The Mother of all tubers!

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

I lost three huge clumps to leafy gall. It is quite the nasty stuff when you cut into it. Gross looking little worms too.Those were tossed!
I wasn't really sure what to do, even though I about memorized pooch's sticky on the subject. Some clumps were so dense so tight that it was impossible to see anything. So I just saved the entire thing and will hope for some green in the spring. When I went to my farm supply, they told me they stopped carrying vermeculite because it had asbestos in it. The hardware store had it but it was was $$$ for a small bag. So I ended up using perlite. Someone please tell me that is okay.
ok it is time for me to be of to work have a great day!
Dayna

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That scares me because I think I have gall on one of mine. I'll go check.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Let me know what you find. The stuff I got was sold for gardeners in a store and not the old stuff they used for insulation.

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

Dayna, I used perlite last year and it worked out fine. I also dusted them with a combination of vermiculite and sulfur, I don't know if that vermiculite helped. But most horticultural vermiculite doesn't have asbestos since the big scandal several years back. I bought some Hoffman brand off the Internet, they specifically state that they moved to using only mines where there is no asbestos. Still, just to be safe I wear a filter mask, for the sulfur dust too.

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

The stuff the sold at the hardware store was Asbestos Free. It said so in HUGE BOLD letters. It was $6.99 for a small bag, maybe enough to fill a shoe box. (The Asbestos) I bought a huge bag of perlite ( I think it was three cubic feet) for only $14.99 at Farm Supply.
I took Al's advice and used a large ice chest filled with the perlite to stoe them. I did mix some sulfer dust, just to be on the safe side.
Husband has no idea I used the ice chest. I figure he doesn't need to know. :) We only use it once or twice in the summer as it is so huge, I will have already moved the tubers to the ground by then.
Dayna

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I went through 2 BIG bags of vermiculite($20 a bag) for the 500 or so tubers I put away. Peat moss worked good and was cheaper, but was hella dusty to pull out and check over the winter.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I have to applaud you, Al. I went over all 34 dahlias (after separation it was a lot more) and it took two hours and strenuous pulling to get them apart. I saw the vermiculite at $34.99 for a huge bag but didn't think I'd need anywhere near that much. I'll go back and buy it so I won't have to buy it again next year.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Not to put a damper on things, but perlite is like glass to your lungs. I'm not sure which is worse to inhale, aspestos or glass, but you need to "damp down" perlite before pouring it from the container or moving it.

I'm pretty sure sulphur is way down the list. Hope so, because I wasn't careful in the least with it.

Suzy

Nipomo, CA(Zone 8a)

Suzy
Thanks for the info. I am a very impulsive person and I should have worn a mask, but I did't want to break my stride. I thought about the mask as I was coughing after the initial pour of perlite. I will make sure I will wear one when I check the tubers mid winter.
Dayna

West Caldwell, NJ(Zone 6b)

I didn't see any dust coming up from the Perlite, its pretty chunky (like fish tank gravel), not like dust. Is there a finer grain perlite? I did see the warning on the sulfur powder, which does kick up quite a cloud.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)

Tod, The stuff is in chunks, but they break and it all settles. The dust is at the bottom of the container -- whether it's a bag or a box. When you upend it, it kicks up, but if you pour it gently (like it sounds like you did) then you are okay for the first couple of pours...after that, the dust *is* there. I promise. A misting bottle will solve the problem, just don't get it so wet that the dahlias suffer :)

Oh, and be careful in the spring, when you are "unloading" the tubers from their storage.

Meawhile, I'll be in intensive care from the sulphur dust I inhaled. Ooops!

Suzy

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