Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park
United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda
Editor: Mike Riordan (503) 256-0425
April 2010
Winners from our 2009 show from left: Tiffany Boatwright,  Eugene Kenyon,
Audrey Oldenkamp, Larry Smith. Picture by Shirley Bankston
Our New Dahlia Poster
Pictures by the renowned dahlia photographer Franck Avril of San Francisco.
Click here for a larger version
Portland Dahlia Society Bulletin

Meets second Tuesday of the month at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda


Editor:  Mike Riordan (503)256-0425 Contacts:  Teresa Bergman (360) 274-8292, Jeanette Benson (503) 649-4118

Next meeting Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 @ 6:30 p.m.


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 2010, 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 and plant donations.  Just please be sure they are well marked and be willing to help sort the
tubers to the sale tables or the auction table.   If you are donating tubers/plants, 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 items
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 27th, 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, Tiffany Boatwright, Shirley Bankston, Gordon Jackman, Bob Merrill, Jerry Rasmussen, Shirley Schaffer,
Aaron Ridling, George Ermini, Carol Halvorson, Victoria and Armando Castro, Robin Wilson, Althea Halvorson, Nona
Thielen, John and Kathy Gates  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 24th 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.  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.  For those with computer access search Craig’s List Portland under lawn and garden
and put manure in the search field.  Some postings are free-you-haul! 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 http:
// . Concentrates generously offers a 10% discount to Portland Dahlia Society members on
some items.


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 17th. The banquet facility is located on the lower
level.  PNDC Delegates will meet in executive session at 10:30 AM.  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!  Membership in the PNDC is
not required to attend any portion of this event.

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 2010 Auction is on April 13th 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.

TUBER SALE FLYER Click here to see flyer

Included in this mailing is a flyer for our sale and auction April 13th.  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.
Kenora Wow