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