Direction of shoot before planting, etc.

phylrae(z5a/centralNYS)May 15, 2008

Hi all,

I just planted my 3 dahlias-Giggles, Bumble Rumble and Fuzzy Wuzzy. Tried to follow diagram from Swan Islands. It was confusing, as each tuber had a small shoot already growing, and their diagram did not. I now think that I may have planted them with the shoot facing downwards, or at least sideways, instead of facing upward. :0(

It rained last night...should I let everything dry out a little and then dig them up carefully and replant with the white shoot facing upward?

I have tomato cages around each planting...and planted with about 1/2 topsoil and 1/2 MG peat moss...replacing our almost 100% pure clay soil! (Believe it or not, the name of the town I live in is Clay!) I used MG peat moss, as the fertilizer in it seemed on the weak side, but it was nicer texture than the regular peat moss. I did not add any other bone meal or fertilizer.

Oh, and now I'm realizing that slugs/spider mites might be a problem...can anyone suggest an easy spray or "bait" to use proactively? We grow a lot of roses, but only use fungicide, don't like using Sevin etc., as we want our bees and ladybugs!

Thanks for all your help! :0) Phyl

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Poochella(7 WA)

Hi Phylrae,
How is it you got away with only three dahlias? Those are some good bright colored choices. I would like to see Fuzzy Wuzzy if you get it to grow. I've killed it three times by planting too early and figure the jinx is on for life on that one.

I bet your shoots will be just fine. I wouldn't dig them up, unless it's keeping you up nights. Then it would be better to do it sooner, rather than disturb forming roots later.

Regarding slugs: my preference is an iron-based product because it doesn't poison pets. "Sluggo" is big out here. "Sluggo Plus" is also available to conquer the little ^($(# earwigs too. Can't help you on the spider mites.

Good luck with your dahlias. Go Fuzzy Wuzzy!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 9:17PM
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phylrae(z5a/centralNYS)

Thanks so much, for your reply, poochella! You must have a very uplifting type of personality, because it certainly came thru the post. I appreciate it. :0) I just got up kind of tired & have a bit of a headache...sipping on a strong Turbo Hot coffee is helping. TGIF!

Anyway, I will look into the Sluggo Plus...matter of fact, my husband just threw out the Sevin we tried once a few years ago. If it isn't wet, I may go ahead and dig them up to reposition them after school today...as it is supposed to be kind of rainy the next week or so. With the expense of dahlias, I want to try to do it right without too many mistakes! Oh, how I wish I didn't have to "store" them for the winter...sounds complicated kind of. At least for the naturally disorganized type like me. :0(

I'll let ya know about Fuzzy Wuzzy...I planted it near some Austin roses (The Reeve and Blythe Spirit). Bumble Rumble is near Red Eden and William Morris, and Giggles (orange blend) is near Pat Austin (orange Austin). I was running out of suitable places to plant.

:0) Phyl

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:23AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

I'm too tired to have anything uplifting right at this point, Phyl! Any day one wakes up is a good day to me. How can one have an aching achilles tendon planting dahlias? It isn't an Olympic activity. Perhaps I need a consult with Dr. Scholls.

Busy time of year, but when I go by all the stakes and read the labels of planted dahlias, I get to experience the annual thrill of anticipating what splendid wonders will unfold in a few months' time as a result of the effort. That's uplift enough.

The sound of your roses and complementary dahlias is heavenly. The winter tasks aren't that daunting but are a must in your zone. I will say right now, you are smart to stick with just three to start, because already ALREADY I'm dreading digging up what I'm just planting in now! LOL. There are so many gorgeous flowers forthcoming though, I hope, that that is reason to get up with the birds and start all over again tomorrow.

I hope you have a camera for Fuzzy Wuzzy and the others in all their splendor. Don't forget to post them in the Gallery section of this forum if you get a chance.

Happy growing!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 1:55AM
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phylrae(z5a/centralNYS)

Thanks again, poochella! I finally DID reposition the dahlia tubers the other day...and it has rained off an on again since then. I am SO TIRED of rain & grey skies. But I am excited to see small buds on about 1/3 of our roses (20). We need some sun & heat around here!
Yes, I'll have to take some pictures this summer. :0) Phyl

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 2:39PM
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