How to start off correctly next year

softballmom(Z7VA)August 12, 2008

Hey you zone 7 dahlia growers, can you help me out? I set my dalhias out the first week of June and only one plant has flowers starting to develope. What do you guys do to have your dahlias blooming already. I don't want to have to resort to starting them in the house in maybe March under lights and setting them out in the yard in June.

Instead of doing that what do you guys think about my setting out plastic on the growing area to get the soil warmed upped and then placing the dahlias in the ground when the soil is hot enough. I don't know what would be a good tempeture for this anyone have an ideal???

After I get them in the soil how do I keep them warm doing those 50 degree nights?

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

50 degree F nights won't hurt them at all. It is the freezing that hurts them. If you can save them from the frost, then you can start them earlier in the garden. I get mine out in pots a month before they go into the ground. If it is going to freeze, I take the pots into the garage for protection. That way, I get at least a month's leap on most people. :)

I am not sure about the plastic though. Not enough information to make a definitive statement. Plastic can make the ground really hot, which may not be in the best interests of the tuber.

For many people, who do not start them early indoors, they are just starting to bloom now.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:20PM
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nhdahlialover

I would think being in zone 7 you could plant in the ground earlier than the first week in June. I planted my tubers the first week of May this year and am in Zone 5. I have had dahlias blooming here and there for about a month now.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:47PM
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vikingcraftsman

I hate to give advice because every where is different. My mother in law lives around the corner. She gets everything in the ground to bloom two weeks before me. Having said that , I plant things in April. I would like to say we here on the island is cooler than you. But if you live up on a hill or in a wind corridor that may not be true. Start a log book and move up your planting date by two weeks earlier next year. If you really want to push up your planting time build a mini green house. Take a half sheet of plywood and make a half circle out of it. Do the same for the other side. Put some slats of wood between the two. Than cover it with a plastic drop cloth. Cut a door in one end. Being that big it should not get too hot. If it dose during the day open the door.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 1:07AM
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softballmom(Z7VA)

Thanks everyone. I really miss my flowers. I'll try a few in the ground early with protection and a few in pots and will keep a log. God willing I'll post in May next year that I have flowers. Thank you for your help.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 7:38AM
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charlottev(Zone 4-4b)

I grew mine from seed tthis year, I thought they were 12" and they are close to 2.5 ft aleady! Anyway. mine started blooming the last week of July in larger numbers and now they are just going crazy! If I can do it it in zone 4-4b, come on guys!!!!!

Charlotte

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:06PM
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rcnan

I think I did a dumb thing, wonder if anyone can help. I bought some dahlias on ebay. They arrived today. Our first frost here is around end of September usually. Should I plant the things (seems like they will barely get started and it will be time to dig them back up) or do I store them until spring?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 6:02PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

rcnan,

If you can plant them in pots you can probably have blooms around Christmas inside...;-] If not, I'd toss them and avoid being disappointed next spring (or thinking you have Dahlias when you likely won't...storing them that long I think might be a problem.)

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:20PM
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vikingcraftsman

When did you win them on Ebay? They should have arrived in a couple of weeks from the day you payed for them. If you just bought them I can understand. I have tried selling some of my tubers on ebay. No one bought them.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:59PM
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