News September 2008
April 5, 1958
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
As you receive your fall newsletter, fall is around the corner in
Middle Tennessee. A time when daffodil enthusiasts either eagerly
anticipate planting their new bulbs in hopes for a wonderful spring,
or bemoan the pain of planting what they overzealously ordered in
the spring after seeing many beautiful blooms at a local show! Nonetheless,
time will soon be of the essence. If you have planned your fall
planting and realize that you still have some ideal garden room
to spare, plan on picking a new variety or two of bulbs up at the
MTDS fall membership meeting in October. Additionally, if you over-ordered
or dug this summer and were pleasantly surprised by the multiplication
of your cultivars, please bring your extra bulbs to swap - bagged
and labeled to share with other MTDS members. Our fall meeting is
planned for Sunday, October 12th, at 2:00 at my house. I hope to
see you all there! Plan ahead and bring a list of the cultivars
in your collection so you can make good decisions about what bulbs
to take home from the swap
remember all current MTDS dues-paying
members may participate, even if you have no bulbs to share!
I also encourage you to attend the ADS Fall Board Meeting's Miniature
Symposium to be held on Saturday, November 1st at the Maxwell House
Hotel. You can email Becky Fox Matthews, MTDS member and ADS 2nd
Vice President at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or you
can click on the link on the ADS website at www.daffodilusa.org
Hope to see you on October 12th!
MINUTES FROM THE LAST MEETING
The spring meeting of the Middle Tennessee Daffodil Society was
held at the home of Ann McKinney on Sunday, March 9th at 2:00pm.
Ann welcomed existing MTDS members and new members. She gave the
specifics of the upcoming show and solicited help for set-up, clerks
Following Ann's few announcements, a design demonstration was conducted
by Jennifer and Jeff Harvey. The Harveys demonstrated both Oriental
and traditional design. The demonstration was very helpful to members
who have never participated in design classes, as well as to members
who have experience doing so. Jennifer also discussed the designs
that they demonstrated in relation to the 2008 design schedule.
Ann thanked the Harveys for sharing their time and talents with
Ann discussed that she was adding a photography section to the
show this year for additional interest to visitors of the show.
She discussed that the section would be for exhibition purposes
only and would not be judged.
Ann discussed that MTDS will be celebrating its 50th anniversary
on April 5, 2008 and planned a display to have at the show in April
With no further business, the meeting was adjourned. Becky Fox
Matthews invited all in attendance to drive to her house to tour
her gardens. What a treat!
For the sake of simplicity, Ann McKinney, MTDS Treasurer, would
like to propose that the dues due date be set for a specific month.
We will discuss this at the October meeting. She would like to propose
November as our fall newsletter is generally sent in September and
the fall meeting is in October. We will adjust prepaid membership
accordingly. Ann will coordinate this effort with Anne Owen, Membership
President: Ann McKinney
Vice President: Susan Basham
Membership Chairman: Anne Owen
Treasurer: Ann McKinney
Ann McKinney - Southeast Regional Director
Dick Frank - ADS Counsel
Becky Fox Matthews - 2nd Vice President
Bonnie Campbell - Southeast Regional Vice President
LOCAL ACCREDITED JUDGES:
Becky Fox Matthews
Nancy Keen Palmer
PROVEN PLANTING ADVICE:
Advice for preparation, planting and labeling as written by Kathy
Welsh in the WDS Fall 2006 newsletter: The article includes commentary
that was a result of interviews that Kathy conducted with Mary Koonce,
Clay Higgins, and Bob Huesmann, three very successful exhibitors
in the Washington area (although Clay has since moved to North Carolina),
along with Kathy's techniques. Kathy suggests in the article to
absorb the advice of all four growers and modify them to meet your
If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email Kathy
Welsh at email@example.com. She is the current 1st Vice President
Fall is the time for planting, but before you plant, you need to
have your soil prepared and your bulbs sorted.
How do I prepare the soil? Mary has a very large commercial
size rototiller which she uses to loosen the soil. She adds some
peat moss to break up the clay and improve its composition. Clay
prepares his soil at least one month in advance of planting. He
amends the soil with peat and "garden chalk", a product
that improves the electrolytes in the soil as well as the drainage.
Clay has also imported good topsoil so that some of his beds are
raised 6" above the normal level. Once prepared, Clay soaks
the soil so that it settles back into place. He refreshes his soil
every time he digs. Kathy digs her ground approximately 10"
deep using a shovel, then uses a Mantis tiller to break up the dirt.
She adds bags of "Super Fines" rototilling these in, breaking
up the clay and improving drainage. Super Fines is a bark mulch
that has been shredded four times. Its composition is very light
and fluffy. Claybusters is a similar product. This process is repeated
several times and results in beds that are raised approximately
6" above the normal ground level.
When do you begin planting? Mary, Clay and Kathy all agreed
that the soil should be 55 degrees or below before planting begins.
To modify this for Middle Tennessee, this is no earlier than the
middle of October. All of the growers in the article have the goal
of having all of their bulbs in the ground by Thanksgiving (although
most would admit that later planting has occurred on many occasions).
It is important to get miniatures in the ground first when planting
late. All bulbs need to grow roots before the ground freezes and
this is even more important for tiny bulbs which are planted closer
to the surface. Bulbs cannot survive out of ground for an entire
year. If nothing else, pot them. Early spring planting is possible
if the bulbs are still firm. Soft bulbs should be thrown away.
Do you plant your bulbs in any particular order? All three
exhibitors agreed that getting bulbs ready for planting is far more
time-consuming than getting them in the ground. It is important
to have your labels made and a planting order determined before
you head out to the beds. Kathy plants her bulbs in alpha order
by division. This makes it easier to find a particular variety at
show time. She also makes sure that bulbs planted next to one another
do not have similar color codes. This helps with identification
when there is a mix-up. Mary does the same. This practice was learned
from Delia Bankhead. Clay learned his planting method from Marie
Bozievich. He plants in alpha order only for everything going in
the ground during a given year. Clay feels that intermixing divisions
reduces the risk of problems. Bob Huesman doesn't plant in any particular
order. He plants bulbs in the locations he thinks they will do the
best. Like Clay, he feels that mixing the divisions helps with potential
disease problems. Bob makes sure similar color codes are not next
to one another. Kathy has observed that division 6's prefer some
summer shade and tolerate or even like some summer moisture.
How many bulbs do you plant of a particular variety?
Most of these exhibitors only purchase one bulb of a given variety.
A few are willing to spend extra for something that has a really
good track record. Once established, their methods are similar.
More are planted back of varieties that have performed well, both
in quantity and the number of locations. Really outstanding cultivars
are often placed in two or three different places in the yard to
vary blooming times. Kathy and Mary plant back 4-10 with 6 of an
average cultivar. Clay typically plants back 7 and places them on
a grid. Bob usually plants back 2 per hole, but plants multiple
holes of the things her really likes. Much of this decision is dictated
by available land.
How do you plant? Mary plants 7-8" deep. She uses an
auger and plants one bulb per hole. Minis are planted 4-5"
deep in berry baskets. Bulbs are rolled in Banvel prior to planting,
a dust to prevent basal rot. 5-10-10 fertilizer is broadcast over
the beds after planting and watering is left to nature. Bob plants
at a similar depth. He uses Captan, Bonide's Bulb Dust, or another
general purpose fungicide powder which prevents fusarium to coat
his bulbs. Again this is extra protection against basal rot. Fertiziler
is placed in the bottom of the hole, followed by dirt, sand, then
the bulb. Bob usually waters unless it is a wet fall. He believes
that consistent and ample water is one of the keys to great blooms.
Kathy digs 8 or more inches deep, places 5-10-10 fertilizer in the
hole or trench, then dirt, then small or medium Gran-i-Grit - to
help with drainage and adds to the ease of finding bulbs when digging.
It places the nutrients at the roots, where the bulbs are to absorb
them. Don't let the fertilizer touch the bulbs or it will burn them.
Kathy hasn't been using bulb dust. When it comes to miniatures,
Kathy uses fertilizer very sparingly and usually broadcasts it over
the planted area rather than with the bulb. Kathy waters in the
fall when it is dry. Clay broadcasts fertilizer after planting.
He has started using soaker hoses after planting as well.
Do you mulch? Everyone answered yes to this. Clay uses pine
bark mulch because hardwood compacts too much. Kathy uses hardwood.
Mary often uses hardwood, but pine needles when she can get them.
Bob uses chopped leaves as mulch and suggests never using hardwood
because it robs the soil of nitrogen. All four growers agreed that
the use of mulch was essential to keep flowers clean and free of
dirt during flowering.
Do you isolate new bulbs? All growers agreed that separating
new bulbs until you know that they are free of pests and disease
is the optimum solution. Some lift their bulbs after the first year
to make sure they look good. Kathy often hot water treats new bulbs,
depending on the source. Mary, Clay and Kathy have all experimented
with hot water treatment which is used to kill bulb flies and nematodes.
The temperature and length of treatment varies for these two problems.
How do you label your bulbs? All four growers label and map their
bulbs. In addition to labeling and mapping, Kathy buries a piece
of plastic milk carton with the name of the bulb and the color code
written with a Sharpie pen. This provides verification when digging
and can be kept in the mesh bag after bulbs are out of the ground.
Bob uses plastic sticks and a sharpie and admits that heaving can
be a problem. Mary uses 15" markers with a label made with
a P-Touch labeler and has found that the labels will last for five
years. Clay and Kathy Both use 12" EON markers. Clay uses the
plates that come with the markers and a lead pencil. This holds
up for about two years. Kathy makes an aluminum label with a Dymo
labelmaker. The aluminum labels usually last 8 - 10 years. All four
feel that a label AND a map are essential to keep track of their
daffodils. Most make the map immediately and several keep track
of how many bulbs they've planted.
MTDS FALL MEETING: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12TH 2:00PM AT ANN MCKINNEY'S
5134 Remington Drive
Brentwood, TN 37027
Directions: Take I-65 South to Concord Road exit 71 Go right off
the exit. Take a right at Franklin Road. Take a left at Murray Lane.
Take first left into Princeton Hills. Take first left onto Remington
Drive. 5134 is the last house on the left on Remington.
**It would be helpful if you email or call me to let me know if
you are coming to the meeting and if you are bringing bulbs to share.**
FALL MEETING AGENDA:
¢ Cheekwood Changes
¢ Dues Changes
¢ Program: Judging Daffs 101
¢ Bulb Swap