September 29, 2008

A look at my dahlia bed a few months later

DAHLIA UPDATE! Many blog readers have asked how I care for my dahlia tubers during the winter months and this method seems to work nicely:

Dahlias should be removed from the ground, when frost blackens the foliage. Cut the stems back to about a foot high. With a garden spade, carefully dig around the tubers, keeping about a foot away from the stem. Lift the tubers, gently knocking off the excess soil. Trim the stem low, and tie a label to each clump for identification purposes next spring. Set the tubers in an airy place, away from direct sun, for about one week. Then in a shallow box of equal parts dry soil, peat, and sand, cover the dahlias so that only the stems poke out. Ideal storage temperature is forty degrees. Check your dahlias every few weeks and discard any that look moldy or soft. With a bit of luck, most of your dahlias will survive until spring, when they can be planted again, to grow and flourish.

Last July, I took you into my cutting garden and showed how we provide support for top-heavy dahlias -– kind of like a cat's cradle. Well, I thought it would be interesting for you to see what my dahlia beds look like now, a few months later. It's already autumn and these gorgeous flowers are still blooming profusely. Come and have a look.

Also, now is the time to order your dahlia tubers for planting next spring. Here are a few of my favorite sources. Order soon to ensure that you receive the pick of the crop!

Swan Island Dahlias

Van Bourgondien

Connell's Dahlias

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