GRITDIG 2008 Who's In It to Win It?

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Thanks to the generosity of Willow who winged me another Dahlia Imperialis start, I am calling the official start of the 2008 Great Race International of the Dahlia Imperialis Girls (or Gang, if there are guys competing, like our original inspirational Dr. Don.)

I planted mine in the corner whiskey barrel again and plan to employ extraordinary tactics to get that sucker to bloom before frost! Kleig lights, heat lamps, maybe I'll build a Biosphere around it if I have to!

My thanks to Willow for allowing me to play again through your most generous sharing. The stage is set. Now all we need is some sun and temps above 50.... and a little this, a little that.

Now- who will see see blooms before Jack Frost visits? Who is in?

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Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, cool, Annie. That is so so nice of Willow then to keep you in the race, LOL

I hope I am in. So far as of Sunday, no shoot for me tho.
I did over winter a stalk that blew over last fall so I put it in some peat moss in a rubbermaid tub in my greenhouse. I need to plant that tho possibly this weekend with my other dahlia tubers.
So...........................we shall see if I am still in the race!
I sure hope so. I like the tree anyways since it has such a nice pretty green color to it and different type/shape of leaves.

How tall is your tree then??? Take a pic and post it please!

Later, Carol

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Wow that is such a neat Dahlia!!! Hope you get flowers!

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

Any idea where I can get a start of one of these?...I need/want/have to have it! Can't find one available on-line...heavy sigh...pouty face...


Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Plant Delights shows up as a source on a google search. Don't know if they're in stock though. Member of the Watchdog 30 with many positive ratings too.

Carol I hope your tree is okay. Winter was mild enough, and a lot like Spring this year so far :(

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

Thanks Poochella...They want $36.00 plus $10.00 phyto to ship to AK...the plant is only $14.00...LOL. Annie's Annuals is out of stock...I'll keep searching...

BTW...I've never told you, but you're my Dahlia Idol (blushing)...I've saved many of your pics as an example of what I am striving for...Guess I'll have to post some pics of AK dahlias this year to see how close I've gotten.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I sure hope you grow Santa Claus with your address ;)

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

I'm embarrassed to say he is still on "To Get" list...But his house is 2 miles from my home. I've got (lost count) but 50-60 started in the garage this year, so Santa Claus got bumped...

Pooch is my Idol...Al, you're my Guru...LOL

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

When I get (a lot) older I want to be like Pooch too.

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

you guys must be pretty young, i heard that pooch was only 24 years old.


Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

I can't remember when I was born - I was real young at the time.

Pooch is paying you off now too huh?

Gladwin, MI(Zone 5a)

who me? what ever it takes!

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

I'm the same 24 Pooch is...My youngest child (of 3) is 30, so you can tell I'm not real good at math. I do think it is such a shame our children have to get older, while fortunately we don't...

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

You guys and gals are hilarious. 24? It only took me 24 tubers to Erika to win her over to my side LOL! Thanks Erika! 24 is also the number of 5 gallon buckets o' rocks I shovelled, sifted, hand- scooped into those buckets, lifted into the trailer, lifted out again and unloaded and repeated all until 5 minutes ago. Took me about 7 hours. I feel 70. Maybe 80. I feel like no idol. I can't feel my arms! I have a renewed hatred of rocks of any size, but I am soooooo close to being done with the prepwork in the new dahlia bed. I hurt my favorite shovel by jamming it into an unseen 25 lb rock. Mother's Day gift coming right up, hopefully.

Chocolate, I will be so curious to hear and hopefully see how your dahlias grow up there in the midnight sun land. And why on earth do you need a phyto certificate to ship to Alaska? You are part of the Union! I object, on your behalf....

Al you are my guru too and my resident humorist!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Boy, Annie, those guys sure are razzing you good here!!!
Nah, she ain't 24. She is old, LOL LOL
But she sure looks good for her age, LOL

Back to the subject, guys!

I just looked after work today and found a shoot coming up from my dahlia tree!!!!!
It is like 2" tall!

So I am in the running again this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

You're already in the lead, unless Lenjo, Wallaby, Willow, or ??? has sprouts showing. My eyes are underground still, but if it warms up EVER, I should have a couple stalks showing in a few weeks. Crossing my fingers....

Now I am going to drop into a nice deep coma and dream of dahlia imperialis blooms...

North Pole, AK(Zone 1)

Silly me! No phyto, the $10 was for some certificate Hawaii requires. I saw the extra charge and assumed Plants Delight was in Canada and the charge was for the phyto. I missed the asterisk which stated it applied to HI. It is horrendous getting anything shipped here. Thanks for recognizing we are part of the Union. It's a big issue here, especially when we challenge the "continental US", which we are. Contiguous is what we are not.
I will post a separate thread when I have time with pics of a few of last year's dahlias so as not to stay OT. Let's just say everything gets WAY taller than normal with the continual daylight. Staking is my nemisis.

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

What are the chances of someone in Z6 of getting flowers? Would I be wasting my time and $14.00?

Bath, NY(Zone 5b)

Mine is in the wine barrel but no signs of shoots yet. This how I look at it Pooch, these guys don't have a chance, our plants are twins . Last year they traveled from California to New York and grew to flower and now one back to Washington, the power is there!!

Luvs , You have as good a chance as anyone, it all depends on the length of the season. Last year, I cut off the top and put it in water inside and I had flowers so................ It is a beautiful plant and I think everyone will agree that is fun to watch it grow and then there is Gritdig. Join the fun

I'm in!!!

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

OK looks like I treated myself to an early Mother's day gift!! I'm in...and I am going to give it my best shot....wish me luck and I hope the mail gets here soon!!! Such enablers you are!!!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Way to go Luvs! You will be amazed at how fast these towering things grow. Regular dahlias are amazing enough the way the grow and form, but the tree dahlia is a near-frenzy of growth.

May the force of an extended frost-free autumn be with us all!

Bath, NY(Zone 5b)

He's up, he's up!!!! Yesterday , I checked the old wine barrel and low and behold , I saw a little green sprout, today it's about 1 inch tall. I am on my way!!!!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, mine is a "she", so..................she is still growing nicely since we had a nice sunny weekend!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Mine is gender neutral so IT'S got little red eyes not above the soil line just yet. It's waiting for the 80 degrees and sun that the Oregonians kept to themselves this weekend. Washington's turn for heat and sun is coming right up, and I hope then the D.I. will spring forth and head for the eaves.

Willow I hope you're right about the well-travelled D.I. being a good omen. They've seen 33,000 feet once, so a mere 15 feet of altitude should be nothing :) Time will tell.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

We have had several days up to 80F or over, now it's cooled off to more like normal, not cold as usual but what it should be, I think, lol, anything goes here. Something around the 60F mark is expected anyway. We had a mild winter then it turned into winter when spring came! It wasn't quite like spring but it was the warmest January on record, and the sunniest February on record! Temps were up to 10-12C or over (50-54F) Now spring was a different matter, winter temps of 6C (43F) up until late April!

Hey mine has been up for yonks! Now there's several stems but I doubt they will all grow properly, or I should try taking some off.

Thanks for kicking this off pooch, I thought about it then got busy with all the garden jobs I couldn't do in winter/spring.

I took a pic soon after I first noticed the first two shoots, tallest then was about 6" on the 8th so Carol mine is ahead, so far, lol. I'll get a pic tomorrow of all the new shoots which are coming through a ground cover.

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Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Welcome back aboard Wallaby and nice to see you again. I love the sounds of your winter, except it sounds a lot like our Spring to date. However, 90's are possible by Friday here which will also be record-setting. Maybe my little red buds will sprout into shoots with that heatwave.

The race is on..... Thanks for the inspiring photo Janet!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

Janet, is yours still in the greenhouse??? Not fair!!!

I will have you guys know that I now have 2, note the number 2, dahlia trees!!! I just noticed the one in the greenhouse that I had overwintered from the broken stalk. It is coming up!!!
So now I need to get that thing in the ground this weekend!

So I am in the running 2x! YEAH! LOL

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Yes fair Carol, lol, that went in the ground last year! Mine always seems to be about 4" ahead of yours though, but you get buds first!

Congrats on the new baby Carol! I put three in the ground last year but couldn't find space for more, I gave one to my neighbour whose greenhoue I use. I still have 3 in pots, one of those has sprouted but I kept them outside.

Pooch, yours should sprout soon but if not properly rooted will take longer, sudden heat will bring it on quickly!

This is the better one of the three young plants in the ground, the other two are more shaded. It's about a foot tall with two stems.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

The big momma plant, with so far that I can see 12 new shoots! One is still buried by the Delosperma and has been nibbled but looks to still have it's centre, you can see most of them in this pic. Besides the two taller ones the rest are mostly near the 5th smaller stem from last year which I broke off. The tallest is also about a foot tall.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

That was from the side, this from the front. You can see the other small one in front at the left, there's probably a heap more on the left to come yet but the Delosperma is covering it well there. I can see it will end up lifting the foundations, lol.

Maybe one year we will NOT have an early hard frost, this took -5C (23F) last year without being hit, it depends where the frost settles but we had a slightly harder one when I had BUDS!!!!! It can happen where we only have about 4 frosts to -5C the whole winter.

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Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

I just went out with the tape measure, midnight here, it's a good 15" tall!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Oh you overachievers!

So Carol, when the stalk broke off, did you just root it and then leave it to develop roots? Way cool that it took!

Those look like marvelously healthy plants Janet. So many shoots! I will hope you have a fair autumn to get to bloom. Can you imagine if all those stalks bloom? We will get our brief heatwave soon and I will put on some magic potions, do the Sprouting Chant, pace, sing, coddle and coo that DI into some rapid growth..... maybe!

Albany, OR(Zone 8a)

My, Janet, yours look very healthy with those nice shoots.

Annie, when it broke off, I just brought it in and put in the peat moss in that rubbermaid tub. I didn't know if it had roots or not. I just took a chance. I am really, really suprised it is growing. Is kind of cool. I will try to take a pic of it soon to show you what I did. Also, maybe when I plant it, I will take a pic to show how it looked after taking it out of the peat moss. Hope it will transplant to the ground okay tho.

Bath, NY(Zone 5b)

Had a nice soft rain and the DI liked it as another sprout surfaced. When these plants start to grow , watch out!! Here's the first picture as it leaps in to the world, go dahlia go!

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Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Nice Nadine! Those aren't sprouts, those looks like upward bound beautiful stalks to me. Despite our beautiful 'first shorts of the season' day in the 80's my eyes have yet to break the soil line, but they will.

I just realized I hacked my 10 ft rebar in two last year for stakes, so I'll have to get another for the D.I. There's always something else to do, isn't there?

Mount Angel, OR(Zone 8a)

Well, I have watching and reading and wondering what was going to happen with my imperialis and today I noticed it finally broke through the ground. I had dug mine up and moved it. I planted one right by the back door next to the chimney and that is a southern exposure and it will get reflected heat too from the house. So I will be curious to see what it does. I planted another piece over by the greenhouse ; not in it. I gave a couple of starts to a man from church who has wonderful nursery of all kinds of hanging baskets, premium annuals etc. He will keep it in the greenhouse and I told him if and when it blooms he has to call me so I can see a real live imperialis bloom. I saw them somewhere once, I feel like this is like the plant on Dennis the Menace that blooms once in a lifetime. LOL I don't know that I will enter this competition but always enjoy seeing how everyone else does. Janet, 15 inches, good grief I hope you see bloom.

Lincoln, United Kingdom(Zone 8a)

Good luck with yours Joann, and I do hope the greenhouse one blooms, he must have a very tall greenhouse!

Mine has a chance to bloom IF we don't get that early frost, it will be later to set bud as our days take longer to shorten even though they end up a lot shorter than those further south.

It has too many stems really and I should take some off, but I have then to look after them!

Pooch, it would be a sight if they all did bloom, some chance, lol, but there is hope. They are too close to each other to all grow properly though so some will get pushed out.

While we look for D.i. blooms we will always have something to look forward to so keep trying, lol!

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

I just wish mine would get here!!!

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

Oooh Joann that one by the chimney with south exposure sounds toasty and like a potential blockbuster for growth.

Willow, I think a multi stemmed/branched DI would be a sight to behold, especially in bloom, but just for the vast branching alone. I say, give it a whirl!

I was so excited yesterday to see a little nub of light green emerging in the whiskey barrel; right where I know one eye to be.
So I went to capture the breakthrough digitally and found............

sunflowers planted by the chipmunk! Little teasers....

(Ronnie), PA(Zone 6b)

Well mine arrived yesterday and I was expecting just a small tuber but I got a nice big plant!!! I kind of feel like I am cheating through since I didn't start mine from the beginning like you guys did!!! I would just like to see anyone's flowers!!!

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