MGFKC Newsletter

2020 October MGFKC eNewsletter
MGFKC Newsletter – The Foundation Connection
Read all about what’s of interest in the October 2020 issue!

  • Program Coordinator’s Updates by Mary Watts, MG Program Coordinator
  • News from the Board by Jim Olson, MGF Board President
    • Annual Recognition Event
    • Welcome New Board Member Trish Bloor
  • Garden Spotlight: Raising the Finn Hill Demo Garden by MGs Micheline Jackson & Carole Bartolini
  • East Meets West in the Garden by MG Gary Scheider
  • Miller Library Selection: Common Mosses of Western Oregon & Washington
  • Continuing Education Opportunities
  • What’s Happening News & Updates


This newsletter is sent monthly to King County Master Gardeners. Look for it in your email. Miss a past issue? Find it here.

Heads UP!

2020 September-October Heads Up! Diagnostics Lab Newsletter

Newsletter of the Master Gardener King County Diagnostic Lab


Read in the September-October 2020 issue:

  • Ready, Set, Harvest!
  • Fall Turf Care
  • Weather Station: Wildfire smoke helps plants?
  • Nerd’s Corner: Daphne bholua
  • The Birdie Did It!
  • Another Trouble-Making Sawfly
  • Fall for Fall Planting
  • Autumn Pruning for Woody Plants — Don’t!!
  • Raspberries: The Simply Wonderful Fruit
  • Twigga Mortis: When things go awry in the veggie patch…
  • Useful Web Sources!

This newsletter is sent monthly to King County Master Gardeners during the active garden months from March to October. Look for the current issue in your email.

Miss a past issue? Find it here.

Message to Our Master Gardeners

From: Mary Watts, WSU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator
Subject: Announcements
New! Date: October 5, 2020

This is a much shorter email than usual, just a few announcements.

Continuing Education Opportunity
Join us on Zoom for a presentation by Kevin Zobrist on the signs, symptoms and management of some of the common root diseases we see in the Pacific Northwest…

Growing Groceries
As you know, the Growing Groceries team will launch season 3 of this popular teaching series hosted by our King County program. The series of 12 separate classes is ideal for the beginning to intermediate level veggie gardener. The Growing Groceries team has prepared some simple short messages that you could cut and paste into blogs, other social media and web pages or even emails. You’ll find those messages here: Thank you for helping us out.

Finally, An Announcement from Annamarie Lacrosse
It is with great sadness, I wish to report the passing of long time Master Gardener, Edward L. Lacrosse on August 15, 2020. Ed completed his Master Gardener Training in 1991 and was active for 25 years in a variety of roles! He served King County Clinics, plant sales and became a Board member and President of the King County MG Foundation in the 1990s. In 2008, the State Foundation Distinguished Service Award was renamed the Edward Lacrosse Service Award in recognition of his commitment, involvement and service. Ed was honored as the MG Gardener of the Year in 2010. Remembrances may be directed to or “Celebrate the Life of Ed Lacrosse” on Facebook…

In closing, it is always difficult to learn of the passing of one of our community members. It is a reminder to enjoy and appreciate one another, and to take care of each other and ourselves.

Read the full message and all the Program Coordinator’s messages on the Member Area page of this website (log in required).

Dahlias, Dahling Dahlias

dahliaAs an accomplished dahlia grower, we know says, “It is time to fluff your dahlias.” This form of maintenance includes deadheading old blooms, disbudding and debranching, tying the plants to support stakes, controlling insects, and possibly spraying for powdery mildew.

Deadheading (removing spent or declining blooms), along with disbudding and debranching, helps to redirect the plant’s energy to the formation of the new blooms. Disbudding and debranching involve the removal of the new buds adjacent to the new bloom and removal of the new growth of side branching one branch lower. This also helps to build stronger stems and larger flowers. Our dahlia grower said, “The first time I disbudded and debranched, I felt like a murderer . . . but I got over it.” It really does improve the plant and bloom.

The “border” dahlias are usually shorter and don’t generally need to be staked, but taller plants can be somewhat floppy and need to be supported. The stake should be in place by now and the plant can be tied with regular garden twine. Some folks have even eased their dahlia plants into wire tomato cages for support.

Spraying an insecticide in a garden can interrupt the life cycles of the beneficial insects. Give the good bugs an opportunity to do their jobs. A preferred philosophy in the Diagnostic Lab is the opposable thumb method of dispatching most of the troublesome insects in the garden. Literally “rubbing them out” is quite effective.

Spraying a fungicide now will mitigate the inevitable powdery mildew that will become prevalent on your dahlia plants this time of year. Remember, you are applying the fungicide to protect the plant from a fungal infection. Spraying won’t make the existing powdery mildew go away. If you choose to spray, follow the container instructions to spray in continuing intervals until the end of the growing season while your plants still look healthy.

Published in the September-October 2017 issue of Heads UP!

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