Dahlias 2014 Part 3

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

A new thread for blooming dahlias. This is a small edging dahlia called Sisa. Not very impressive, but a good starting point

We came from http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1354212/

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's always nice to start the season with something bright and cheery!

Mentor, OH

Beautiful bloom, Mary! I'm always encouraged when I see the first blooms of the year. We just had a downpour. Didn't know it could rain that hard. lol A lot of my plants are leaning over. I had tied up a few of the taller ones but was waiting to tie the rest when they had grown a bit more. Looks like tomorrow will have to be the day. It's been dreadfully hot and humid today, so the rain was certainly welcomed. I planted another dozen or so a few days ago and hope to plant another half dozen tomorrow that have been growing in pots. I think that will wrap up the planting for the year. If I remember correctly, I'm the guy who said he was cutting back this year. Last year I think I had around 110 plants. This year I have cut all the way back to "only"125. lol

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I cannot imagine the amount of work (oh, wait; I don't have to; you tell us) you go through the take care of those dahlias year round. I imagine I may have ended up with 60 or so. Will know when I take a new inventory.

Keith is about to bloom. I love my peonies but the dahlias last the entire rest of the summer where they peonies are a few weeks @ best. And this year they are blooming all at once. Well, each bush is opening all buds at once.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You folks both put me to shame. I'm around 40 and feel it's too much for me. I hope I don't end up doing Dan's type of "cutting back" and end up with 60!

We haven't gotten any of your big downpours, Dan. I'm not really jealous but would enjoy one big downpour around noon someday. That's generally when I start outdoor work and then finish by 9 PM.

I have maybe a dozen peonies and that's enough. Except for the early bloomers, it always rains and sends the blooms down to the earth so the worms and bugs enjoy them more than I do.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

That's why I like the singles, Japanese, or waterlily forms. Less likely to be weighed down by rain.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Our Festiva Maxima is "inherited landscaping" but the others I bought (except for one exceptionally generous gift of many Coral Charm) and they don't flop. It's nice to know I have "enough" of peonies and don't have to add more.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

A second plant just started blooming for me. It's one of the overwintered ones and the plant is enormous. Easily 3' tall. I staked it and another one because they are calling for storms in our area. Stupid JBs were eating the blossoms on the other one that's blooming. A soapy water death for him....sucker! I'll try to take a pic of my new bloom tonight and post it up. It's even prettier than I remember from last year. I'll have another one coming to flower in a couple days and that one is a light purple.

A couple of the tubers I got from Swan were very tiny and the plants that have grown from them are tiny. Do you think they will grow bigger as they gather more energy through the season?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You just reminded me that the JB's are due here today!

Staking is always a good idea, especially when a storm (like Arthur) is coming. A strong wind can rip the entire stem from the tuber. I've had it happen.

I'd give them time but I am the eternal optimist. Mine are slowly gaining height and looking good but not a bud in sight - just as I want it. I want dahlias in mid-August to mid-November. Anything that blooms before mid-August is possible food for the miserable JB's.

If the tubers from Swan Island do not perform, please let them know. They are a big company but they do care about their customers and want us all to buy more dahlias so if you tell them you'll be doing a favor for SI and all of us dahlia lovers. Thanks.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I wouldn't mind letting them know but I didn't write down the names of the plants when I planted them. I guess I could compare the ones that flowered to the ones I purchased and see. I figure they're gaining strength below though. We'll see how they play out. They are getting enough sun so that's good.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Swan Island will have the names of the dahlias you ordered and you may have a confirmation Email to check the names as well.

Have faith. It's not always easy but well worth it to believe they'd all do well.

I think you're right and they are making progress in the soil where we can't see what's going on so we're anxious dahlia parents!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Lol...definitely! I've been seeing buds for a couple weeks now and I say to myself, come on just bloom already!! Some of the colors I got are really pretty, well I think they all are...Lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Ha! That's a good one, Jeff! We're never sure until they bloom, then they change colors in autumn!

If you were called out of town you can bet they'd bloom while you were gone!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

It's funny you mention that because I have to go to Connecticut on Monday and Tuesday...

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Uh oh! Have a quick talk with those dahlias and tell them to wait for you to return. Of course, if any neighbors spot you talking to the dahlia buds they just might avoid you in the future!

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

Tell them you're going Wednesday and Thursday!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

There's the answer! Why didn't we think of that?

Great, Turtles!

Springfield, OR(Zone 8a)

:~D

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Keith, a little eaten on the bottom of the bloom

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Hurrah and hurray for Keith! It doesn't look eaten to me.

I went through The Park today, weeded and cut back dahlia leaves, tied many to stakes and it all looks great.

I did find some disappointment. Fidalgo Julie had many stems when I planted it - now they're all dead. AC White Rabbit, my most expensive one, died a sad death. I even dug up the tuber since no growth was showing...and none was underground either. Penhill Dark Monarch is either lazy or not ready to put on a growth spurt yet. There's one or two more. I'll have the names tomorrow night.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I crawled the 33' of arc taking off lower leaves, tying copper around the main stem of each plant. What a job. But I see signs of slug nibbling. I dug up a container of sluggo and treated those dahlias for which I had no copper.

I know what you mean about those 'no shows.' It is especially hurtful when you paid for a special dahlia. I looked up AC White Rabbit. How unusual. I really don't understand why mine are blooming now except we have actually gotten up to 78F after about two weeks of off and on (mostly on) rain. I guess it is that combination plus the long sunny days.

One of the JI has just broken a bud enough to see a dark purple color. I am so excited. I moved one that was in a bad spot, but will leave all others where they are if the plants themselves look robust. The ones in more shady locations might just take another year to develop.

Cleaned out the mess behind the compost bins. Wire cages and such all caught up together. Damien suggested I put nail on the fence to hang them on and sure enough it worked great. I will treat the gravel now that it is accessible with weed b gone then start on the deck where I stack my large pots. I tend to toss gardening stuff there over spring rather than 'waste' time being orderly. That comes soon enough. Surely before snow flies.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

fI was just thinking of snow today! We could have used a blast of it on Thursday. It was so hot I didn't get past the kitchen steps, then it rained all day yesterday - my mini vacation!

I had held aside French Doll and one other one, Anna Marie. Neither can replace the lost one in color.

Let's hope the JI is a beauty. I don't know if they'd like shade in your zone. Try for sun, if it's possible. They love compost and manure so add them if you move any.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Ok. The one that will bloom gets morning sun for quite a while and is in fairly moist ground; I mulched that bed also. I have one that only gets afternoon sun when it is hot and again in fairly moist soil. Everyone else gets sun at some part of the day.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

From memory, they want 6 hours of full sun daily. That being said, many of mine get sun until 3 PM. That's it. Here they are.

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Looks great Pirl! I'm still waiting on my purple one to bloom. Hopefully it blooms tomorrow. Geez, these JBs are pretty voracious. They're getting annoying. My one Rose of Sharon will start blooming soon and they love them. There were so many beetles out today you could hear the flutter of their wings. Although I don't think they were all JBs, some were bigger with beige coloring on their wings. Not sure what they are though.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The JB's usually arrive July 3rd around here. This year they were two days late! If they skipped our garden I wouldn't complain. Sounds like you have it much worse than we do here with the JB's!

You could carry the bud with you in a vase! Post a photo, please, when yours blooms.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

that is amazing that the JB's are that predictable. Very glad I don't have them. It is raining today so I guess I get a break from 'maintenance' on the yard/garden. Glad I covered two of my 'projects' to keep them dry. Damien said it would rain today.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes, they are. I may have missed the early arrivals!

I'm off to weed in the shade. This has been a banner year for weeds.

Dan is probably still shoveling snow so we'll forgive his absence.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Funny Arlene. He has been very quiet. Presume he is busy weeding his 100 dahlias or finishing planting them out. Nothing to report.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

My first dahlia blooming, Inflammation, it is kind of sick looking, but have lots of buds.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Sometimes the first look that way but either develop better or subsequent blooms are prettier.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I agree with Mary. Don't let the first blooms disappoint you.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Well this isn't the one I'm excited to see as that one still hasn't bloomed yet :( but this one is pretty too. This is one of the ones I wintered over. There's some JB damage but looks ok otherwise. It's a real pale yellow with some pink shades.

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(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

My heavens. It looks like a huge daisy!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Poof! Like magic I took away the JB damage! It's lovely, Jeff. I hope the purple one waits to open when you return.

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Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Nice photoshop Pirl! I looked at the purple one before I left and it should be in full bloom tomorrow so hopefully the JBs are blue to purple 😀

Mentor, OH

Did someone mention snow shoveling? On some of these hot and humid days, shoveling snow sounds more like an enjoyable pastime rather than work. When the temperature climbs toward 80 I'm already looking for a cool spot.

Believe it or not, I'm still planting. My attempt at reducing the number of plants has gone by the wayside. I started a lot more tubers than I'd planned to use this year because I expected some of the normal attrition and I wanted to give some to neighbors. I was surprised that some of the same people who ooh and ahh at the blooms every summer think they are too much trouble to grow, so they didn't want any. And these were plants, not tubers. One told me she didn't like having to keep tying them to the stake. My mother's cousin said they were a lot of trouble to keep watered. Don't you have to water all plants?? Apparently, some people are hoping to find the magical beanstalk seeds that you throw into the back yard and they grow themselves. Anyway, I can't stand seeing a plant go to waste. I tilled and planted another 18 or so. I think I'm up to 135, not counting a few in pots.

Beautiful blooms! Please keep them coming.

Yes Arlene, it has indeed been a fantastic year for weeds ... and earwigs. lol I can't remember from year to year when the JB's first arrive. This year they seem early. I was thinking it was late July/early August. People tell me they are only here for three weeks. Seems more like three months.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It's the "retouch" tool on Picasa. I don't have Photoshop.

Those JB's do have purple sheen to them but let's hope it's not necessary.

I'm with you, Dan. The heat has driven me inside to the blessing of central air. The sweating was horrific. The forecast says "cloudy" so why is the sun blistering my skin? Not a cloud to be found.

I wish I were having goose bumps now!

We ran into that, with neighbors not wanting all the extra tomato plants Jack used to grow. We got the staking problem and the watering comments as well. They'd happily eat them when presented with a bag of perfect home grown tomatoes, all washed and ready to eat, but spare a moment to stake or water and then you're asking way too much of the same people.

This year the weeds far outnumber the earwigs. I found a few more of those critters today and a few snails. I ended their lives peacefully but the crabgrass! Some of it, in between other plants, was over a foot tall.

The heat was bad enough today, the itching from some plant that's tormenting me was annoying but the worst was the noise of the AC compressor as I was working on each side of it! It was actually taunting me so I just gave in to the temptation ala Oscar Wilde: I can resist anything but temptation!

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I have Picasa too, maybe I'll have to mess around with it sometime and see what it can do. You guys better be careful what you wish for with that cold weather and all. I had enough cold weather this past winter and I'm certainly not wishing for any more right now. Bring on the heat and humidity and I'm happy, especially if it rains enough to water the plants. Come September, I'll be getting ready for fall but for me, each season lasts just long enough.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Just a question, Jeff - do you have a job that keeps you in air conditioning from 10 AM to 6 PM?

You can have my share of any temperatures over 75 (even over 70) and you can have all humidity past 30%. It wears me down. The forecast for tomorrow is a "scorcher". I'll find jobs to do in the garage and under the umbrella potting up some plants but nothing in the heat of the sun.

For me...spring needs to start sooner and play nice. Summer could be two weeks in early July and be gone. Then a nice long autumn and a warm start to winter would be so ideal. I dream.

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