Finally, a few blooms !!
I'm really loving the recent Fall-like weather. Only part I regret is knowing the end is near for the flowers and tomatoes. The dahlias don't seem to mind the cooler weather but the wind is taking it's toll, especially the smaller stemmed ones. They are making some nice floral arrangements though. I guess there is always a bright side to most things. This is a group shot of Ferncliff Inspiration.
I've been out of town for a while and returned to find that 35-45 mph and higher gust winds are not conducive to the health of dahlias. Glad I made pictures before the damage. I'm not sure what I did wrong but I have several plants that are over 7-8 feet tall. The fertilizer was low nitrogen, so I'm not sure except maybe not enough sun. I'm nearly 6 foot tall and reaching as high as I can this Trelyn Rhianon is still over a foot beyond my reach. I've never had dahlias over 4 foot before.
Wrong??!! I thought mine were huge at 4'+ I cannot even imagine 7+ foot dahlias. I assume the flowers were not 2' across in proportion. lol Well, bag up that fertilizer and send some north please.
Arlene, your dahlias are so beautiful. I am full of envy for both you and Dan. My tubers are all dug up and stored. Did I ask if you have to dig yours up. I am assuming not as with all you have it would take all fall and winter to do so. I have never tried to grow dahlias from seeds. How long til they have flowers? And they won't grow tubers then, will they?
Thanks for the kind words, pirl. Is that photo a Vancover or one of the Akitas? That is gorgeous. I like that one. The tuber in this photo is the world's most under-achieving tuber. It had a sprout an inch long in mid-May. I've had it in a zip-loc bag of damp soil, in a pot, in the ground and back in the zip-lok. Photo was made in late September and had sprouted maybe another half-inch in all this time. It started to shrivel so I laid it to rest in the compost pile. What am I missing? lol
Kelvin Floodlight. I didn't think this one would ever get started, so it was exiled to the tomato patch. Finally bloomed in early October. Blooms are only about 6 inches. This is the one that I asked the question about earlier this year as to whether it would produce flowers since the sprouts were coming off the stem instead of the tuber collar. Now I know. lol
Thanks, Oberon. Here in zone 7, Long Island, we do have to dig and store for winter. Last year I wasn't faithful to checking them and giving them a mist of water once a month so I lost all but a few.
Seeds grow fast and I put mine out in May when they were about 6" tall. They do form tubers and they flower at the same time other dahlias come into bloom.
Dan - I never bought that as Vancouver - it really is from seed.
My guess is some tubers just don't have the zest for life that others do. You did the right thing by depositing it in the compost pile.
These were packaged seeds labeled as having dark foliage. Nice but I'm not impressed, won't save them and won't try them again after I saw the beauties I got from the other seeds.
Interesting about the collar producing viable plants, Dan. Good to know.
Pirl, what are the names of those dahlias that you grew from seeds and where did you find them? I have to try that. It's hard for me to believe they can grow like that in a growing season. Do you start them inside early? Sorry for all the questions but you have me interested in something I haven't tried.
We bought them from Park's Seed Co. but I went to their current page and they are not shown here:
I'll go downstairs later and hope we kept the package so I can give you the information.
My husband does the seed part of growing while I tend the gardens once they're all outside and planted. He starts growing around March 20 - April 1st.
Oberon, believe me when I say you don't want 7 foot plus dahlias. I topped them when they were about 18" tall. I staked mine up to 5 feet and after that I'm at the mercy of the elements. So sad to see these beautiful plants knocked over. Some were slow growing this year so I gave them a little extra shot of nitrogen one time. This may have caused the extra growth. I'm not experienced enough to be doing any experimenting. Out of curiosity, have you seen the guy from Alaska who grows the giant vegetables? He has all kinds of blue ribbons. On his web site he sells soil with lava ash to make compost tea. Says that's his secret. Many people think it's the all-day sun even though it's a short growing season. His carrots are something like 18 pounds. lol
The tall ones are beautiful for others to appreciate but they can be nightmares for those of us who have to deadhead them.
Dan, not sure who that would be. At the Alaska State Fair there are a lot of those giant vegies grown. I do suspect it is partially careful tending and nurtering, but the 19+ hours of light surely helps. I can't believe he has anything that is unique to us up here that is responsible.
I like the dark foliage dahlias and have grown Bishop of Aukland, Bishop of York, and a few others. They are short and make great front line plants. i manged to get tubers from them this year. I got them from Corralitos Gardens last year and this, but no tubers last year. Don't know why. I have plants coming from Swan Island next spring. Two peonies I ordered didn't materialize, so I think I will save their spots for the two biggest dahlias from this year, assuming the tubers survive the winter. Al Alamand and Sweetness were about 36x48 with 6" blooms. I didn't stake them or cage them and they fell into each other, further proped up by snapdragons and some other perennials. Next year they get skookum cages. I bet they would be even taller. We don't have much wind to speak of, so that isn't a problem.