Question of Potting up Dahlia's Indoors

LindaMA(MA z5)April 16, 2008

I have 5 tubers that I'm trying to start indoors to get a jump on the season. I've planted them in seed starting medium, which is very light. I've planted them about an inch below the suface in containers that they fit well in.

I have two questions, where the soil seems to dry up almost immediately, do I still keep them watered? I have been using a mister and misting the top of soil at least once, maybe twice a day. Is this okay, I've read not to water dahlia bulbs until leaves are up and then I've also read to keep them slightly damp.

The other questions is, should I put a sheet of plastic over the top to keep them moist rather than mist/water them? I start a lot of my seeds in peat pots and put syran wrap over the top and this helps keep in the moisture. I grow morning glories, nasturtiums and even tomatoes this way. Would this work for dahlia bulbs?

Oh, okay, one more questions, do the containers need to be in direct sunlight while there's no growth yet?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Many thank!


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Okay Linda, here starts the debate. I do happen to mist mine and I keep a loose sheet of plastic on top just to keep the moisure in so I don't have to be around every day. The theory is that as homes have heat, home air is drying (as it is drying to our skin) and a little dampness for your tubers, as long as they have ventilation, is 'a good thing'.

Everyone says to get your tubers eyed up by putting them halfway in a tray of barely damp potting soil. If you can get your potting soil 'barely damp' I would say this is also 'a good thing'.

However, I do not find it necessary. Last year I stuck two tubers into an EMPTY bag of Miracle Gro, loosely closed the top, dumped it on a shelf in the laundry room and three weeks later I had 8" sprouts. I have also used dry potting medium in a tray with success and lastly, I threw one really stubborn tuber buck naked into an emptly cooler (closed the top) and that too finally sprouted.

IMHO it's all about the heat of the room (and damp soil in a cool room doesn't always work that well).

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 4:46PM
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