Planting out Spring 2008

sturgeonguy(5a ON)May 22, 2008

Well, my cuttings sales have been slow, to say the least, and currently I have 341 cuttings in 4" pots. The beds I planned to have Dahlias in was supposed to hold 68 of them, the rest are "extras."

I have a 30Âx50Â-ish garden that used to be nothing but wildflowers, but IÂve decided it will be my unsold Dahlias. So IÂm preparing for a load of work to put in stakes and lines and such and make it like so many other Dahlia beds IÂve seen.

My current forecast calls for 6C weather overnight, and 3C next week (overnight), but I decided I would test the waters with a Lemon Tart. I have tons of them so if one dies, no problems. IÂm interested in seeing whether cold air does anything to it. WeÂre running below normal daytime highs, so I figure this is a good test of just how well Dahlias handle a light frost. I read in the archives of people who think that as long as the ground doesnÂt freeze too, itÂll be fine.

My only reference at this point is a Canna that lives in my pond. I brought it in for the winter and put it out a week ago, and it promptly lost leaves and a flower that was ready to bloom. IÂm putting that down to putting it into pretty cold water (45F) without any hardening.

Since mine are all cuttings, with no tubers to feed or sustain them, I kinda feel like IÂm breaking new territoryÂat least as far as the forums go. I know that tubers would be more than fine right now, but since mine are almost all above ground, itÂs a new experience.

Anyone else doing this?? Anyone with experience?



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I will be interested to hear how your experiment goes. Last night I planted out 23 dahlias, 12 of which were started in pots, the rest were sprouted tubers. Our average last frost date it tomorrow, and the 5 day forecast had lows no lower than 6 degrees, so I planted. Now the forecast may have changed for the weekend and it may get a but colder, down to 2 or 3 degrees. I hope they weather will improve, but if not I will be covering the plants up. It will be a long lasting lesson if I lose all the plants that I started from being too impatient! The problem was some of them I started way too early, one Akita dahlia already has flower buds on it!

I'm not sure if it would make any difference to frost hardiness whether the plant was started by tuber or cutting. The frost causes the cells in the leaves to swell and burst, therefore killing the folliage. I guess a tuber plant may come back after that, but the initial result of killing off the new growth, I would expect to be the same.

Even when I was planting I was thinking to myself that maybe I should wait a bit longer, but I was too anxious to get started on the season!


    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 8:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Russ,

I read something about frost occuring when the actual temp drops below the dewpoint. I have 10 cuttings this year. They are still in 6 inch pots and are about 5 to 8 inches tall. I've been leaving them outside at night the past week. My nights are usually low to mid 40's. The other night it got as low as 38 degrees F. I have no foliage damage. They may wilt during the day if it's sunny and 70's but the cooler temps perk them back up. The only thing is, they seem to grow a little slower now. Before, I brought them inside at night and it seems they appreciated the household temps more during the night. I think when my night temps get up to the 50's they'll hopefully, start growing a little faster again.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2008 at 10:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sturgeonguy(5a ON)

I agree that the colder temps are going to have an impact on growth. I am hoping that the real full sun they will get will compensate. Despite all my lighting attempts, I was never able to get anywhere near sufficient lumens indoors. Means I have another project to complete before December, namely to give myself adjustable lighting over where I start my cuttings.

My plants are going in tomorrow. My 68 into my formal Dahlia garden beds. Funny, as tomorrow or Wednesday are listed to be the coldest in a while...sigh, too bad I wasn't retired and able to do things when I wanted to rather than when I could get to them.

The extras are going to have to wait, unfortunately. I have to wait for the weed folks to put down the round-up, and then wait another week+ for it to do its thing before I roto-till.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jroot(5A Ont. Canada (near Guelph))

Sorry to rain on your parade, Russ, but tomorrow ( zone 5 southern Ontario near Guelph ) the forecast is from 2C to 4C. I would wait until after that, or be prepared to cover them on Tuesday night. I know that I will be covering all of mine tomorrow night (Tuesday).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 7:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sturgeonguy(5a ON)


There's forecasts, and then there's forecasts...;-]

I'm 50' from a fairly large lake. It does all sorts of things to forecasts, especially considering it is currently 25C at 8:00pm.

My Dahlias will be within 5' of running water, which isn't going to get any colder than 5C no matter what the air temp goes to for an hour or two.

Anyway, I'm not putting anything out which I only have 1 of, so if it all fails misrably, I'll just do it again when I have time...;-]


    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 8:03PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Dahlia information
Hello everyone, I am thinking of getting Dahlias (either...
New to Dahlias. help my tubers are drying out
HI everyone. I dug my dahlias and washed them before...
About anemone-flowered Dahlias?
Hello friends of mine wanted to get a certain anemone-type,...
Winter sunshine
With temps dipping subzero again this weekend, a little...
Identifying a plant
Can anyone tell me what this is please? It's come up...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™