Looking forward towards 2009

busylizzy(z5 PA)August 14, 2008

Last year, and to my delight, I had a 2nd place winning Dahlia in the largest fair in Pa. Although I have gardened for years I never attempted dahlias, never dreamed of getting a ribbon against 100's of entries.

As things go "down on the farm" this season was more vegetable growing than cut flowers, while establishing perennials. A bit misty eyed that I only planted a few dahlias for this year.

I had 2500 sq ft plowed this season for a new planting area, only have corn and beans in it this year. I wanted to see what weeds were in the soil, run soil samples and see how the deer and varmits would enjoy the plantings.

As I plan for next season, I would like to include a row or 2 for planting dahlias.

I like to grow from seed, need some suppliers.

Seldom do I see tubers for trade on Gardenweb, wonder why that is?

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vikingcraftsman

"Seldom do I see tubers for trade on Gardenweb, wonder why that is? " As a former Pa. resident and thrifty as they come it might be that I payed from $6 to $16 for my tubers. Now the wife and daughter eat, so do the dogs and cats. I also had to pay for shipping for those tubers. If it was not for how nice those flowers look I would not be growing Dahlias. They are more work then many other plants. They do stay in bloom for a long season. So to sum this up it would really have to be another dahlia tuber that I felt would add to my collection before I could part with any one of them. If other people feel that way you have your answer.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:47PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

In my relatively short experience, I'd only part with a tuber after I know for sure I have a bloom of that variety. By that time, nobody would want my tuber.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:23PM
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xanadu(8/9 N.CA)

vikingcraftsman, as a thrifty person you'll like this: when your tubers sprout in the spring, pop off one of the sprouts and root it in soil. When you pinch your dahlias, root the tips in soil. You'll have hundreds of dahlias in no time. They will have fully formed tubers by the end of the season. If you are uncertain how to root cuttings, there are excellent directions on the web. I have wondered why there are not more dahlias for trade on GW, just like the other posters, especially when they are so easy to root.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 3:13PM
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busylizzy(z5 PA)

Good to know they can be propagated that way.
I grow hundreds of impatiens and begonias from cuttings. I better get going on the geraniums for next year.
It's fine to be thrifty, heck if I see a plant I know the home owner or business I just ask if I may have some seed. Then I reward them with more of their plants the following year.
Honestly, Dahlias are a bargain compared to some of the named daylilies I have purchased, yet I will split those for another want of mine.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 4:09PM
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sturgeonguy(5a ON)

FWIW, xanadu, my 170+ Dahlias this year were all from cuttings...but that doesn't necessarily mean you get hundreds of each variety. I have several varieties this year which have not propagated at all...granted, my fault (and spider mites,) but never-the-less I have no more propagating material for them unless I choose to buy new tubers.

Cheers,
Russ

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 6:03PM
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vikingcraftsman

My neighbor is calling me farmer Brown, so now that I know he is jelous I have started taking cuttings from my Dahlias. I will over winter them in my indoor green house. Then next spring I will line both sides of my drive way with pots of Dahlias.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 8:52PM
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huey_ga(z7)

If you want to grow dahlias from seed take your own seedheads and let them mature and shuck them in January and plant them inside in March/April and transplant them after frost. You will have all brand new dahlias, some bad some good, but they will be yours and if you get a really good one you could even put it in a trial garden.

Xanadu is correct in rooting shoots coming out of the ground. That is how I start many of my pot roots for the next season. Just pull them off the planted tuber carefully or you will jerk the entire plant out of the ground, put them in damp potting soil and in bright shade until they stand up. Harden them off in the sun and grow as pot roots.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 6:48AM
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