I would like to grow some dahlias this year for cut flowers. Can anyone suggest a good source for tubers?
Freight costs are extremely high. Bulbs and tubers weigh alot; and, add much to the cost of operating a specialty cutflower operation. We try to make purchases as close to our farm as possible. You are in New Jersey. Ednie Flower Bulb is a wholesale supplier located in Fredon (near Newton), New Jersey. I highly recommend these folks. They do have a $100 minimum order requirement. And, you'll need to order at least 25 of each variety. They also carry the very, very popular Karma dahlias. This particular variety was bred exclusively for cutflower production.
These are not Karma dahlias. They are some of our field dahlias. And, they're pink and they're beautiful!!
I second Trish's comments on Ednie. A great company. I ordered my Karma dahlias from them last year and was very pleased.
I was going to convert my raised vegetable beds to dahlias since I have so many gophers here - I thought the gophers would eat the tubers.
I have never grown dahlias, are there any special techniques I need to use? I was going to order from Ednie but I am in California - hope the shipping doesn't kill me.
Dahlias are so beautiful. Our farm specializes in growing dahlias for market. They do, however, lack any type of natural defense against predators. They're subject to virus diseases, fungal diseases which include sooty mold, mildews, fusarium wilt among others. They are attractive to all types of beetles, true bugs, leaf miners, aphids, thrips, mites, snails and slugs. And, they are subject to attacks by rodents. When you grow dahlias, frequent inspection of the plants must be done. If you are using organic growing practices, these may not be the plants to grow.
If you live in California, there some excellent vendors in Oregon: Swan Island Dahlias and Corralitos Gardens. There are also smaller vendors in the area. Dan's Dahlias and Wynne's are both located in Washington.
CONNELLS are also a large grower in Washington. THey are featured in Martha Stewart magazine this month! I have bought many tubers from Connells but notice I have a higher success rate with Swan Island. I have no idea why or if that holds true for others.
Trish, thanks for the info and suppliers, your dahlia picture is spectacular - how could anyone resist buying one of those and how have a gotten by this many years without growing a dahlia.
Lizalily, I guess I will stay away from Connells - I need all the success I can get.
I would recommend checking the 'Big List' on the Colorado Dahlia Society website. In fact, by visiting that website, you can find a wealth of information on dahlias. There are many, many suppliers listed there, and most of them charge very reasonable shipping charges. I would steer clear of Ebay for buying tubers unless you know the suppliers. I questioned one of the sellers there because she was describing a number of the varieties she was selling as 'dinnerplate' dahlias. Dinnerplate is the old term for giant or AA size, meaning something over 10' in diameter. Of the 5 I found listed, only one was of that size. The rest ranged from miniature to 8". I asked her if she grew what she was selling. She answered me back that she did not, but purchased them from a large bulb company and then resold. At least with most of the suppliers on the 'Big List', they guarantee the variety and growability, and will replace or refund the following year.
You might also check the dahliasociety sales listed on that website that will be starting soon. If you have a society in your area, that is an excellent place to buy. You can talk to members about dahlias and get wonderful varieties for very reasonable prices.
Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado Dahlia Society.
I havn't been over to this site for awhile,but have posted here b4.
Anyway,we had to dig all our dahlias and other tubers up last year and plant them in pots.The darn gophers here in S.Calif were eating everything they could.We tried everything on the market to control them,and even things that others told us about,all to no avail.They were brazen little buggers,they'd come out in broad daylight while we were sitting out there.
So now we have gardens full of pots,not the prettiest thing,but we plan on planting annuals and perinnels(sp) around them to help hide them.
I have lots of gophers too so I plant everything in an aviary wire basket or I line a large bed with aviary wire and then place prepared soil over the aviary wire and then plant. I am planning on putting my dahlias in my raised wooden beds (the bottoms are lined with aviary wire).
A nesting pair of barn owls will eat up to 1200 rodents in a season to feed their young. Owls hunt at dusk, dawn and at night and gophers are active at all times of the day and night. Farmers in the central valley of California are now starting to invest in barn owl nesting boxes to help control rodents particularily gophers. With the advent of metal barns and fewer large trees the barn owl's nesting habitat has been reduced. Please see link on how to build barn owl nesting boxes.
Here is a link that might be useful: The Barn Owl