Dahlias

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by JackJJW, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. Linz

    Linz Total Gardener

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    Pretty sure I started late March last year, just with how cold it has been it's putting me off sowing/starting anything. Ta Harry, guess I'll bite the bullet!
     
  2. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Super Gardener

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    I'm not far from Jack, I live in Eltham. I'd love to grow more but no room. IMO the gardener has to choose carefully. Yes, I love that gigantic bloom but consider the size of the plant. Whatever you decide. Enjoy.
     
  3. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Super Gardener

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    A most wonderful thing about gardening is. You never stop learning. From the plant, tuber bulb or whatever, the subject will tell you when to act.
    With Dahlias, you have a choice. Leave the tubers in the ground for the winter. As the foliage dies down or is cut down by winter frosts. Cut away the now wasted growth. Now as all of what can be seen is short stumpy bits. These can be protected from the winter by a covering of straw hay ar similar. When the plant's clock starts ticking again, new shoots will appear. It's upto you, whetherornot to take cuttings. Most folk leave well alone. Now there is the good chance that the below ground, the tubers have formed clumps. Each of these clumps will now grow on as individual plants but remain part of the parent plant.
    Now had you the gardener lifted and stored your tubers, much the same course of event s taken place. Around March time. Check your tubers, Cut ou any damaged or rotten parts. For large clumps they need to be split up. Here you have to have the remains of an old stalk. Trace it down and it probably has three or more tubers. Cut them from the main body. Now these new plants can be potted up, ready for planting out or you can lightly cover them in a tray or box withh peat of similar. Soon new growth will appear and the new shoots can provide cuttings. Always remember taking cuttings. Always leave part of the new shoot behind.
     
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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      In 2016 I bought one from our village sale, dug it up in Autumn, overwintered it indoors but was unsuccessful with it. It did show signs of life and then just fizzled out :dunno:
      CIMG0002.JPG

      In January 2017 I bought some tubers from el cheapo shop and planted them out on the 15th March. They grew beautifully (the pink flowered much later than the pale yellow) ...

      DSCN1192 (768x1024).jpg

      ... I didn't dig them up so I'll be interested to see if they return this year - especially after the snow we've had. Didn't realise I needed to protect the ground with a layer of straw - but I do now! If they do return, I think I'll be dancing around the garden in delight! :heehee:

      I've also bought some more from the el cheapo shop for planting next month. I'll have to remember to cover them for the winter time from now on :thumbsup:
       
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      • wiseowl

        wiseowl Urbane Admin Staff Member

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        Good afternoon I started my Dahlias off two weeks ago in pots in the greenhouse covering the pots with black polythene just like I force my rhubarb:smile:
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Super Gardener

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          Must be about twenty years ago, an elderly family friend asked me to dig up her dahlia tubers. They'd been in the ground for a few years.. the clumps of tubers in each case had multiplied so much, I couldn't lift them so I had to split them up in situ using the spade. Amazingly they were in good shape, no signs of rotting etc. As poor health had by this time caught up with her, she declined to have any replanted.

          A point or two about storing lifted tubers. Make certain they are totally dry. Sulphur powder/flowers of sulphur was often used to dust them with. Trays or boxes, like those used for transporting fruit etc. Store in a cool dry frost free place. Wood shavings make a good covering for them however check the tubers frequently just in case some rot has set in. Do not cover with polythene etc as this will cause condensation and the latter will seep into the tubers.

          When buying tubers, give an eye to the tuber size in relation to the expected plant and blooms. When planting. Don't bury the old bits of stalks. If planting a dahlia border insert the support stakes before placing the tubers in the hole. Begin tying the plants to the stakes at an early stage, checking the ties do not become restrictive as the plant grows. Feed with a good NPK fertilizer. Happy growing.
           
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          • Mike Allen

            Mike Allen Super Gardener

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            Hi Wiseowl. Takes me back. Rhubarb, yummy. My dad had a large plot and he used to stand things like old dustbins, open both ends, over the emerging plants. That was back in the 50/60s.

            I remember well. One day my sisters husband offered to help dad on the plot. Dad had a stea:phew:dy pace at digging and could go on all day. After some time, it was time for a cuppa. Hey 'Pop' theres a lot of old rotten wood where I'm digging. I've chucked it on the compost heap. Dad exploded with very moderate use of expletives. That's my rhubarb you've dug up. You know. I can't remember Charlie ever offering his help again. Enjoy.
             
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            • Freddy

              Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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              I checked the other day and found that my Dahlias had survived the winter, left in the ground. I have though decided to bin them as one or two had some virus last year. I’ve ordered some replacements of the same variety, ‘Kenora Sunset’.
              930AE407-0104-44EB-9131-9C09721B4CE8.png
               
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              • Mike Allen

                Mike Allen Super Gardener

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                Relating to Dahlias. Have you any special likes/dislikes about them?

                I find most people tend to shy off because they tend to attract earwigs. A tip to try out. In amongst your dahlia plants, sick some canes into the ground, now get a pot, plastic or clay, actually clay might be best as they are heavier. Fill the pot with dry grass, hay or straw. Now hang the pot upside down on the cane. Each morning tap the pots out into a bucket of water. Do whatever with the visitors.

                The cultivation of the Dahlia has come a long way. There are some, no bigger than the flower bud. Then you have lots of different sizes etc. Those of dinner plate size are nice but only for garden decoration. The medium and smaller ones are good. In the past I have collected seed and taken a chance. Smallish singles of mixed colour and shaps, pom poms etc.

                Ok some varieties can take up a lot of space but, if you are fortunate enough to have a wall backed border, south facing. Then you will see the results of your work.
                 
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                • kazzawazza

                  kazzawazza Total Gardener

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                  I have tried growing dahlias twice. I got earwigs both times :sad: .
                   
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                  • Pushkin

                    Pushkin Super Gardener

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                    I potted a red Topmix in a pot a week ago.
                    It's in my greenhouse.

                    I'm going to do my best to keep the slugs and snails of it.
                     
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                    • Verdun

                      Verdun Passionate gardener

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                      Yes earwigs do inhabit my dahlias but not enough to cause any problems or actually seen too much.
                      Mine all grow with such vigour that pests are into a losing battle so that's my tip...grow them well. Grow them on early, in pots, repotting and feeding before they go out into the garden. Many of mine top 8' and make large bushes.

                      Likes/dislikes? Used to hate them. They ARE blowsy on the whole and they require heavy staking. Deadheading too. However, they have grown on me. The National Dahlia Collection is not far from me so I have been able to select varieties I really like. Some have great foliage colour too like Twynings After Eight, Bishop of Oxford and the uniquitous old Llandaff. Not all are blowsy and many have delightful subtle colours too.

                      Wouldnt be without dahlias, salvias, heleniums, sanguisorbas and persicarias for colour from mid summer to late autumn :)
                       
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                      • Mark56

                        Mark56 Super Gardener

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                        I'm at Verdun's previous stage.. I only like the single flowered ones, especially the dark foliage Dahlias, the rest not so much.
                         
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                        • Riverman

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                          My particular favourites are Bishop of Auckland, Twynings After Eight, Kilburn Glow and Cameo. Mine are in pots on the windowsill just starting to sprout. I started liking just the singles but I have become fond of the waterlilly types as well.
                           
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                          • wiseowl

                            wiseowl Urbane Admin Staff Member

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                            I love Dahlias but last year purchased 12 large ones lost them all to snails,tried copper strips,beer,egg shells ,raised beds,and even half barrels,almost tried everything I could find,it was very frustrating,ah well I shall try again this year:smile:

                            ps would they grow in my greenhouse.
                             
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                              Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
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