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How about soil amendments?

Posted by calpat zone9ab No.Ca. (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 29, 07 at 21:13

For the past 2 years I have planted Dahlias and had remarkable success, thank goodness! But I also changed locations of planting, but now I want to get serious and plan an area for Dahlias that will go from year to year.I don't need to dig them up every year as I'm in No. Calif. zone 9/a/b. Is it important to amend the soil each year & what do you do and with what!?! Our weather here right now is in the middle 60's and a great time for me to play in the dirt! Any suggestions most welcomed! Pat


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How about soil amendments?

Hi Pat, If your dahlias have been doing real well the past two years then just continue to do what you have been doing. Dahlias, no matter where you grow them like a light, well drained soil that has a lot of organic material. You can use horse manure, compost, mushroom compost(some warn that mushroom compost is to rich and can burn but growers here in the South use it without any problem. Use finished mushroom compost), Black Kow (here in the South at the big box stores)or anything that will lighten the soil and provide the organic material dahlias love. I would also use some river sand if you have a heavy soil. Since you are not going to dig them every year just put the manure/compost on top of the soil and the rains will get the nutrients to the root zone.

I would plan on digging your dahlias every two or three years in the Spring (so you can see the eyes better)so the mass of tubers under the ground remain manageable and the flowering beautiful. Too many tubers under the ground require more nutrients for the tubers and less are available to the blooms.


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RE: How about soil amendments?

  • Posted by calpat zone9ab No.Ca. (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 31, 07 at 12:09

Huey, thanks so much for your response. I got the feeling you're telling me "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I appreciate that! I'll stick to your suggested game plan, I've got a good supply of homemade compost that I'll apply as soon as I get the weeds removed. Pat


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RE: How about soil amendments?

Hi Huey_ga,
I've been taking particular notice of your posts/advice since I'm in the Atlanta area too. So now I have a couple of questions for you (or anyone else who'd like to answer). This will be my 2nd yr trying to grow dahlias (1st season was marginally successful but I learned a lot). I used containers last year but thinking of using a raised plant bed. Before I construct the bed, any suggestions? In particular, will it be alright to put in area with mostly mid-late afternoon sun? Also, I'd like to maybe start tubers early (as others have described in the forum) so could I go ahead and start now?
Advice is always appreciated!


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RE: How about soil amendments?

I would imagine in the Atlanta area, such sun as received in the late afternoon would be to the dahlia's liking...seeing as how in more southern zones, you are expressly suggested to shade plants subjected to such hot sun.

As long as the plant does receive ample sun....and I leave to your thinking...the dahlia might do very well.
They do love the sun though....so you cant expect them to bloom profusely if they are not given sufficient sun...albeit hot.

I would think the same applies to any location in the southern climes....early morning....or east exposure, late afternoon..sothern or western exposure.
Then again, a northern exposure might be ideal all day long.


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