Dahlias: Looking forward to spring - Part I

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

This past spring I had them downstairs, under lights, then Jack brought them upstairs and we put them on the outdoor table. Many had sprouted and one already had a flower, Kasasagi. I just covered them with a tarp at night so I did without the thrill of hardening off. Attached is Kasasagi as I was about to plant it.

Years ago I had them downstairs, but not on the floor. They were on a craft table, about 10' from any outdoor light and yet they began to grow anyhow. They must have an inner clock.

It's now snowing in Chicago. Get your golden shovel ready, Dan.

It's 61 degrees here but snow expected on Wednesday.

Thumbnail by pirl
Mentor, OH

I just dug and washed eight more dahlia clumps. I have them drying in the tool shed. The night time temps are supposed to stay above freezing (barely) for the next couple nights. I hadn't planned to dig any more but decided I wanted to experiment with just wrapping a few in newspaper and seeing how that would work out. Two of the clumps were big and had some beautiful eyed-up tubers. I don't want to chance wasting those even though I doubt I'll need them. But, you never know. I'll divide them after they dry.

Arlene, we are at 64 degrees and the rain has started again. The winds are really gusting. If I could just control the direction it was blowing, I could get rid of my leaves. lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Same idea here, Dan. I really want to go out to dig, and was all ready, but the howling of the wind keeps me indoors. It is mild out there but we both have to get the wind to work in our favor. I'm trying to find jobs that would have my back to the wind. Gardeners just have so much fun!

The forecast shows winds at 3 MPH but the red warning signs tell of winds being clocked at 42 MPH.

Not the best day to dig dahlias or move shrubs.

Thumbnail by pirl
Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

Usually plant in May as soon as I can work the ground. We have high winds here today as well, sustained winds of 20+, with gusts up to 50mph. Not a very good day to work outside.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You do give me courage to plant in May, Nanny. Thanks!

Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

I have even had a few that I missed digging one unusually mild winter, and they came up anyway. So go figure, these plants can survive more than you think.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I've had the same thing happen. I left them because I didn't want them again and that's when I found them at 8" high in the middle of May, 2012.

Mentor, OH

I got an e-mail Saturday saying my Zenport scissors were shipped. I just went out to get the mail and they're here! They were shipped priority mail by Seeds Etc, in Granite Falls, Washington. That's some darn fast shipping, especially considering yesterday was Sunday. Price was $9.99 and $4.99 s&h. They have a nice feel to them and seem very sharp. Hmmm. Wonder if the tubers I dug this morning are dry yet?? lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That's good news! Often things shipped on Friday do arrive on Monday as has happened when I sent a huge box of daylilies to my Long Beach, CA friend. We were both shocked.

It's also exquisite timing for your dahlias waiting to be test subjects!

Wear "the glove" just to be safe.

Mentor, OH

The glove was shipped the same day from a different vendor and hasn't arrived yet. Maybe tomorrow.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

It figures!

Mentor, OH

Alan Lowe has his 2015 dahlia list on his website. There are probably a little over three dozen varieties available at $2.00 each. I see a couple I want but will wait to see how mine survive the winter first.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks. His shipping was very high so I doubt I'll buy from him again.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks for your help with identifying Home Depot's Lady Darlene as Pineland's Princess, Dan. Now it's Dan the Dahlia Detective Man!

Heading out to dig and wishing the sun would shine.

Thumbnail by pirl
(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

I sent him an order several weeks ago for six dahlias. Of those he could only confirm 2. I have no idea what he will send. Guess for $2 each, it doesn't much matter.

Mentor, OH

Glad to help. I dug both my Lady Darlenes and there were many tubers. Let me know if you need any next spring. Here's hoping they make it until spring. I hate to promise anything that I might not be able to deliver on.

Mentor, OH

I had pretty good luck with the ones I got from AL last year. Zorro, Kidd's Climax and Ivory Palaces were great. Elma Elizabeth never bloomed or even budded. But I've always had a problem with EE for some reason. I ended up liking the fake Embrace more than the real thing. A couple of my very good friends (Mel and Carol Ann) are dahlia lovers. I got them hooked several years ago. Lowe's has a Mel's Double Reverse and Marvelous Mel that I plan to order for them. Last year I bought them Mel's Orange Marmalade and a red and white one named Carol Ann. I'm going to look for a different Carol variety for this coming spring.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Never got to the dahlias today since the JI's had to be cut back and they are at the courtyard so quite noticeable and I wanted everything clean for our Thanksgiving on Saturday.

I'd love a real Lady Darlene, Dan, and realize what you face holding them over winter.

It's fun to order for others by name. I will give my Rock Run Kathy to my daughter, Kathleen, and hope to get AC P for my son-in-law since his initials are ACP. He got Cornel this year.

I have a group of daylilies with Kathleen Mary, Charming Charlie, Megan, Arla (my childhood nickname), etc. and I call it "The Family Plot", including one for fun - Move Over.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

During the last week I've spent time at many dahlia sites so now I can't find the blurb I read about a dahlia (and don't recall the name) but the writer said it blooms better from cuttings than from tubers.

Has anyone had experience with that?

Mentor, OH

Sorry Arlene. I can't help with that. I know nothing about cuttings. I'm lazy and would rather avoid the extra work. I will say that it does look interesting and it's something I may try sometime.

I divided six more clumps yesterday. Mostly just to try out the new scissors. They worked very well. So well that I just came in from digging eight more clumps. lol I hope that they stay sharp. I've never had much luck sharpening scissors.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. If you are traveling, please be safe. I'm sure the highways will be busy places all weekend. Our forecast has changed dramatically. Saturday 48 degrees and 55 for Sunday. They had been calling for mid-30's.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Just ordered some dahlias from Lowes, Anna Mari, Cheyenne, Midnight Moon and Zorro. Very nice guy and very helpful he still have some $2 dahlias. This is it for me, I will be competing for space az it is. etelka

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You'll love the dahlias, Etelka. When Anna Mari (should be Anna Marie) bloomed it stopped me in my tracks. My computer is behaving badly but I'll try to attach a photo of it.

Thumbnail by pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I did save the photo for the one I mentioned above, about a dahlia growing better from a cutting than from a tuber. It's Zorro.

Thumbnail by pirl
Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I told mr. Lowe's that my dahlias did not bloom till late September. he said he thinks it is bacause I planted them in pots first to see if they will grow. That deleyed the bloomes by 2-3 weeks. After I planted them in the ground, that counted for 4 more weeks. He advised to plant them in ground in April and I will have early bloomes. Hope it will come trough. Etelka

Thumbnail by kiseta
(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Today is pre-baking day so this probably the last chance to wish you all a happy warm Thanksgiving. I will add to Dan's hopes for a safe conduct if you are traveling anywhere. We need all our friendly dahlia people on board come Friday after the Thursday splurge. lol

Etelka, your dahlia choices are all lovely. I so look forward to spring to see them in bloom.

My pruners have shipped from Lee Valley. I surely hope they are up to the description. I think I will save them just for dahlias and use my old ones for the general work around the gardens.

My best wishes to you all,

Mary

This message was edited Nov 26, 2014 8:52 AM

Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

Happy Thanksgiving! A little early, but I realize some of you will be otherwise occupied on the day of Thanksgiving as is to be expected. Have a wonderful holiday!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Etelka - I think dahlias do best planted directly in the garden so I would agree with Alan. Most of his are around 3.5' tall but Preference is low, so just plan accordingly, as I'm sure you do.

Somehow I missed Dan's post, sorry. This computer has been problematic for the last few days and pages appear and disappear like magic.

Try a few cuttings just for fun, Dan (and everyone). For me they are now back-ups. It was as easy as taking a few cuttings from each plant and sticking them in good draining soil in a plastic pot.

I don't sharpen well either, Dan.

It was fun to see that a recent purchase of spare gardening gloves have worn out on the reverse side. I expect holes from my nails in the fingers of the glove but never thought the reverse side could wear out.

My pruners from Amazon are on their way. Even though I have a copy of one cancelled order they charged double and said they packaged "all" my orders together to save on shipping. Interesting!

Happy Thanksgiving to all. We'll celebrate it Saturday...complete with the little drummer boy.

Thumbnail by pirl
(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Big grin. Soooooo cute.

Mentor, OH

This morning I dug up a Penhill Yellow Queen and a Mick's Peppermint. Neither of them bloomed or even budded this year. I started both in a planter last spring and they were very slow to sprout.. At planting time I had pretty much given up on them. I put them in pots and waited for them to respond. After a few weeks I decided to plant them in the garden. They FINALLY grew to four feet tall but never budded. I have been wondering if their growth was delayed and/or sapped because they started life in pots. From what AL told Etelka, that may be my answer. They both have a few tubers with eyes, so I'll try again.

Arlene, is the problem your computer or this site? A couple time recently when I've tried to post a photo, the square spot, where you normally see the thumbnail you tried to post, is blank with a blue question mark in the center. I've noticed a few strange thing on this site. I think it started about "Octobre." lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You always make me smile, Al. The computer problem is likely the computer but this site has had more than its share of woes in the last few years.

I had Starr's Favorite in a pot a few years ago and got two sorry blooms but the next year didn't get any.

My neighbor, who gets someone to dig them in fall and plant in spring, has some in a pot and they grow beautifully. Go figure!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Mine pretty much all start in pots end of March, first of April and don't go into the ground until at the very earliest middle of May. They seem to bloom just fine and pretty timely. I don't think pots hurt unless they are very small or the plant damaged in transitioning from the pot. They are really very delicate plants as you know and it is easy to break them trying to free them from pots. Kevin, at Corrolito's, said you can put the pots (assuming they are big enough, directly into the ground and they will grow fine. Roots will grow out of the drain holes. No broken tubers come fall either. It's an idea

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here's a link to Corralitos in case some people haven't seen the site.
http://www.cgdahlias.com/

I always used to put the tuber in the earth without having it sprout first and they did fine...like Nanny does.

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Our ground is so cold. I just don't know if it would work here. I seem to remember reading that you could cut a tuber to make it fit a pot if it was a bit long and it would not hurt it. I assume that means you are potting it up immediately?? Or let it dry for a day or so? Has anyone else run into this. I invariably have tubers too long to fit pots but don't want to put them in the pots vertically. They don't seem to develop very strong stems.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're right, Mary. They don't want cold soil.

You can cut up a tuber and the pieces will grow. I've seen a pro do it at a dahlia show. I doubt if I could do it unless it was a spare tuber from a plant I wasn't thrilled with and didn't care if it worked or not. He didn't say anything about treating it with sulphur or cinnamon and he didn't mention anything about when to pot it.

Could you put your long tubers in disposable aluminum loaf pans with drainage holes made at the bottom? I used the clear plastic lids of Rotisserie Chickens for many of my tubers that were long and they worked well. Even the Styrofoam containers that hold mushrooms do well for oversized tubers.

Thumbnail by pirl
Mentor, OH

I've never cut a tuber to make it fit into a pot, but I've cut a couple to remove rotten areas. I cut one three times and it was no more than an inch and a half long when I planted it. It produced one of the tallest plants I've ever grown. The link from the place in Maine that Arlene posted a couple days ago mentions cutting a tuber to fit a pot. It doesn't go into detail as to how or when.

I love the dahlia named Zorro. I've had very little luck storing it. I've bought new ones from three different vendors. I'm always amazed at the huge size of the tubers. Nearly every one I've seen is at least 8" long. I bought some this past spring from Jung Seed. These were the biggest I've seen. Most were sticking out of the bag they were packed in, which was the size of a gallon size zip-loc. I honestly believe they were close to a foot long. They didn't do well at all. I'm wondering if maybe I should have cut them in half. I've read where the ideal size of a tuber is one the size of a man's thumb. The Zorro I got from Lowe did very well. It wasn't near as big as the ones from Jung.

Mentor, OH

I forgot to say that Robert is a little cutie. I know that you will especially enjoy him at Christmas. I've always laughed at how young kids end up playing more with the boxes the toys are packed in than with the actual toys. Parents could save a lot of money by just buying boxes. lol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I've also had tiny tubers that really looked hopeless and they did so well.

I don't suffer the rot and wonder why that is so. I have cut off ends by accident when I've been digging and still they don't rot and I no longer use the sulphur or cinnamon.

Kids and Christmas are such fun. I could forget the meal and just enjoy the thrill from seeing their eyes looking at the tree, ripping open boxes and, yes, playing with the boxes.

My double Amazon order arrived yesterday and today we have a sunny 39 degrees so I'll be off to dig and try to bypass the other jobs that have to be done. Sunday and Monday will bring us 52 degrees so I can resume digging of shrubs and Louisiana irises. Somehow it all gets done.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Jeff - are you still with us or are you still digging?

Mount Sterling, KY(Zone 6b)

pirl, sounds like you and I have a lot in common, maybe just plain lucky, I don't know. lol I really don't baby any of my plants or bulbs, because I have so many things going on I usually don't have the time for it. I find that most things do better if you don't fuss over them too much. The greenhouse will need to be watered today, because having the heat on dries everything out, not looking forward to that. I have to run the hose from the garage to the greenhouse and it is 30 degrees out, makes the hose hard to handle when it is this cold.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The one time I dug out the cannas, washed them off and put them downstairs, I heard on my radio gardening show that they shouldn't be washed and can be stored with soil on them - no harm. I like following instructions but too many rules, and too much to do, can overwhelm anyone.

My friend who has horses talks about Mr. Hose on those freezing days, so I know what you mean!

Just saw the marching band from Lexington, KY on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Well, I just asked Damien if I could watch the parade on tv (we don't have calbe) he said yes but he really dislikes those things. Oh well. Of course, we won't miss football. lol

I finialized my order with Lowe's. Three that I wanted didn't materialize. Got frozen I guess. But wanted to contribute to the smaller growers through him.

I finally stopped baking & prepping at 7:30 last night. I was exhausted. But today I have only the bird to put in the oven (stuffed this morning with stuffing made yesterday), mashed potatoes, and will try to slip in a batch of soft Ginger Snap cookies for the neighbor kids. I can sit in my jammies and read til noon if I want. Wahoooo

Post a Reply to this Thread

You cannot post until you , sign up and subscribe. to post.
BACK TO TOP