What can I use instead of pots?

crocosmia_mn(z4)April 25, 2006

Whatever made me think that 3 dozen pots would be enough? I have a vague memory of someone using large ziploc bags and somebody else using oiled paper grocery bags? Any other ideas or more information about those?

It will be at least a month before I can plant outside here in Minnesota. I posted this on the Canna forum, too, because I've got way "too many" of both. Thanks!

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jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

How about using the plastic honey tubs, or the margarine tubs, or ice cream tubs. Of course, you would have to punch in some holes for drainage.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 5:06PM
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grannymarsh(z4-5 U.P. MICH)

plastic gallon milk/water/juice jugs. Just be sure to poke lots and lots of drainage holes in the bottom. Did I mention good drainage?? My neighbor with 3 teenage children saved a bunch for me. Some of us are using ''dirt bags'' to get our tubers to eye-up & sprouting.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 8:33PM
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dahliameister(5 Maine)

I use styrofoam coffee cups which are 4" across at the top and about 5" deep. They are cheap, and can write the name of the tuber on the cup. Just punch 3- 4 holes in the bottom for drainage. If the tuber is too tall for the cup just let it hang out the top. Some of my plants get 2' or more tall in the cups before I get them planted. They work great for me.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Dahlias are blooming and it's making me think of ones I want next year - sound familiar? Right now I am using landscape plants -- Park Princess, Mystery Day and another one I don't like that opens bright pink and fades to pale pink the same day. I have planted about a dozen of each, and am harvesting a lot of flowers.

Does anybody know what the black Dutch bulb crates are? If you don't, just imagine a big plastic bin, about 20" x 28" x 8" deep with lots of drainage holes. Could I put a dozen dahlias in there with nothing to separate them? Or would they all be tangled together and impossible to remove? I could keep the tubers 1" away from each other.

I have successfully used 4inch black plastic drainpipe cut to 5 inch lengths, and put in vertically, to keep caladiums separate, but it's sort of a pain in the butt, and I don't think 4" diameter is enough for dahlias. (I don't cut my tubers the way you guys must do it, if you really use margerine tubs!)



    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 12:03AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

20x28x8 inches would be good for one tuber, two maximum of a plant the size of Mystery Day and you'd be pushing the depth needed for a healthy root system, I think, at that depth. Not an ideal home for a dozen dahlias. Plus would all the drainage holes would be likely to leak out soil as you watered, or not? I don't know the lily crate.

You sure are devoted to your caladium bulbs to go to all that trouble with the pipe cutting. People probably think an avid dahlia grower is absolutely stark raving mad as well given all the lengths gone to preserve and grow them.

Another idea is whiskey barrels. I have one dahlia in each of three for the first time this year. They are doing as well as in the garden.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 2:31AM
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Ooops, I didn't explain myself very well -- I want to start the tubers early to plant out when the soil warms to get a jump on the season.

I wondered what the easiest way is -- and the cheapest, too -- I don't want to use $30.00 worth of Potting soil! I am worried about the roots getting tangled up if I put them all on one container (just for 4 weeks until I get them in the garden.)

The pipe sections are just that plastic tube stuff. dh puts it on the band saw and cuts a bunch all at once. If you put them vertically in a newspaper-lined cardboard box shoulder-to-shoulder, fill with a couple inches of potting soil, you can put glads, caladiums and small dahlias in them in April for setting out in May. The sections I have now are 4" long (high)

Do you know what dahlia classification 'Mystery Day' is? I wanted to tag it since I like the flower so well. I have it in too much sun right now (the leaves are bleaching out) but next year I can move it elsewhere.

I got off tangent a little -- I am wondering what some easy and cheap ways are to start lots and lots of tubers to get a jump on he season. LOL! Maybe 50 total, so maybe not lots and lots to you folks! Can yo uput them all in a big box, or would they get tangled up and become too difficult to remove for garden planting?


    Bookmark   August 7, 2006 at 2:46PM
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plantlady2(NW Washington)

You can start them in a box or carton if you want. They'll not get all tangled up in the short time they are eyeing up & sending out some feeder roots, We save the 1/2 gal milk cartons, staple the top shut, lay it on it's side & cut the side out of it, leaving enough of a flap to write the name on. Put in some potting soil or whatever medium you are using, cover most of the tuber leaving the neck out. We start 2-4 of them in there & they do well. If you want a cheap medium for starting you can use vermiculite or sterile sand. In late June I found a flat under the potting bench that had 2 dahlias in vermiculite & the plants were green, healthy & 8" high- hadn't been watered at all nor had they received any care since being shoved under there & forgotten about. They got put out in the garden & are just as beautiful as the rest of the 10,000!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 3:11PM
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