ID Anyone?

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I just bought 5 tubers of this on ebay. I am new to Dahlias, and the seller didn't have any of the "codes". What mattered to me is that it was gorgeous!!!

I ordered the book recommended recently on this site. It hasn't come yet, but I'm doing research on line. What beautiful flowers!!!

BTW, I vowed to grow dahlias after I purches 3 bargain-basement tubers at HD. I didn't have time to plant them; I placed them on the driveway next to my perennial border and forgot about them. I was so busy trying to get my perennials weeded that I thought the tubers were just a clump of peat I spilled on the hot top. Well, by Sept, they were blooming magnificently!!! NO soil, no tending-- just lying on the driveway! Yes, I lifted them and will give them proper care in the spring!

Thumbnail by Jax4ever
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Welcome to the world of dahlias. Funny story about it growing. A good reminder that plants want to live and sometimes people overthink things.

I'm going to kick that in as Haley Jane.
http://davesgarden.com/pf/go/51449/index.html

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Welcome Jax. Good job on growing dahlias with no effort whatsoever! I had one I wanted to kill one year, tossed the clump in the firepit and watched it grow on to bloom by the end of the season. No soil, just a dab of ashes it landed in, no water.

You're so mean to your dahlias Al! Kicking, ripping etc.... But I agree, it could be Haley Jane.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v293/poochella/2006%20New%20Dahlias/haleyjanegroupo9706.jpg

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

It certainley looks like Haley Jane! Thank you! I will label them as such, maybe w/ a little "?" until I actually have a blossom of my own. (I am a nut about labels- plants anyway, not people!)

As a grower of succulents, any plant with a big root can grow and bloom with the nutrients stored in the tuber. I have a feeling that if the soil is good, then the tuber can then move forward with it's growth and form clumps. If the tuber lands in an area w/no nutrients, it won't increase in size and would probably die eventully. Does that seem logical?

I have one question: dinnerplates must be gorgeous, but do they bloom later than smaller flowers? Or do the smaller flowered variety put forth more blooms? I bought an assortment of sizes from private dahlia growers, so I'll guess I'll find out next year, but who wants to wait???

Al, overthinking is SO True!!! DG is great, but you would not believe the number of recipes for potting soil (and amendments for garden soil) there are! Granted, different plants have diff. requirements, but c'mon... bark, oyster shells, peat, coir, perlite, chicken grit... enought to make you nuts AND broke. Add all the tips and tricks for pests, companion planting, raised beds, containers... it is a wonder anyone gets around to growing anything!!!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Pooch - a 'kick in' is the same as a 'gimme' in golf lingo. That's alright - you are somewhat blonde ;0)

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Winter blonde now! Well, 'Gimme' I know; 'kick in' I've never heard, but it makes sense. Must be a Wisconsin thing.

Yes Jax, seems logical that a tuber would support growth until it couldn't any longer. About early vs late blooming- from what I've seen, it all varies by variety, not so much by size. A very large A-AA size dahlia will take longer to open up fully, I think, but the length of time for those buds to form can beat even the tiniest dahlia cousin. My two cents. Some are just soooo slow, I give up on them.

Going to search for the merits of chicken grit now..... LOL! I know we gardeners can be such a serious lot trying to help mother nature do her thing. If we didn't interfere in so many creative ways, who knows what the earth would look like? You should have seen the worthless ear wig traps I built this summer. I caught a slug and about 50 flies in one of them. Not one earwig, I don't think :)

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

I didn't know that! I thought the bigger the flower the longer it took to bloom. (and the fewer flowers per plant. Just when I think I have it semi-figured out you guys throw me for a loop!

Chicken grit is great -- comes in 3 sizes and they are weird sounding unless you are familiar with, well, chicken feed! LOL! One size is starter and one size is a layer --- something like that. I can never keep them straight, but the people who use the most around here are the model railroad people! They use it to put under the tracks to make it level, and maybe to make their little villages??? Just guessing, but if weren't for them I couldn't even find it in stock.

The biggest of the 3 sizes is the one I use for the miniature daffodil soil. The smaller ones don't work the same for drainage. I am looking into an even bigger size now called Black and White and sold by stone stores, as opposed to chicken grit which is sold by farm & feed stores. Indiana has so much limestone that it's hard to find granite. I already have an alkaline soil -- don't want to add limestone if I can help it.

Assuming you want it for drainage, is that true?

Suzy

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm not a poultry farmer, but chicken grit is chrushed granite. I find it is pretty smelly when it gets wet! Something about it realeasing an element. Turkey grit are big chunks, then it goes down in size from there. What I discovered is great are the crushed oyster shells!!! I took a course on wild bird A/P, and I learned that if birds don't consume enough calcium, their eggs will be weaker. I've taken to adding the dust at the bottom of the bag to my wild bird feed! Also, I grow hostas, so I'm going to put a layer as aggregate in my garden-- slugs can't crawl on oyster shells- it sticks to them. At 20 cents per pound, it's a good buy-- it is MUCH lighter than stone, so a 10-lb bag goes a long way.

In the department of "following the experts", I once bought a Japanese beetle trap... I thought I located it far enough from my garden, but there is a sex lure in it, and I had every beetle in the county on my ornamentals!!! Hand picking ONLY from now on. Five years later, I am now at pre-trap infestation levels.

P. S. Diatomaceous Earth is a great insect foe, and is cheap and perfectly safe.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Jax - the JB's attack my roses promptly on July 4th. Then I remove every flower and bud and allow them to feast on neighbors roses - I can't abide the damage they do.

What other plants do they feast on in your garden?

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Yeah, I re read what I typed and realized it looks like I thought the poultry grit was limestone...what I meant was mostly the rocks you get here in Indiana are limestone, which is NOT what I want, so I buy chicken grit -- or maybe I get turkey grit instead of the free local stone. I think it's Starter layer turkey grit, now that you mention it. In any case, the Black and White looks even more promising, but I need to ask at the quarry exactly what it is. I have alpine bulbs that are planted in stone.

I bet crushed oyster shells are a lot more plentiful in Massachuesttes near the ocean than they are in Indiana! LOL! On the other hand, now that I know they have calcium, I believe I will try to track them down -- probably 3x the price you pay, but I would just sort of use them for special plants or a special area... Some of the farmer's fertilizers have calcium added here, so I believe the soil in my area could be naturally deficient in calcium. The county Ag soil tests here are a joke and we have to go to a private lab to get any kind of analysis. I heard it is basically worthless, so I've never paid the $35.00. It would be worthless for me anyhow, since I have gotten a truckload of soil dropped every single year from 1980-1999. I wouldn't know which area of my yard to take the sample from!

Jap Beetles aren't a huge problem here - they don't bother most the plants I grow, and they can have a few roses & Zinnias in July. However next year I might be singing a different tune with all the dahlias I bought -- and ones Todgor sent me. I received a humongous box from him yesterday! I guess I'll know more then. I sort of like handpicking them. I like how they drop straight down when they're disturbed. I like seeing how many I can get in one drop, too. (Simple things can keep me amused).

Suzy

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Ill, I'm sure you have restaurants that serve oysters on the half-shell, I would bet there's someone crushing the shells and re-selling them, even if they were caught a few miles from me!

Hi Pirl!!! My JB's flock to feast on my 30 foot hedge of Fairy Roses. The only rose a deer won't eat!!! The Fairy is one tough customer, so it can lose some leaves to munching, but I have a trellis of "New Dawn" that could be ruined (the deer eat the blossoms up the side, but they can't reach the top of the trellis!! Nyah, nyah to those deer :-p

I find the JB's on everything; I'm not sure they are eating the flowers or just hanging out. I grow coneflowers, sunflowers, zinnia, rudbeckia, monarda, lilac and have a butterfly bush (among about a billion other annuals/perennials that I can't think of) I am a "live and let live" vegetarian, BUT I admit I enjoy grabbing JB's and sending them to that big rose garden in the sky! (Hey, almost all of my roses are there)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I really feel awful when I go to pick a beautiful rose (or ten or twenty) and the roses fall apart due to the JB damage. It's easier for me to live without roses for three weeks than have the daily disappointments.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Pirl, I dreampt of having a posh, walled garden with hybrid teas and old fashioned roses growing, bringing me bouqets every day. So when a developer plowed an easement on my property with a bulldozer, I took advantage of the exposed land and built it. I hauled all the stone myself, bought truckloads of compost, bought this gorgeous antique trellis and basically nearly killed myself. Lo and behold, Japanese beetles, deer, and my personal nemesis...the woodchuck, all greeted the new garden with delight. Between the 3, they ruined all my efforts. I tried for 3 years. As each rose succumbed, I put a hardier perennial in its place (hallf the time it got eaten, too!!!). Through attrition (sp?), I am developing a woodchuck/deer/JB proof garden. I still have one "Jude The Obscure" and "Mary Rose" that are just clinging to life. I'll get about 4 half-hearted blooms from them per year.
This year I planted 3 Milk Thistle, to attract Monarch butterflies. It have razor sharp edges-- call it revenge!!! Plus The Fairy rose is unbelievably sharp; it has left me bleeding, but the animals pass it by, and it is too densely foliated for the JB's to do much damage. I have heard that the Milk Thistle is considered a weed in some states. I think that it is too cold here for it to spread; but check in with me in a year or two!!! The leaves are still green, and there is no damage at all, making it look like I've planted a plastic plant!!!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You're a hard worker and I'm so sorry the critters are trying to turn your garden into their feasting grounds. I hope the thistle and thorn tactic works to deter them but they are persistent.

Thistles do/can become a problem. It's how the famous tumbleweeds of the west came to be - someone brought over thistle from Scotland to remind them of home. The rest is history.

As for plastic plants, we do have one neighbor who puts out her plastic daffodils each spring. It's her way of not having to cope with the dying foliage. I guess, "To each her own" would apply.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

And I was saving this plastic dahlia pic for a special occasion. No name for this one ;)

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Beautiful, Al! The occasion is that I think tonight is the longest night of the year- it's all downhill from here. And I have started getting the spring seed catalogs!!! YAY!!!

Remember when we were little, and September came, and we had our school supplies and clothes all ready, and THIS would be the one year that would be perfect--lots of friends, no bullies, all A's. It just occured to me that when I get these beautiful catalogs that I always think THIS will be the one year my garden will look like the magazines!! All blooms, no weeds, no critter damage. I guess it's true that "hope springs eternal".

I should have asked before I bought the tubers, but do woodchuck and deer eat dahlias?? What am I saying, a woodchuck will eat anything-- the varmints!!!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I have not heard of deer eating them, woodchucks - well they can destroy things without eating them pretty well anyway.



I stole this idea, but you can pretend it's new.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

big- how beautiful!! I thought it was fake until I saw a shoe in the lower right corner!!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

thanks - that's my watermark(or mudmark)

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Very cool, Al!!!
How nice of you to celebrate Christmas with dahlia blooms, LOL

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great job!

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Did you take that recently? In zone 5??? It is beautiful-- love the shoe!!! Are you going to make it your Christmas card?

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Pirl, about the thistle and introduction as an invasive-- funny, the Japanese beetles were introduced, too!!! You'd think things would even out by now. This year is a good one for "gypsy" moths, which are another introduction; now scientists are thinking of releasing a fly that preys on the caterpillars... oh good grief!! Flies instead of moths??? The old ryhme "I know an old lady that swallowed a fly..." When will we learn???

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Those were from this fall, that was really a practice shot - I'll be better next year with it.



this is the full group shot

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

Al - you've got some big beauties there.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Al,

Those are great shots! ...and I voted for some others in the photography contest -- I specifically remember the grass shot -- across the front yards on your street, I presume. The one I was so jealous of. :)

Suzy

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

al- tell me how you did that...thinking ahead for next years Christmas card..

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Suzy - yeah that's my lawn in there, it might actually do well in that category.

Sue - all of those dahlias were from the final cutting I took before the freeze. I need to buy some black velvet to use for next year. Those were just on a jacket that was a bit shiny. The stems were cut all the way off and the shapes were trial and error. The last photo I took up on a step ladder shooting down.

I meant to take a few more of these color group shots, but didn't

Thumbnail by bigcityal
south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

thanks al...they are beautiful....if only summer would come sooner...

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Those are beautiful arrays of dahlias Al. They make me long for summer too.

In the photo of pinks- who is in the middle on the far right?

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Al, that last shot doesn't look real!!! It should be on the cover of a dahlia book. At least with your boot in there I knew it was real!!!
Do you know what the dimentions are of the big white bloom in the "full group" photo?
Now I'm going to have to buy more tubers... these make me want more plants!!!
Al, more questions: how many varieties to you grow? How many dahlia tubers can you plant per sq ft/yard of garden space?
What a newbie I am! Now I'm all fired up!!!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

thanks everyone, those pics were meant for winter viewing


Pooch - that's Babylon Purple(what's a name anyway), sort of came out as a dusty red. Good stems for you too.


the big white one was a noid, about 9". I kept thinking it was bigger than that too, but it's a deep flower also. I ended up with 80 varieties and 100 dahlias total this year. You could plant a dahlia every yard squared, 18" spacing for a crammed garden and 2' spacing for more manageable. The more sun the better.


I think this is the last of group shots - these were the ones I had at my work

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Pooch - Babylon Purple is below Tsuki in this one

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Al, I want Babylon Purple LOL!

Those are mighty pretty- all of 'em!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I think I can handle that.

Fayetteville, NC(Zone 8a)

That very large white one mentioned above seems to be a duplicate of my Snowbound. See picture. It bloomed and bloomed and bloomed.

My very large dahlias started blooming before all of my smaller ones except for Soulman, and that thing just starts blooming and never stops, plus it gets about 7' tall. It's a dark red small ball that I've had for several years.

Edited to say that I forgot the picture. See next post.


This message was edited Dec 6, 2006 12:11 AM

Fayetteville, NC(Zone 8a)

Just to get picture of Snowbound in.

Thumbnail by 1gardengram
Fayetteville, NC(Zone 8a)

This is Soulman.

Thumbnail by 1gardengram
Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

OK DUMBEST question EVER... what's a "noid"???

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

Oops!!! I forgot we had a dictionary of terms... No Id!!! Very clever!

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