Happy Fall!

Garden Club Members and Friends,  

We know it is fall when the pumpkins and mums appear in the watering trough!  Looks beautiful!  

At our October meeting, Art Scarpa provided us with many interesting facts on cacti and succulents.  See the side bar for his recipe for a pesticide free spray to use on pests.  We will post photos of his interesting specimens soon!

If you are interested in GCFM workshops, please use the links provided in the the online Green Sheet found under Member Log-in.  We are sponsoring the following workshops: Miniature Landscape on October 27 at 9:30am and "Designing a Feast for the Eyes in a Vignette" on Nov. 10, 9:30am, in preparation for the November Design Competition.  Please see the Green Sheet for details.

2016 is our 75th anniversary year as a Garden Club.  The Board is actively looking for suggestions on how to celebrate as well as leadership to do so!  If you are interested, or have ideas, please contact me.

Look under the Committees Heading and open Design, to find the entry sheet and photos from the Design workshop held on Tuesday. Thank you Mitzi, Trish and Carolyn for the great demo!


Jessica Pohl   

Greens Needed for Greens Day!

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Hi Everyone,
It is time to lift and store your dahlia tubers. Here is some information to help you keep those dahlias for yet another year.

1) Wait for killing frost or when your dahlia foliage turns dark or black.
2) Cut stalks about 6” above the ground.
3) Leave dahlias in ground from 6 days to two weeks after the stalk is cut or the foliage turns black before lifting.
4) Carefully lift tubers from soil with spade or pitchfork. (Some people will skip everything else from this point and just turn their clumps upside down and store them in a cool dry place. I follow the remaining steps only because I know the method usually works for me.)
5) Wash dirt from tubers and let dry in protected area for about 24 hours. (If dirt on tubers is dry and most just falls off when lifted, you could skip this step)
6) Label tubers or boxes so you can identify the dahlia type later for storage.
7) Divide clumps into individual tuber sections using a sharp knife. You will get a bloom the next season if you have an eye on the tuber (you can find these on the collar of the main stalk), but they are hard to see in the fall. You will know for sure if you are in good shape in the spring as there will be a sprout on viable tubers. Let the tubers dry overnight after the cutting before storing in boxes.
8) Put tubers in a cardboard box with filler (either dry peat moss or torn-up newspaper). Don’t leave the tubers touching each other. I usually put a layer of filler in the bottom of the box. Put a layer of tubers in. More filler. Then repeat until you get to the top of the box or you have no more tubers to store. End with a layer of filler.
9) Store in a cool, dry area that does not freeze. Ideal storage temperatures are between 40 and 50 degrees. Check your tubers once a month throughout the winter. If the air is too warm and dry, tubers will shrivel; if the area is too cold, they will freeze and rot. If they appear to be drying out, mist your medium (only the top) with water. If they are rotting, remove the rotted tubers and dry out your medium so the other tubers are not affected. (Honestly, I only check the tubers when I remember, which is probably every couple of months and then I don’t check every last tuber.)
10) Good luck. I hope you have lots of beautiful dahlias next year.

I plan to lift my dahlias on November 3rd (if it is not too cold for me that day). If you want to come see for yourself what to do, you are welcome to join me. If you have questions, give me a call. Best regards, Cynthia Chapra 617-899-7992

Here is a reminder or a tip from Bill Cullina, Director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden.  

Mix one  regular aspirin plus 1 tsp dish soap plus 1 gal water, mix, spray plants every 3 weeks to boost immune response of plants.  Used on orchids, vegetables, African violets . Indoor plants can be sprayed year round. Outdoor plants during growing season. Effective against bacterial and fungal diseases.  There is a potassium salt product which is very effective called Agri Fos Fungicide.   

Art Scarpa swears by a 50:50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water with a tablespoon of Dawn dish soap to combat all pests but scale.  Put in a spray and use indoors and out.

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