GRITDIG Part Five

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Janet you wicked monkey!!!! I knew you'd be over there jumping with glee at the competition's potential demise LOL! Go ahead, crack open the champagne :)

Here's a photo for you. Worst damage is the roofside leaves about 3 ft from the top, not so much where the buds are though (yet.) As you predicted, they are looking worse as the day goes on, and tonight will be the kiss of death for more up there. I'm afraid it's nearly over for my DI 2006 season. I need a nap or I'd go throw a sheet over it. Really should try to measure the total height before it falls into a frozen mess tomorrow.


Thumbnail by Poochella
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

I think your drier has cooked those leaves! I can see steam. You might be OK, until tonight.....oh poor little D.i....


The forecast for the next 10 days here is

31 Oct 1st 2nd 3rd 7th 8 Nov
12C 9C 9C 12C 11C 11C 14C 13C 13C day
11C 5 3 3 4 4 4 7 9 8 night

except the 5 day forecast gives 2C where the 10 day one gives 3C at night.

One of you has to have a living D.i., at least until mine is frosted! 3 birds with one stone, way to go!

I took this today, I think it looks round inside that growth tip, but it could be a leaf stem.



Thumbnail by wallaby1
Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, I went to Carol's. All I'm gonna say is that I didn't take any pics.

This message was edited Oct 30, 2006 7:55 PM

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well...................................
It is toast or shall I say froze solid.............................
As the picture this morning didn't look too great.
But......................
Mendy came over after I got home from work (I was late because I thought she was coming this morning so she had to wait until 5:30 pm, was disappointed as we could have seen more if I had shown up on time. Sorry, Mendy)

Anyways, the first thing we did was walk back there and it was horrible looking. I was very, very sad.
I broke off a branch and we looked at it inside in the warm house, LOL
The buds were there but it still had a long ways to go, I think. No real color in there.

IT WAS SO SO SO CLOSE TO BLOOMING THO.........................
As Joann says, it will probably never be again.
It was/is the nicest fall in a very long time and is the 2nd driest October on record!

Sigh.........................
Was kind of ready for the true fall ................
But not now..............................

Oh well, now onto winter, I guess....................

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, Mendy, I just did.
I had to show the world my very very sad tree.............................. :((((((((

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Last depressing pic............................

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

No problem, Carol. It was just a miscommunication about when I was coming. And, like I said, it gave me some nice quiet time to myself even if I was just sitting in the van. LOL

What a sad, sad sight when we went to the backyard though. :o(((((

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

So sad!

Your place must've gotten worse weather than Poochela's -- those pictures look way worse than hers.

Suzy

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

My tree is out more or less in the open and hers is next to the house.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Carol what can a competitor say?? Well done, at least you got lots of buds!

You could think about building a protective surround for next year, posts around it (tall ones!) which could be wrapped in a huge bubble tent. You have all winter to plan it now!

Our forecast keeps creeping lower, giving us 1C Wednesday night now, and 2C for next 3 nights. All I can do is pray it keeps just above freezing, last year we had hard frosts when they hadn't forecast it.

I don't think I can even start to think about covering up that huge thing, just hoping the house protects it for long enough.

We are now awaiting the results of slaughter/survival of Pooch's and Lenjo's, come on one of you has to keep Carol company!

Ah, I hear a bugle. The Last Post.........or in the case of D.i. bare stems!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

LOL Janet, that's right. Rub it in!!!
But for covering up that darn tree. No way!
Mendy and I decided last nite that it was like 12'? but am not sure. Will try to measure it when I do cut it down, sigh..................... can't imagine doing that..........................

But hope you do survive it all over there. You have to take lots of pics tho!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Day is done.... gone the sun.... from the hills, from the plains, from Carol's back yard..... :( Such a sad sight after you grew it so robustly all summer Carol. You should have climbed up on Mendy's shoulders and wired some of those Karma Lagoon blooms high up on the D.I. just to give Janet a good razzing. That would have been funny except maybe to Mendy!

If it's any consolation, mine will look the same later on today. It is nicely frosted, looking a bit droopy and more frozen, and floppy dark leaves are found down below this a.m. Even the dryer vent couldn't save her- whaaaaaaaaaa. Next year: space heaters, campfires, space blankets 15 ft tall surrounding 3 sides LOL....

Janet if you were in the US you could win a million bucks for being the "Survivor!" You just have to meet one more challenge- get yours to bloom.

Thumbnail by Poochella
Willamette Valley, OR(Zone 8a)

That's one tough game of Survivor you're playing there, Annie. Instead of getting voted off, you get killed off? LOL

Ya know, if we had thought of your idea of putting a different bloom up there and taking a pic, I just might have gone for it! LOL

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Pooch I would put Xmas baubles on that, it looks like it has snow on it!

Why not use the stems for posts next year? The top ones won't be hard enough but you could thread a bar through two pieces for one post!

This is a great show of togetherness, 2 down one to go......now then ladies, eggs won't reach this far!

Hmm, by that I take it you have a million bucks to share? I was never meant to be rich anyway, but, well, hmmm, we have been know not to have frost until January! Just need to get past these few iffy days.....

Carol, I will be hoping to post a pic of flowers for a Xmas present! No baubles here......

Where's Lenjo??



Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

We can mail eggs Janet LOLOLOL!

Lenjo is in mourning over her frozen D I tree as well. So it's 3 down, and one to go. The pressure is on you! I spent my million bucks on tubers, sorry. But I can offer to applaud and whoop and holler if you get a bloom before the evil cold takes over the UK- may that be far into the future.

I like the idea of keeping some of the old DI stalks up as supports for next year. OH except I do intend to dig it up for storage- not sure it'd be safe in the whiskey barrel as we do get quite chilly here in winter for stretches at a time.

It will warm up in a couple days and then rainfall returns. Trying to summon my courage to get outside to dig and wash dahlias in the frozen wasteland of a garden before it rains. Don't know which is worse: freezing or wet?

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I am posting this to make Lenjo and Carol feel better. Have you ever seen such a homely thing? At least yours had branches LOL! Mine doesn't even have anything to hang Christmas baubles on anymore, and don't think I didn't think about doing it Janet! I was going to kill time decorating it waiting for it to warm up outside- but it would have been a fruitless wait, I realized.

I do have a plan on how to measure: when I cut it down, I'll measure the center stalk and add it all up: Voila! If I had to guess I'd say 12-13 ft total just from eyeballing it.

Now that I've thawed out: back to the tuber grind outdoors. It was 28 degrees all a.m. just not good digging weather. The ties I'm trying to undo around dead soggy plants are frozen. Not ideal.

Thumbnail by Poochella
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Forgot Mendy! Killed off is right- Dahlia Tree Survivor was a brutal game of skill and weather conditions LOL. And if were a plant beauty competition, mine would get voted off for sure- first night! It is not the Survivor :(

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

LOL Annie, just love the pic of yours. I will agree mine looks a little bit better but ............... is still frozen, LOL

Hum, Janet, to use the stalks for something? Good idea. Will have to let them dry a long time after cutting it down. I could keep the stalks there but I am not sure I want to do that. I think I will cut it down to where Don had when he sent it to me.

Dahlia Tree Survivor! We would never win here in the NW for sure.
Oh well, it was fun to grow! I really like the tree where it is tho I think if more full sun in its earlier stage would have been better.

Now, as for those eggs! Hum, maybe I can send some powdered eggs and when you open up the package it would explode, LOL LOL Razzing you badly Janet. NOT FAIR!!! Stomping my feet here!!! LOL

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Carol we had 2C or less last night, tonight it's supposed to be 1C, that's only 34F and it's darned cold today but clouds have come over. I'm hoping they stay, it may just help keep it warmer. Up to Saturday night it's forecast 2C at night, that could change! It then should warm up a bit more, even to 15C (59F)one day next week!

Holding my breath (don't want powdered eggs up my nose) .......I have too many things dependant on no frost for a while longer!

What's that I hear, some sort of thudding sound.....gee Carol you must be stomping those floor boards awfully hard!! I'm giggling now, with the emphasis on 'now'..........

I would leave the stalks on for the winter, they are hollow in the middle and water and frost might get down to the heart. Best to cut back when they start to grow again I think. You can always take off those dried spinach leaves to improve it's looks. You might even be able to grow some stem cuttings next year, I used the woody bottom pieces, they might survive the winter. You will know when you cut them off, they are green under the surface.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Yes, Janet, I was laying in my bed thinking about that dahlia tree. Realizing that I will have to cover up the stalk/stems so they don't get water/rain down them and rot out the tuber/plant.
I would like to try a stem cutting next year. I was so afraid to this year since I wasn't sure on how it would do. But now I am experience so it should be fun to try to grow it from a cutting.

So................. hope you don't freeze yet then. But really, I want you to lose too, LOL Not really, we need some purple flower pics of it.................

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Said in the true spirit of a competitor! Is this like the competitions where those that are out are OUT? Like in card games, if you're out you loose, but then points do count! We have no points, so we are all winners.....or does that mean I am the winner??

I'm still in the game! Oh boy am I winding you up, better be careful here....

No frozen plants last night! The thermometer in my neighbours greenhouse was dead on 0C, that should have been colder outside but the garden is protected, leaves still on the trees etc. The next 2 or 3 nights are still iffy but not forecasting frost....yet! After Sat night it's supposed to rise to 7 or 8C at night and 12 -13C days until a week on Sat.

This still gives us hopes of purple.......

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I hope your warmer spell gets there Janet, just so we can see your tree bloom after all this coddling. I think when Dr. Don set up the GRITDIG, or GRIFTDIG in the event of frozen trees LOL, he set up different landmarks. First to 3 ft, etc etc. But if you get blooms I think you get a crown!

I just want a picture of Dahlia the dog so bad..... I think I might get a dog like Dahlia- love the scruffy faces.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

OK Pooch, I will concede on the Dahlia doggie pic, if everyone else agrees you can have it! Such a cute pooch she is too, the dog I mean...

Bah Humbug, we had a frost last night which has rendered most of the leaves to spinach, it was supposed to go to 0C only, I was praying for it but my prayers weren't answered...or were they? This is repayment for my glee at yours being frozen, snigger time......it must have been -3C, was -2c in the greenhouse.

None of the smallest ones in the greenhouse are touched, the bigger ones outside are half done for, the one next to the wall possibly has a few leaves within 6" of the wall that are untouched but the tender tops are done in. They will now be able to overwinter in the garager hopefully, and I will have some extras next year, i can see it now, a garden full of 12' tall dahlias!

What a giggle!!!!!!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Oh no! Not you too Janet. What a major blow - you were our last hope for blooms aside from Dr. Don in sunny California. If I remember right, his DI got taken down by a freak snow/wind last year too.

I will want to hear what others are doing for wintercare of their trees. I know I have to dig up my DI and store it, but how and when remain to be seen.

Sorry to hear of your frost Janet- no sniggers or giggles here except the ones when I think of the postage I'll save on mailing rotten eggs to UK! LOL!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

LOL Annie, very funny!
Geez, can't send any powdered eggs now. Darn it, LOL
But am so sorry to hear that, Janet. Yeah, as Annie says, you were our last hope..........
Take a pic. I want to see your spinach leaves............

Well, onto next year challenge then...............

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Got one before it dried up. Some of the bottom leaves didn't get frozen, it came in from the top. The bath tub had ice about 1/8" thick on top, but the cannas next to it weren't touched. Musa leaves were. All the dahlias were cooked except 2 merckii which were only touched on one side. All the fuchsias are fine!

It feels very cold now, late too, although frost hasn't been forecast here. I think it will be worse tomorrow.

I took this at just after 11am

Thumbnail by wallaby1
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Yep, it doesn't look too happy.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

The bottom leaves are still OK, and those little side shoots half way up are still there and alive! I don't think they will grow much now, but who knows! Darn darn darn, last night was 0C again, it was that one night that did it and it didn't feel like it should have been frosty enough to do that! Next 10 days no frost anywhere near!

With daytime temps going to be around 12C + o r - (low 50's) it will probably just sit there doing nothing.

Thumbnail by wallaby1
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Leaves a little more shrivelled

Thumbnail by wallaby1
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Well would ya know it, the little buds in leaf axils are plumping up, 3 or more pairs on each stem. It was a smidge below freezing last night, if only the days were a little warmer these babies might just do something.

Thumbnail by wallaby1
Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

The shorter stem on the biggest new plant I grew is growing on the tip, it also has a shoot about a foot long from a leaf axil a short way down the stem near the wall which wasn't frozen. It's nearly as tall as the other stem. this pic is a little blurred..

Thumbnail by wallaby1
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Yep, that second pic sure shows the up coming bud. Good going, Janet!

I sure wished we hadn't had those 2 days of such cold weather down to 23 degrees. If we hadn't, I think I would have seen buds for sure. Sigh.................. maybe next year?????????

I was going to cut down the dahlia tree today but didn't. I was rushing to get the dahlias mulched for overwintering and it was pouring by the time I did. Clothes were toally soaked but am done now finally.
Will cut it down soon tho so I can mulch it good and maybe make a nice makeshift greenhouse for it.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well............................
Ended up cutting down the dahlia tree.
The unofficial size of it was 12 feet tall.
I measured it after I got it on the ground, LOL

I used a Sawall to cut it down with. Couldn't find the hand saw (my son had rearranged the tools last weekend) and figured that a power saw would cut it more even anyways.
It sliced right thru it very nicely.
I was going to take pics but it was getting so late before being dark, that I didn't. It looked pathetic anyways.

So now just have 3 stalks/stems like 18" high. Need to mulch it up good now and put it to bed for the winter.
Sigh...................
Was so much fun growing this tree. Was very easy to grow and didn't take much maintenance at all. Actually was easier to grow the dahlia tree than all the other regular dahlias. But of course, no blooms....................
Oh well, next year, here I come, I hope, with blooms.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Just thought I would post some pics of my unreal dahlia greenhouse, LOL
It is to get to the 20's tonight so I moved most of my pots into the baby plastic greenhouse and then looked over by my dahlia tree area. Knew I should do something about it too so...............
Just figured I would put plastic around the main stalks and then mulch with my mint compost.
As you can see, I didn't cover up the stalks from the rain yet. I finally went into the house to get some sandwich plastic sacks to rubber band over the stalks after I had already taken the pics.

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

You can see how green the stalks had been.

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Last pic.
So we shall see if it survives the winter out there. If Joann's can survive last year's winter outside, mine should survive it too. She gets colder temps and last year it was a very cold winter for the NW too.
It is kind of naked out there now tho. I kind of miss see the bamboo-like stalks and their pretty green leaves. The spot it is in was a good place for it.

Thumbnail by daisyruffles
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I bet that baggie of mint mulch smells MMM MMM Good Carol! I cut down my DI with a brush saw the other day before winter set in: I also set each long cane down on the lawn. The tallest measured 12' 8" (was the closest I could come with the floppy frozen tip laid out straight from the stalk.) The other trunk was slightly less, 12' 2" or so. Hard to say how they would have held themselves while upright and unfrozen though. Let's just say TALL! I haven't dug it up yet, but I will when we thaw out in a couple days. Right now I'm enjoying the snow!

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Carol perhaps you could fill the plastic surround with compost and then place a plastic covering over the top. If you get a lot of rain as I hear some of you have had that may not be good for it in the cold.

Chop up some of those stems and lay them on their sides in some compost just covered and keep somewhere warm. I'm not sure if they will keep and root at this time of year after being cut off but you could try it and let us know if it works.

Well mine may not be getting taller at the moment but those side shoots are plumping up even more. I read a thread on the PBS while searching for something else, someone in California I think had said if they can get through December theirs can flower in April, then they whack it down. I may have to hope to get through January and February too, but I am leaving it there to see what happens.

We are having a mild spell again, only 11+ or -C or so but the nights are well above freezing too, that's what you get with cloud cover but we are getting some sun.

Someone had a Di on the ID forum, from Florida, theirs was tall as they said but only 6'. We all did well to get anything over 10' I think.

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

Mine is still standing there and all, bare dark stalks. That is exactly how I left it last year. I never did cut it down ; my reasoning was that if I cut the stalks off that the water would siphon down into them and rot them off. I have other large plants right up next to it like a eupatorium, Joe Pye Weed, and a young birch tree and not too far away is a white butterfly bush. I hope those large plants protect it some from rain and cold. Carol, cold is predicted here tonight and into the week. Snow, maybe they are saying even.

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Hi Janet,
You think I should cover the whole plant up with mulch???
I was going to but didn't know if it would be good for it. I guess I could treat it just like the other dahlia tubers/other plants bulbs, huh???
Joann dahlia tree did overwinter in her garden from last year and did just fine. So that is why I am going to try it. I really don't have room to store it this winter tho Joann did give me a big, large paper pot to try it. So we shall see how it goes...............

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