Should I or shouldn't I??????

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Upsydaisy, Oct 28, 2019.

  1. Upsydaisy

    Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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    I haven't got a good track record of storing and over wintering Dahlias, last year I accidentally left one in the ground and much to my surprise it survived. This year I have about 10 Dahlias, all of which I liked and many are still happily blooming away....now should I chance leaving them in the ground and if so do they need any additional care??? All advice gratefully accepted. As you can see I live down south in southern Hampshire, just in case that helps matters.:)
    Thanks.:spinning:
     
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    • shiney

      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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      I can't give any specific advice. We have had dahlias for about five years and never lifted them. They're still in bloom today. :blue thumb:
       
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      • lolimac

        lolimac Super Gardener

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        This is a question I'm toying with Upsy...I'm assuming in Hampshire you don't get the very wet winters like up here in Yorkshire?..I've lifted mine every year after they've be blackened by the frost and stored up until now when I'm thinking I might give it a go and leave them in...with a good mulch over top..My concern here is when they wake up next spring,being 'usually' soggy ground ,will the slugs have a field day..Decisions decisions..:rolleyespink:
         
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        • NigelJ

          NigelJ Total Gardener

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          @Upsydaisy It depends on the soil, if it is well drained then in Hampshire you should be alright leaving them. Mine live in pots and are currently drying out in the greenhouse, don't plant mine in the soil as slugs have a field day with the young shoots in spring. Dahlia imperalis will have to take it's chances in the ground as it is still growing, next spring I shall have to keep a close eye on it for shoots and then slugs.
           
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          • redstar

            redstar Total Gardener

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            my thinking is if where they are, are close to the house, the heat of the house can help with keeping them a little warmer than far away from the house. I also when in love with some shrub that needs a warmer climate will consider placement near the house, it does work that way.
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              Ours are about 300ft away from the house near a very open field but we tend to have a lot of dry weather.
               
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              • redstar

                redstar Total Gardener

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                I'd dig them up then. have liked them over the years, but just too much bother. maybe when I retire. "small maybe"
                 
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                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  We never dig them up. They have the option of survive - or not!
                   
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                  • WeeTam

                    WeeTam Total Gardener

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                    I would leave them where they are and if a freeze is forecast mulch them heavily.

                    Me, i lift mine, did it yesterday,last night first proper frost, gets severe where i live so i lift em.
                     
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                    • Alisa

                      Alisa Gardener

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                      I'm in Hampshire. Last year lifted up large clumps in the autumn. Kept in the shed, and by spring they dried to death (definitely did it wrong). But dahlia sprouted this year from pieces left in the soil and is still flowering. Not digging it out this year.
                       
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                      • pete

                        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                        They usually survive here ok, but I do think rotting is the biggest problem rather than freezing.
                        Also slugs can eat off the new shoots before they break the surface next spring, so you can dig up a sound tuber the following year that has no growing point alive, ie. the neck of the tuber.
                         
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                        • CanadianLori

                          CanadianLori Total Gardener

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                          @redstar remember you are 4 zones colder than most of these folks so freezing is not as extreme a threat for them. I have abandoned bulb plants for the most part because the lifting and storing part turns me off.

                          I've been temptrd by alliums because I think I might stand a chance of them surviving... but knowing me, I'd probably build a removable cold frame if I did go down that route!
                           
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                          • Perki

                            Perki Super Gardener

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                            If you are not confident on storing upsy might be best to see how they they over winter in the ground . Its a combination of cold and wet which causes them to rot , if they ground drain away enough they should be fine in the ground, the slugs can get the early shoots in the spring so keep that in mind.

                            I did leave one dahlia in the ground myself last year , its has returned this year but last winter were quite mild, think I will leave it again this winter .
                             
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                            • Upsydaisy

                              Upsydaisy Total Gardener

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                              Thanks everyone.... decisions, decisions...think I will probably chance it and cross my fingers. I will put a great dollop of mulch over each one for extra luck!!! I might even try sinking a cut off plastic bottle (large lemonade type) around the tubers too ( with the screw cap removed for ventilation)...hubs will no doubt hate this 'look' , so I won't tell him of my plan!!!;):heehee:
                               
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                              • Mike Allen

                                Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                                Usually frost will hit the stems and they will quickly tumble. As with all plants that have a bulbous/tuberous root. A simple point to remeber. The bulb/corm tuber etc is the storehouse for the plant. So we have enjoyed the foliage and the flower now the time has come for the flower to set seed. This usually ignored. However the stems etc contain so many ingrediants that do need to be allowed to drain back into the bulb/corm etc' So a sudden frost and. That's it. the majestic plant has fallen. Leave it fo a few days. When it appears rotten, ok chop it off. Now you can wait a while and the lift the roots/tubers etc or yo can leave the tubers in situ. Being left in the ground, the tubers will fo a while sap up the earths offerrings and then go to sleep. Above ground. Protection is beneficial. This can be a layer of straw , brachen etc anything that will perform a barrier from the frost. The cold has no affect. Frost attacks the vegative parts, stems etc. It penetrates and expands so splitting the walls of the plant etc and exposong the inner cells. These basically have no protection from the outside world.

                                Lifting and storing tubers. Lift and allow to stand for a few days. This helps the tubers and soil to dry out. Prior to storing. Remove all soil. Always aim for dryness. Next cut off the remains of the growing stem/s. Check the tubers for skinny and rotten parts, cut away. Leave to stand for a few days. Recheck for rotting etc. If satisfied. A dusting of flowers of sulphur can be of help. Now in whatever trays/containers you have. Provide a layer of peat-like base. Place your tubers allowing spcese between and the remains of the previous growth, upwards. Dry fibrous material can be spread over the tubers. Now store in a cool dry place. Say every month take a look and check fo any rotting, if found, cut out. Come the spring. A gentle water spraying wil help the tubers to wake up. Then is the time to take cuttings, alway leave behind a stub. This will produce yet another new shoot. Hope this helps.
                                 
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