables.  We had bought quite a few tubers the year before and loaded our bag with lots of new ones. We decided to
stay for the 7:00PM auction.

The auction was held in a larger room on the main floor and was attended by 50-60 people seated in folding chairs.  We
thought that there might be a few bargains at the auction and had our commercial grower’s catalogues ready to look up
the pictures of the flowers.  Tuber after tuber was sold and we were introduced to “tuber auction fever.” Some varieties
went for as much as ten dollars! Who would ever pay that much for one tuber? We did buy a few tubers that day and
have attended nearly every auction since then. We found out that there really are lots of bargains to be had at the auction.

Some auction tips:

(1) Look at the tubers before the auction: The auction tubers are laid out on the tables near the stage.  They are placed
on the tables in size order from left to right. Giants (AA) are the first ones on your far left.  The order is AA, A, B, BB,
M, Balls, Min Balls, Poms, Waterlilies, Stellars, and then all other types. It really pays to look there before the auction to
get an idea what will be sold.

(2) Sign up for a bidder’s number: We have gone to a system where you have a bidder’s number and your winning bid is
recorded each time you win. You will pay for your tubers at the end of the auction (or you can leave early too, as we
keep a running total of your wins).

(3) You may be able to buy a tuber if you are one of the bidders: Some varieties have more than one tuber available. In
that case, we offer the winning bidder the opportunity to buy as many as he or she would like and the other tubers are
available at that same price to losing bidders. Occasionally, even non-bidders may be able to buy a tuber at the auction

(4) Prices Decline Near the End: Our goal is to finish the auction by 9:00PM. Quite a few people will have left after the
first hour and the prices generally get lower as time goes by.


Included in this mailing is a flyer for our sale and auction April 14th.  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.

Portland Dahlia Society Annual Tuber Sale And Auction

Held Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

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

Wide selection of new and older favorites!

Join the Dahlia Society for $7 at this event and receive a Coupon good for $7 worth of Dahlias, Your Choice, from the
tubers available at this Sale!
Formby Kaitlyn A FD Purple
One tuber of this very popular but hard to find variety will be auctioned.