help please

pdshop(5)October 14, 2009

I was just outside cutting down tubers when I thought----Won't water get down the stems and rot the tuber? We are expecting a northeast storm on Thurs. I don't know whether to keep going or not?

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Poochella(7 WA)

You can make little foil caps to cover any hollow stems or stuff a short dahlia branch or two in the hollow stems leaving the hole covered with foliage for the short time they'll be left in the ground. Sometimes if you cut the stalk at a node, the stem will barely be hollow and no 'capping' need be done.

I've had several snap off in our heavy winds yesterday so I'll have a few clumps to work on soon. No freeze here yet though.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 11:45AM
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kwesiobruni

I cut the tops off all of my dahlias two days ago and it rained last night. I was not going to dig until this weekend. Will they rot that fast if water is down the stems? I hadn't even considered that little detail.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 11:51AM
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pdshop(5)

I knew you would come to my rescue Pooch. I am going to put flower pots and pans over them. I stopped cutting right away when I thought about the rain. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 6:11PM
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vikingcraftsman

PDSHOP with a handle like that you should take pen blanks and turn pens, then use then to stop up your dahlias. Bad week sorry.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 8:42PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Sorry you had a bad week, Viking.

Kwesio, I wouldn't worry about just a few days of exposed stalks. Most of the time I don't worry about it at all even in our very wet autumn climate. They're usually only outside a few days, once cut.

And I should point out that we seldom freeze by the time I cut plants down, so leaves would not be the frozen spinach yuck, but normal green dahlia leaves on sprigs stuffed in an open stalk.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2009 at 10:02PM
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pdshop(5)

viking I don't know what you are talking about? It has been in the 40's and 30's. I hope it gts warmer to get these things worked, dug, washed and store. Thank goodness I made notes on the dahlias as I oulwn't be able to distinguish them now. Poor things.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 3:24PM
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vikingcraftsman

Neather do I. Just thought you might be a woodworker like me. All though I don't turn pens. I make pen boxes though. It looks like frost for me tonight.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2009 at 10:55PM
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upwithdahlias(Colorado(Z4))

I really don't worry any longer about water in the stems. However, back when I fretted over making little foil caps or cutting at the nodes or pushing a screw drive down through the whole clump, I piked up a neat trick on another group from Buddy Dean at Hilltop Dahlias in North Carolina. His technique was to fill the open stem with the foam insulation that comes in an aerosol container.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 1:10AM
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