Is it OK to start many dahlias in pots then transplant later?
I removed about 1/2 of my dormant tubers from the refrigerator where they finished up their 'rough' winter dormancy after a winter with variable temps.
This is the 1st time I've successfully wintered tubers for the next season. I tried it before, but got bad advice on a gardening site, that told me to place the dormant tubers, unseparated into completely dry sawdust or wood chips and into a cool area. I did that, then 1 month later, they had shriveled up and died!
So this year, I separated them, so that the fate of one tuber wouldnt be shared by all the other connected tubers. If 1 or 2 dried up, they wouldnt take the others with them. But I had gotten more bad advice from the web early on. They said to leave the tubers out in the open after separating to let them form scabs over the cut areas, for 4-5 days. I did this, and after only 3 days, they were shriveling up again! So I had to place them in wet paper towels to rehydrate the tubers for a few days til I could put them in boxes covered by very slightly 'moistened' peat moss. That seemed to work well.
But at first, when I dug them up and separated them, I couldnt locate eyes on more than maybe 2 out of 10 tubers. So I figured that once spring comes around, maybe 1/3 to 1/2 would grow eyes and the rest would be thrown out.
So today I dug them out of the largest of 3 boxes, and cleaned them off, rewrote the initials onto each tuber identifying them and looked for eyes. They had been warm for over a week now, so the eyes had formed. Turns out, 18 or 25 had eyes growing, 2 were questionable(maybe, maybe not), and only 5 dont have eyes. So 75 - 80% are viable!
Anyway, I still have the other 1/2 left in the frig. 4 more being mailed to me from Hilltop dahlias. Bottom line: I'm overwhelmed with tubers!
I took 2 12" pots, filled them to within 4" of the top with peat moss, then placed the 18 tubers into the pots, and covered with about 2.5-3" of soil. I want to be able to dig them up and sell some at our local tuber sale/trade show, transplant some, or give some away later. Only 1 will stay in each pot eventually, but it too will have to be replanted.
Is that going to be a problem? Is it OK to pack them in(8-10 per pot) for a couple weeks or so, then dig them up or transplant them?