Our dahlia season here on the Central Coast is finishing up. Stems are getting flimsy, the centers of our flowers are popped and petal colors are changing. Many of our dahlias are turning brown and shutting down for winter dormancy. Our dahlia garden may look quiete ugly at this point. This is when our dahlias start converting from flower production to tuber production. It is time to decrease water and start tapering off the amount we give our tubers so that the tuber can "harden off". Fertilizing should have stopped several weeks ago in preparation for the changes occuring as we are now in Fall. It is time to evaluate and reflect on your dahlia patch. What worked? What didn't? What gets tossed and what to try and give another chance in your garden? It is also a time to start researching and thinking about what you might like to grow next year. Dahlia addict is an excellent resource when looking for tuber suppliers. Do consider looking at some dahlia supplier websites to see what you may want to grow next spring. This is truly a year round hobby to enjoy!
Our meeting on August 20th was are most attended meeting ever. It was fantastic to see so many new members wanting to learn more about growing dahlias. Many members brought their dahlias to our contest. It was an impressive dahlia show in my kitchen. Many thanks to Linda Hicks and Cory Kelso for their help in judging and a thank you to Jill Sabol and Rick Hicks for helping new members with their dahlia displays and for organizing the blooms for judging. Congratulations to member Patti Duron for winning "Best in Show" for her KA's Cloud single bloom. She recieved a Farm Supply gift card for her beautiful bloom. It was an excellent evening and a fun learning experence for all of our members that are new to the dahlia show world. I just got back from the Monterey Bay Dahlia Society show this weekend. It was an outstanding show with over 2000 flowers on display. It was wonderful to see a few of our members make the drive to see this dahlia show. It was this time last year that I felt so inspired, that I decided to start putting together a plan to start a dahlia society in our area. This year my goal was to show some of my blooms and learn more of the ins and outs of running a show. It is a future goal for our society to host an ADS show in our area. Judging by the interest and enthusiasm at our last meeting, we will get there!
The warm days of August are upon us! Now is the time to evaluate if your dahlias are getting enough water. My drip system waters my flowers 3 times a week for about 25 minutes. This seems to keep them damp, but not water logged and not to the point of drying out. Be on the look out for powdery mildew on your dahlias. Monterey horticulture oil or Stylet oil work really well on keeping the mildew at bay. Its important to keep up with some feeding this month as well. I use either Alaska Fish Emulsion or I use Fox Farm Grow Big (nitrogen) mixed with Fox Farm Big Bloom (Phosphorus). Your dahlias will appreciate the extra boost this month. I am looking forward to seeing all of our members at our next meeting, Tuesday August 20th at 6pm at my home. Don't forget to bring your dahlias for our "contest" We will have some great prizes for our first place winners and a few gift certificates to Farm Supply as well. August also brings some excellent dahlia shows to California. Check out the events tab for more information. Happy Summer! Heather Jamieson
The fair held the 2nd dahlia show today at the Mid-State Fair. Congratulations to our CCDS member Cory Kelso for her outstanding wins at the show today. She won best large dahlia with her beautiful orange informal decorative "Woodlands Wildthing", best disc centered dahlia with her an orchid type dahlia, and best of show and best fully double with the formal decorative "Jomanda". Way to go Cory! All of the judges remarked that this year both shows had really excellent blooms and that our dahlia show and blooms have improved significantly. Thanks to all of the CCDS members who participated this year. In other news, Linda Hicks and I went to the judging seminar hosted by the Monterey Bay Dahlia Society. It was very imformative and a lot of useful and new information was covered. Going to the seminar helped me see many of my flowers in new and different way. It has been hard to not see all of the flaws when looking at my blooms! I look forward to seeing everyone at our next meeting Tuesday, August 20th.
Many Thanks to Cory Kelso for letting us come over to her home and see her flower farm. She grows many things besides dahlias, and we are so fortunate to have her in our dahlia society. It appears after last Sundays get together, that many of us are in the same "boat" and our flowers are coming in later and blooms are late this year.
We viewed Cory's garden and discussed bugs that love dahlias and how to try to combat them. The vases/containers donated to us by John Morton and Kristine Albrecht were sent with home with members Rick and Linda Hicks. They will take them to the fairgrounds and they will be made available to anyone who would like to use them at the Mid-State Fair this year. There will be an update to the calendar on this website in the coming days. This is a super fun time of the growing season, when we all anticipate and enjoy the tubers that we planted.
Our club had the wonderful and exciting opportunity to meet with Mark Oldenkamp, ADS Vice President and dahlia guru. This BBQ potluck was generously hosted at the Cal Poly poultry unit by two of our CCDS members.
Mark grows MANY dahlias on his property in Camby, WA. He discussed his growing techniques and how he prepares and transports his blooms for long distance dahlia shows. Mark brought various containers to demonstrate tips and tricks for staging winning blooms.
One technique that Mark demonstrated involved tightly packing loose styrofoam into containers for bloom staging. Our club has been on the hunt for a source for this styrofoam to use in our upcoming show at the Paso Robles Fair.