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Dug them up today, but was it too early?

Posted by HighlanderNorth Mid Atlantic (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 17, 11 at 19:46

Today I dug up the 7 dahlias that were in the ground and not in pots.

I expected the tubers to be a medium/dark brown color, but instead, they are all a light tan color. There is no rot and they are firm, but I'm wondering whether I dug them up too early?

I had repeatedly read that I should "wait 10-14 days after the first hard frost, or til mid-November to dig them up"

So, 3 weeks ago, on Oct 26, they were calling for a frost warning, but a low temp of 35 deg F, but I never saw any evidence of frost. Then 2 days later, the temp dropped into the 30's, and we got 2" of heavy, wet snow which caused several of the branches to break. Then , the next night, they were calling for a low temp of 24 deg F! So, I checked the 24 hour cable weather channel at 1am, and they said it was 24deg F at that time. They take the weather measurements
in town about 15 miles from where I live.

So, the next morning, I go out to look at the plants, thinking that they will be all wilted, with blackish-green leaves.....But, they were all still light green, and my Zinnias were too. They still had brightly colored flowers on them. 1 week later, I was over at my Mom's home, about 10 miles from my house, and I noticed that her Zinnias had been zapped by frost, because they were all brown, and their flowers were straw colored, and just 1 week earlier, their flowers were bright yellow. But mine were still brightly colored.

So, 6 days ago, I went out and noticed that many of my dahlias' leaves were now wilting and blackish-green, and they were not that way the day before. So I figured we finally had a frost the night before.

So today, I decided to finally dig them up, because it is now mid-November.

But, as I said, the tubers are very light colored, and I assumed that they should be darker brown.

So, is it normal for them to be this color, or did I dig them up too early?

I already washed them off and set them out to dry 3 hours ago.

Will I need to bring them back out and bury them in a hole for another week or so?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dug them up today, but was it too early?

They will be fine, no need to rebury. I've grown dahlias for about 20 years (not a lot of varieties, only a handful) and mine have always been a tan color, I think I'd be worried if they were brown.


RE: Dug them up today, but was it too early?

I concur. Steve in Baltimore County.

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