End of Season

CCvacationOctober 11, 2013

I'm seeing lots of snow-covered dahlia images from our German grower friends, and know that my bloom-laden plants are next to be taken out by old man winter. Lots of online vendors are well on their way digging their multitudes of plants even before frost kills the leaves and buds. Many anticipate having everything done for the season between Halloween and Thanksgiving.

How's your end-of-season preparations doing?

Here is a link that might be useful: Digging, Dividing and Storing Tubers

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we are more southern than Germany, so fingers crossed, so far just nasty cold rain.

I started culling boring/dull cultivars, digging them up and chopping them with some kind of gardening cleaver for the short-term compost heap.

Checked and rewrote labels of the remaining plants.
and, yea, ordered some new bulbs for next year from the Austrian breeder Peter Haslhofer.

He has an amazing range of cultivars, keeps winning medals for his new introductions and seem to have contacts to growers all over Europe and overseas.

So, now everything is prepared that I could have orang-ish and red bouquets and white-pink-lavender ones in 2014.

This summer, for some funny reason, my white, pink and purple died on me or rather, just didn`t start growing.

For storing of half the batch I can use an oldfashioned basement that seems to have conditions like root cellar and should do excellently.

How many have you to digg up, just out of curiosity?

Mine should add up to 30 plus-minus,
which is a personal record, but still do-able.

Well, good digging and storing, bye, Lin

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I have checked all my tuber labels, corrected my plantagram and taken extensive pictures to refer to if needed, and have a cull list of about fifty varieties that I will allow to bloom until the hard frost. I have only composted one ugly monster that should have been Black Wizard, but was open and ill-kept looking. There's a few others that are virused beyond redemption or open petaled that will be composted, but most will be saved for other growers to plant.

I grow around 300, with around 200 varieties. Looking forward to getting my hands dirty and seeing what kind of harvest I have this year! Pretty exciting to dig and see all those plump tubers!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 3:21PM
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Some serious growers on this forum
I have not looked in on the dahlia forums in years and now wish I had done so.
Linaria and CCvacation I don't know if you are typical of people looking in on this site or not but I for sure am going to watch for your postings.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Didn't you mean 'seriously insane?' ;-)

Frost in the next day or two,and I have been cutting anything worth cutting to give away randomly. Here's a bouquet my daughter's teacher received...

Barbershop, Gitts Attention (white) and Skywalker(red).

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 7:34AM
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We are expecting our first freeze Friday night. I will definitely go out and cut all I can. I only have about 6 plants blooming though. Never dig up but guess I will this coming spring. I'm going to study your digging and dividing tubers to make sure I do it right. Hope I don't kill them. Sooooo excited about getting my new ones in the spring but I'm ready for a winter break.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:31PM
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CC - your pic of your daughters teachers flowers prompted me to write in a story about my red/white flowers that just finished blooming.

I got a Court jester this year and planted it in a 5 gal pot. It did so poorly I was planning on moving it out of my red/white section next year and seeing if it would bloom properly. But the last 2 blooms came out very well and I saw something I couldn't believe. From the same plant, but from different branches, it sent up one bloom on each branch. A pure white one with one 'petal' a bright red. The other bloom was exactly the opposite - all red with just ONE WHITE petal. (Ct jester is a cactus dahlia so I don't know what you call the individual petals.)

It was unbelievable to see the difference in blooms coming from the same plant. My other blooms were white with splotches (or clumps) of red or vice versa but I was amazed to see only one of the many petals a different color from the rest. it would have looked fantastic in your display!

    Bookmark   October 25, 2013 at 12:27AM
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David, how cool is that! Wish you posted a picture, but you described it great.

Yes, I tried a few pots this year, but they did lousy because I simply didn't water them enough. I was too busy turning on my irrigation hoses for my rows! One gentleman grower in Florida only grows in pots, and he has drips set up to go on eight times a day. Many people have said that dahlias don't like Florida, but he's living proof that it can be done. He has re-bloom after the heat of summer, too!

Prettypetals, I suggest you search in the archives for posts from
Poochella with dividing directions. Also, below is a link to a public Facebook page of Connie's Dahlias... She doesn't ship to the US, but her picture album comments is a rich source of tips and info on dividing.

Image is of Hissy Fitz, snow-kissed and pristine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Connie's dahlias

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 12:16AM
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Hello from Amman, Jordan. My dahlias are beginning to suffer from powdery mildew. I have been away and returned to find them looking very unhappy. Flowers are weak. Should I cut them back; or spray them (I hate to spray with chemicals); or just leave them in the ground until they die back naturally? It is still warm here, today 22 degrees centigrade. However nighttime temperatures drop to 8 degrees or so. Powdery mildew is a constant problem because of our warm days and cool nights.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:12AM
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Have not dug any of mine up yet
Not had a good frost but should be any day
I was thinking to dig and work on the plants after Halloween
Do you celebrate Halloween in Switzerland . I am not so sure about that
I have been thinking
Re my own plants
I am away in Florida from the north for about six months
of my dahlias and Cannas etc. are left in huge pots which I bring into a back little bit heated room. Others , of the Dahlias I dig up and put into bags, paper bags mostly with leaves, or peat moss or whatever
Now this usually does work fine for most of the tubers.
But I now have my bsement made into an apartment and rented out
Last year I baged up some Dahlias and putthem in a closet in one of the unused bedrooms of my house. It was though to warm for them and they where mostly dried up. So what I was thinking to do, Is not divide the tubers up but dig them and put them into smaller pots Say six or eight inch pots or whatever needed to accommodate the clump Put new dirt in them , (like they would be planted) and then leave these pots in my back room Maybe wrapping some insulation around the pots just to be sure they don't freeze.
Would that work It seems that I have read that actually professional growers do not really use the old tubers but rather cut off the new little shoots and plant them. Appreciate your thoughts on this not so well written note.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 1:35PM
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Cherie, I am not familiar with the climate in Jordan... Will you be having a killing frost soon? If so, I would research ways to keep the powdery mildew from infecting your next season's plants. From everything my experience dictates, and other growers have told me, once you have a PM all over, its tough to beat. Even worse, you now have spores everywhere you will be planting next year. I plan on early treatment, as soon as I have everything planted next season before any sign of PM shows on my plants.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Diane, an experienced grower in England swears by the method you mentioned. He says that leaving the 'rat tails' on allows the tubers to continue to mature, and he had virtually no rot. Once he digs his clumps, he lays them on a tarp in his heated greenhouse and covers them with soil. I think I saw him on youtube.

Our Ted on this forum has said that soil offers natural anti-fungal properties that protect the tubers. I should note, he said that when explaining that it was best not to hose down your tubers until you are ready to divide them to avoid mold.

Cuttings grown in pots (pot tubers) are often stored in the soil of their pot until spring (just don't water until you are ready for them to grow!).

The bad thing about soil? Live little critters that live in it, and the sheer weight of having to lug it back and forth. I think I'd break my back and not have a cellar left if I did that for all my clumps!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 9:17AM
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thanks CC
We had a good frost last night

I have lots of Brugmansia out there as well
have to get them in now as well
Is a big chore hauling those pots indoors I was hoping my son would be by and would get the job done but had best get a start on it today
I have new bagged soil that I can use for the tubers. think I might just give that a try. At least for some of them
I do not even know where Jordan is. have to look the country location up as well
Interesting to hear from people in other countries and their gardens.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 10:08AM
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Noni Morrison

Hey, its gotten more lively since the last time I dropped by! Greetings, and a wave to CC...

Here is a bucket from the end of the season, ready to go off to the Farmer's Market last week.

I finished cutting down my 530 plants yesterday and started digging the poms, mini-balls and balls today. So sad to see the end of the season! But I'm already planning for next year! I have to eliminate quite a few so I can try some others next year. But they are healthy tubers so I will sell them at our Farmer's Market next spring along with my extras of the ones I will be keeping.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:54PM
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and some roses as well

I did the same with my Dahlias and Chrysanthemums yesterday
that I did as we had a killer frost last night here in Ontario Canada

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 12:20AM
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Love that harvest! I see some roses too like Diane spied!!! Love them too!!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:22PM
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Very sweet bucketful of yummies, Lizalily! Are those pink stellars Veronne's DF ? And what is the pink cactus in the middle, and the dark red waterlily poking up on top? Inquiring dahlia-obsessed minds need to know!


    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:01AM
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Noni Morrison

Yes, CC, the vary pale pink stellar is V's DF. The "Pink Cactus" is an end of the season HH Cotton Candy. Not sure about the "Red WL" It might be an end of the season HH Black Widow, or something that is usually deep purple like Fremont;s Memory.
Hard to tell at the end of the season just before frost! Just below the dark red is a HH Butterscotch and I think the last of the Hart's Pink Tickled Pink. Right below it are a few very pale, fading away Verrone's Rosalyn.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 12:34AM
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Hollyhill Court Jester's most outstanding trait is the variability of the flowers. Nearly all of them have some white on them. Here at Hollyhill, we have found that Court Jester is not as vigorous as most dahlias and is a bit below average tuber maker. At it's best, it is a great flower. But you have treat it well to get nice flowers. It's parent Hollyhill Jester is much more vigorous and easy to grow and it makes lots of tubers. However, most of it's flowers are solid red and just a few have the white blotches. The parent of Hollyhill Jester was Hollyhill Jokers Wild. It has very consistent white splotches on nearly every flower. It is still sold by a few nurseries and is worth trying if you like this type of flower.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2013 at 2:41PM
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