Newbie, and man, am I full of questions!! :-)

igwizApril 13, 2007

Hello all:

This is my first foray into large dahlias. Last summer I purchased two border dahlias in June that were already potted up and blooming. After growing and enjoying those little guys, I was pretty much hooked on dahlias. This spring I decided to branch out, and bought 2 bags of tubers at Home Depot (Mystery Day and Papageno). I divided and potted up these guys 2 weeks ago, and had pretty good luck, as 12 of the 14 divisions have sprouted, and I already have 4 of them that are 5-8 inches high.

First, I followed the "potting up" directions, and left a little bit of the tuber and the eye at soil level. Now that they are up, do I add soil to help them form better roots, or do I wait until I plant them out?

Second, my last frost date averages between April 29th and May 5th. If these guys keep growing like they are growing now, they will be 2 feet high by then. Did I pot them up too early? (And what do I do about it if I did!!)

Third, if they have hit the "3 sets of leaves" point prior to planting them out, do I go ahead and pinch them?

Fourth, I want to do the "2 to a stake" planting, and put a couple of sets in big pots on the front porch, while planting the rest of them in a bed in the back garden. If these little critters are 2 feet tall, can I still get away with "2 to a stake?"

Finally, with the "2 to a stake" planting process, do I have to worry more about air circulation than single plants, or do I just need to make sure I have sufficient air space on each side of the 2-plant clumps?

Thanks in advance to all. Looking forward to some good advice and hoping for a sucessful dahlia year...

Thane T. (igwiz)

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plantlady2(NW Washington)

1- You can add soil so that just the shoot is out- & add more as it grows. When you plant out, plant deeper like you would a tomato transplant.
2-If they get 2' tall you'll just have a ready-made garden when you plant out!
3-Go ahead & pinch them at 3 sets of leaves- or around 1- 1 1/2' tall.
4- You can still get away with 2 to a stake- one on either side.
5- Just treat them as one plant with enough space around for good circulation. Later in the summer you can take off the bottom couple of rows of leaves to permit better circulation.
6- Have fun! They're not at all hard to grow!!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 1:29AM
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