Hi, I am here in UK (Scotland) I have on occasions left my Dahlias in the beds over the winter, purely because I have run out of time for various reasons to get them lifted, either the weather at the time was too wet or had too many other jobs to get around to the Dahlias, on these occasions, I have just thrown thick mulch of good quality compost mixed with some horticultural sand for drainage, the sand helps to prevent the tubers sitting in really wet soggy soil IF we get lots of rain, so the mulch helps stop the soil freezing IF we get so much frost, very rarely that amount of frost as I live on the west coast, but even if you dont lift your tubers, you still need to cut all the foliage down to about 2 inches from the top of the soil, this prevents any excess water running off the foliage and getting INTO the tubers as they could rot, I have to say that the times I have NOT lifted the tubers, they have been fine, I do however leave a small cane in the position of the tubers and add a label so that I dont trample them come spring when I stand on the beds before the Dahlias start to sprout. If you need any advice as to how to treat them IF you decide to lift them, get back to the forum and either I will help or someone else will, remember we all have different ways of doing things so someone else may give you other advice, but you can learn from everyone the best way for you. Good luck. WeeNel.
Hi again Pulsara, no I have never grown the tuberous Dahlias from seed as I find it much quicker, easier and get the exact same plant from the tubers if I lift them after the frost turns the leaves black, or in early spring soon as I see NEW tiny shoots peeping through the ground, I then scrape the soil away gently so as not to damage the tubers, then with a really sharp knife, I dig and cut that bit of tuber away, it needs to have a bit of old stem on it, plus, a nice bit of fat, firm, tuber, then I sit it in a pot or compost to care for till it really gets growing, the same year it is back in the garden and flowers that year, to do seeds, I never get the size, colours or type of plant I really want, to buy the tubers at the garden center in early spring, they dont cost a lot and are ready to plant and flower that same year. but please do try the seeds if you want a challenge. there are bedding Dahlias that you can easy grow from seeds, you see them in all our parks and public bedding schemes in summer, but these are different and only last a season here in UK, they grow from fresh new seeds every year just for the pots, baskets and beds classed as summer bedding. good luck, hope all is well and you have a great 2008. Weenel.