The Mother of all tubers!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I can't get a photo until tomorrow, but late today I dug the fattest tuber I've seen in 14 years. Sadly, that looks to be the only tuber the plant produced which I've not seen before. It is as if all energy went into growing the mother tuber and no others. This was on Coral Gypsy. Photo tomorrow, if I have time.

Are any of you finding huge or noteworthy tubers while digging?

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

I had two plants of Snowflake that had HUGE masses of tubers, but when I got things separated, I only ended up with a few tubers. Hate it when that happens!! Dug a bunch and left them on the ground overnight and wouldn't you know, we had a hard frost...grrr Why do I do such foolish things!!

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I just dug up my Coral Gyspy - can't recall anything out of the ordinary.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Sorry Sarv- did the tubers left in ground freeze that fast? I bet some survived, although I know it's cool there. Mother Earth is a good insulator; maybe you'll be surprised.
I have a couple clumps weighing in at about 20 lbs and wouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens to me. It's so weird how many roots some varieties produce and some so few. And some barely any......

Here is the Coral Gypsy 'clump', but it was NOT the largest tuber after all, (that one follows.) CG has only that one big mama tuber and the skimpy wimpy little things that might have been tubers in a few months above it. Don't think I've ever seen this before.

Thumbnail by Poochella
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

The really big, wide, meaty tuber award goes to "Not Purple Gem" which I hadn't dug until today. I should have measured a circumference before lobbing it into the woods, but I didn't.

Those are your basic garden pruners for a size reference...

Thumbnail by Poochella
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Looks like a turkey.LOL

Million tubers off of LeBaron again - way too many off Peaches & Cream. My largest last year was Ferncliff Copper as I recall.

Here is Coral Gypsy - they were my largest so far, that sticker is 4" wide I'd say.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

It's the scary skeleton sticker under there! LOL Those are still some good sized tubers Al. I just have never seen a 'clump' so unclumplike as this. This was one from Swan Island planting about 6/15 or later, so perhaps a few more weeks would have made a difference, but not much.

I dug up a Summer Night to move it to the back row only about 4-6 weeks after planting and already there were 3 tubers forming, two of them fairly well formed, not just fat roots.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Kenora Macomb only had 2 tubers - such a shame. Hey - Downham Royal wasn't overly promising with the scrawny carrot like ones - split it into 4 miniclumps that have some mothers in them ;(

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Hillcrest Kismet sounds the same as Kenora M: beautiful flower,poor reproducer; although I haven't dug HK yet this year.

Say it ain't so on Downham Royal! I won't even get down to the lower dahlias for quite a while, so I'll give that one time to mature underground and hope for the best.

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

Pooch, the ones that were left outside on the ground and got a frost ended up being a mixed bag. The ones that were huge and still had a goodly amount of dirt on them seemed to be fine - and I saran wrapped them. Many of the others that were scrawny just turned to mush. Oh well...I need to get an order out to Swan Island I think!

Murrells Inlet, SC(Zone 8a)

just out of curiosity do the dahlia imperialis plants make tubers like the other dahlias do???

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I would say yes - try posting in the GRITDIG thread for faster results.

Did you want any other random tuber pics Pooch? I'm not taking any instructional ones this year - just odd/funny ones.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Bummer on the frost Sarv. Sounds like you were able to save a few though and that is the good thing.

I always welcome odd and funny anything Al. Post away, anyone, with odd or funny anything. What else have we got to do all winter? I've had some tubers wrapped around groundmates that are pretty curly when detached, but nothing else too amusing.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Remember how funny Mazama was last year. This one has that whole spaghetti eyes thing going this year. Actually I think I know what causes this - whenever there is a major stem breakage the plant reacts by sending up a million shoots. Anyone second that motion?

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Pooch - Didn't you say Kari Blue had pencil tubers for you? This one was pretty good.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Talking about living for the moment - this is Porcelain, which was a big plant with a lot of flowers.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

This was the largest tuber I had last year, and the largest I planted. Can't remember why - must have been my only one and I thought I would just take cuttings from it instead and then it was too slow - the ramblings go on.
Anyway funny how it would produce a giant tuber one year and then regular ones the next, but then that would go back to the whole lazy big tuber thing and that next year it would have another beast and the rambling pick back up.
oh - it's Ferncliff Copper, which was only 5' this year.

This message was edited Nov 9, 2007 6:31 AM

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

Pooch, several of mine did the funky stuff. I tried to break most of it off before storing them. Sure does look ugly!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Al, I think your multi-lobular growths are a disease called leafy gall.
http://dahliaforum.com/index.php/topic,62.0.html

Your Kari Blues are chubby. What did you feed them anyway? Give some of it to poor Porcelain next year! That is one lean clump LOL. My K. Blues were consistently long and thin, not pencil thin, but skinny.

FC Copper (the long one) looks similar to the fat zucchinis I grew off it last year and then killed by a 24 hours soak in bleach. So unkind...

Sarv did you have funky stuff from my tubers? I generally toss those immediately, so sorry if I passed something bad onto you.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Kari Blue was growing 2' away from Porcelain!

That Mazama was the same one that had those crazy bumpy globs last year. It grew fine this year, how was yours I sent you?

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

They both bloomed fine and stayed under 8 ft tall Al. I kept the funky one with about 400 eyes in a pot and there it lies still. It behaved pretty normally for a potted plant. As I recall, my initial Mazama produced huge baked potato size tubers, so I'll be curious to see what these produce.

I was able to do a few clumps today but nothing out of the ordinary except some shreds of plastic bag deeply entwined in one clump (I really must tidy up better!) And KKK Katie was stingy on tubers this year, unlike last year.

Bath, NY(Zone 5b)

I should of taken a picture but didn't, but I think it was Rural Dirk, anyway here's the question. One HUGE tuber off the stem, and only one, and about 6 small tubers coming out of the sides of this one big tuber, no eyes of course and nothing to save, ever seen that? I have been digging tubers for 15 years or so and have never had this happen, any ideas?

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Nadine I've got you beat.

This is Kelvin Floodlight which did not produce any new tubers - this is the mother. I've had ones where the mother dies and it only produces one new one but never this. It grew pretty good and did flower this year.

Thumbnail by bigcityal
Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Here's what mine all looked like....picture perfect, wouldn't you say?

BUT what in the heck am I going to do with all these tubers?

Oh, I know, I'll cut them for storage and lose half in the cutting, and then lose half of those in storage, and I'll have just enough for next year! LOL! I am using the Press & Seal on about half of them to see if they like it any better over winter.

Shore is easy digging when they're only 6" below the surface...I was able to pull a couple clumps like radishes.

Suzy

Thumbnail by Illoquin
Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Willow, your Rural Dirk did the same thing Coral Gypsy did above: mother tuber, a few 'satellite' tubers off the tail end of that and nothing to save. I don't even think I saved the mother tuber on that one.

LOL Susie- live and learn on depth of planting. 6 inches is soooo much easier than 20! I tried Press and Seal on a few last year and they did fine, but it was a variety I think you could wrap in thin sliced turkey and it would still survive winter.

Your clump is a fine example of a well-behaved clump. Try not to kill them!

Bath, NY(Zone 5b)

Yea Annie Rural Dirk hit the compost pile. When I cut into the 3 main tubers , they were all hollow inside, what a bummer. Nice flower, pale yellow ball and it lived in a vase for over a week, wouldn't ya know. I have lots of Proventon Supreme so that will be my sub and I will look for something new for next year to replace the space. How did your Golden Sceptor do this year, mine was 7 feet tall and the most prolific of any of the years that I have grown it, won my heart over this year.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Bummer on Rural Dirk, (I was looking forward to trying that one LOL!) Polventon Supreme is a wonderful bloom for me. Golden Sceptor was odd in that I planted 3: one did splendidly like last year- nearly 6 ft tall, one with average # of blooms and fullness of plant, and one puttered along into a scraggly little plant that never did bloom. That one will get tossed as the tuber probably rotted. I still like it a lot and little Nettie, the miniball, is a smaller favorite in yellow.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Let's get back to that leafy gall again. Pooch, the link didn't work for me.

I have 2 dahlias that are exhibiting that same symptom. Yes, Al, they both sustained a large branch being broken. But Yes, Pooch, they both came form the same vendor earlier this year. Do you think it would take 5 months for it to be exhibited? Seems doubtful, but I'd sure like to see what's written about it!

It seems to me that gall would be in a place (soil) where dahlias have previously grown, and that is not the case here.

Suzy

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Hmmm, I can't get the link to work now either, but it did the other night. Here is a pdf article on leafy gall. Hope this one works.
http://web.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/pdf_pubs/619.pdf

Sounds like the bacterium is either in the soil or infected stock. The plant I had with the multi-eyed growth just grew a single stalk and I don't remember doing anything to prevent the others from growing. Flowered normally. I don't know the answer to your '5 months' question, Suzy.

spelling edit.

This message was edited Nov 14, 2007 8:29 AM

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

okay I emailed the vendor to ask what I am supposed to do next....they were pot cuttings and it could have happened in the greenhouse.

The 5 months is not an issue becuse I never walked into my flower beds after the 2nd tie up, so I don't actually know when it happened, but now that I think about their spectacular growth, I realize it was probably abnormal. Shoot! One was my favotite!

Suzy

Thanks,
Pooch

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Wow...there were actually tubers there. My first Dahlia harvest. I see 4 tubers with nearby eyes. Maybe I'll find more as I dissect the clump. Thanks to everyone for the continuing education.

Btw...are the tubers poisonous? They taste like carrots.

Dahlia "Who Dun It":

Thumbnail by David_Paul
Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Is that supper?

They're not poisonous, never had any of the usual varmints eat on them though. Could have swore they once grew them as a food crop way back.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

Dahlia roots ! It's whats for dinner!

No, I think I'll forgo anymore tuber eating, Bigcityal. When I was snipping off a rootlet it looked so fresh and esculent I had to take a bite. More like a parsnip than a carrot come to think of it. Might be good with roasted lamb. Can you make a relish from the flowers?





This message was edited Nov 18, 2007 10:52 PM

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I think they were considered a possible substitute for the potato during the potato famine in the 19th century, but they were too bitter! Gonna post my unusual tuber later, from Hana Hitosuji - well, you'll see. I must say that digging ones from cuttings plants is easier, they are closer to the surface and no mother tuber. That helped with Formby Kaitlin, ridiculously thin necks.

Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

todgor . . .I didn't know about taking cuttings. Thanks. Just read one set of instructions. It mentioned using a clump but didn't go into details. Could I pot the clump I posted above, snip off and root shoots from it?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Interesting idea, DP!

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

David, I will have to learn the cuttings thing I think, but I bought them as cuttings. Nice because they got an early start too.

And here's the weird tuber pic, do they do this often?

Thumbnail by todgor
Clinton, CT(Zone 6b)

pirl . . . grow 'em like mushrooms. Put a clump in a bed of potting mix and composted manure. Snip off the shoots as they appear. With timed irrigation and a nice grow light the clump might be a perpetual dahlia machine.

Sure someone is doing it or tried and discovered it doesn't work so good or at all. Discovering as I get into this there isn't a lot new under the gardening sun. I get a bright idea and a week later read a hobbyist in Shropshire did it in 1834.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Tod - I see ones similar to that, very often off the mother, but not always. Can't say they are overly desirable since they have 2 necks but only 1 eye.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Todgor - that photo is almost obscene!

DP - thanks for the tip. I just fear I'd have 50 of the exact same dahlia.

Two of the 34 I've dug still had the name written on the mother bulb. One was from Al and one from Swan Island. Generally the mother bulb looks awful if it even survives. Finally...I think I understand the neck of the dahlia. I always thought I had to try for a piece of the stem.

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