Our May 30 planting was cancelled due to excessive rain, but the fence was re-installed and the gates repaired to keep the grazing deer, rabbits, woodchuck and wild turkey herds away from the delectable young sprouts soon to come. The garden was tilled June 1, and two days later a planting team of five club members planted 21 entries and numerous buffers returning the NCTG to near capacity. Weed mats and planks were placed; our watering system needed maintenance. New 7’ pallets were built and donated for placement in rows on June 20 to help cut down the compaction problem from work teams and public traffic. Hollyhill Frodo provided the garden’s first bloom that day in celebration.
Our region experienced a remarkable growing season, and despite not getting our water system running until August Mother Nature provided us with moderate rainfall at optimal intervals and temperate days. Our ‘neck of the woods’ was spared the extreme conditions we so often encounter. Mid-summer found us battling more critters—aphids, earwigs and the dreaded Japanese Beetles. Spider mites might have been more welcomed!
Our annual Judges’ Meeting was held in the TG Aug. 15 where, with the trusty new ADS diagnostic tool for virus identification in hand, the plants were critiqued with much discussion and edification. Noting that some buffers and entries alike showed classic symptoms, the TG committee may discontinue the use of donated buffers and offer that garden space for members’ 1st year seedlings. Might this be a helpful action? The All-Judges’ Wrap-Up Day was September 12 for final scoring. A beautiful, long Fall allowed the garden to bloom until it was put to bed Nov. 7 with soil samples taken to determine amendments needed for growing next year’s potential winners. Please consider NCTG for your evaluation needs.
Top-scoring dahlias in NCTG:
Clearview Royal MB DB D&D Parshall 94.3
Destiny’s Teachers O V R Lobaugh 91.5
Anthony Armelin ST R Murphy 87.9
Clearview Butterscotch M FD LB D&D Parshall 87.6
Glencoe Fluff BB LC DB Chmura 87