Storing Dahlias?

Page, ND

Looking for maybe an article on how to store Dahlias for the winter for us COLD North Dakota Gardeners.

Appleton, WI(Zone 5a)

Boy - I know we have covered this - I wonder if it is in the sticky?
I use vermiculite, peat works fine also. Some people wrap them in saran too.

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I emailed NDfarmgirl and gave her many things to research, so she'll be busy debating it all! There is no right way: only the way that works best for you. Give it enough time, and that way will fail eventually. That's my theory and I'm stickin' to it.

I'm using several methods again this year hoping that "throw them in a bag in the basement" is a real winner.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

LMBO Pooch. I'm doing my usual vermiculite in sealed freezer bags but I'm gonna try the saran thing because why not?

south of Grand Rapid, MI(Zone 5a)

I'm convinced the saran wrap way is the only way for me. I do have some loss, but when they are wrapped (and not touching each other)...if one rots, the rest are ok. I have wonderful luck using the s. wrap Plus they can be stored in a rubbermaid container so easily!!

Poulsbo, WA(Zone 8a)

I'm in zone 8b should I have too ?

Poulsbo, WA(Zone 8b)

I , also, live in zone 8b and this is my first experience with dahlias. I have heard some people who do not dig up their dahlias. I had a beautilful show this year (actually my babies are still in full bloom), and I do not want to chance loosing any. I have them in individual raised beds on a hillside. Is there more worry of freezing or rotting from standing water? I love all your enthusiasm about these beautiful flowers. I would really appreciate your suggestions. Mary

Poulsbo, WA(Zone 8a)

Mary, I have had answers to that Q From Dgers on the PNW forum. In our zone we really don't have to, you are the same as me. The only thing we have to watch for is the little varmints that like the eat them, or to rot when in not having good drainage.

This is Pooh, I have had him in the ground for 4 years, never had a problem, Did this year tho. He was not coming up like normal. So I dug him up something ate most of him, I did save some tubers. and he is OKay.
I now have 11 Dals This is the tread of my new bed.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/898884/

Pooh this year.

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Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

How do you get threads made a sticky? I think it is a great idea to have the digging, dividing, storing thread as a sticky. I know I am constantly searching for it. Us newbies to dahlias use it like a reference book.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I live in 8b and when I bother to dig I leave the dirt on them and let sit in the wheel barrrow or throw them on the gh floor it is concrete and dry.I hose the pile with water about once a month.

This is not rocket study most every thing works.At one time I got all worked up and cut in the fall and experimented with vermiculite,dry shavings closed bags open bags cardboard boxes.

What I determined was leave them in the ground as long as possiable. Store them at stable temps close to 40 degrees in a dry area.

I can tell you do not store them under your house if you have uninsulated heat ducts they will dry and shrivel up.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

SARAN WRAP!!!
Someone has a link on my "My Dahlias 2008" thread. It is worthy of Stickyhood, but I don't know how to do it.

It's the best method even if it's just for the fact that you can store them tightly and one rotted tuber doesn't rot the rest!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Good point jax. Who is in charge of stickyhood on our forum?

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

I would think Terry. The starter of the sticky Dahlia Resource Thread. She is an administrator and Dave's wife, I think.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

LOL Don't tell Trish that Terry is Daves wife she will be upset.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Uh oh!

I grew many border type, Unwin's, from seed and have been digging them up. The tubers are tiny and I never did get to mark the colors of each one so I had this thought that will either be terrific or just another dismal failure. I intend to pot them up in dry Pro Mix and water them initially and then once a month just so they're all ready to start in spring. I'll let you know if it works...or not.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Tee hee Dave is gonna be in trouble (snort). Sorry I meant who is asking Terry to update the stickyhood? Also I don't know if they will put a link to an outside source. On the herb forum they will only link to DG threads.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Dave is from Texas he was born in trouble lol.

Pril where did you get the tiny seed I think I may like to do this for some border plants Do they bloom the first season and when should I plant them for spring plants please. thanks Ernie

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

The seeds are a nice size, eweed. They're not tiny at all.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Here they are at about 2 weeks old.

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Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Grow_Jo wintersows them in milk jugs and they do great that way too.

Traverse City, MI

okay, I am reading all about storing dahlias.....so what are stickies? do I need to separate them from the one big clump I now have? This is MY first year. I bought them at a yard sale and I am in love with them!!!!! I have paper I have schreded and was thinking of using that, what is the saran wrap for? HELP! I am in Traverse City MI. I think it's zone 5.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

It's in the sticky in the top of the thread but here's a direct link to Pooch's fabby thread. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/662385/

and here is a link to the saran wrap method if you would like to try that http://rain.prohosting.com/midahlia/No_Fuss.htm

This message was edited Oct 28, 2008 7:22 PM

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

That's the Saran wrap article we need to be stickie-fied. BTW, I tried using that awesome cling wrap that Glad makes- the "Press-n Seal". The stuff works great on food containers, but wrapped around a tuber IT DOES NOT COME OFF!!! I had to use razor blades last year when I tried it. Besides, you can read the tuber name through plain plastic wrap.

I don't do the "shake and bake" w/ sulpher. I just scrub the tubers in warm soapy water w/ a smidge of bleach in it. I agree w/ the article in that whatever you do, some will rot. There has to be something wrong w/ some tubers b/f they go into storage cuz I've never heard of a 100% foolproof method of keeping 100% of your tubers! At least it's only around a 10% loss w/ plastic wrap, compared to my past 50%-60% losses. I used to lose a few to dryness; now that's been eliminated.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Jax. No kiddin on stickyhood. I'm waiting for the longer-time members to chime in on stickyhood. I've only been a DG member since Feb so I'm not sure how we're handling the stickyhood. LOL on the 'Press-in-Seal". I sent it flying over the fence a long time ago. Rubarb rating IMHO. I don't have to do the sulpher either. I think it depends on where you are and what diseases you have in your states/province. I don't have any. If I get a suspect infected tuber I burn plant and tuber/s. I store all my tubers and deal with the eyes in the spring so I've never 'lost a tuber'. At least not through dry or rot. I prefer to call it dahlia 'self-selection' if they are viable or not ^_^

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

"Self selection" for rotting tubers is the most logical reason! Esp. since you can cut 3 tubers out of the same clump and have 1 rot and 2 stay healthy!
Knock wood, the only "diseases" I've seen are environmental- too much rain, not enough rain and too many hungry earwigs and other nasties. This year I had these teeny inchworms. They sampled everything in the garden, ate quite a few dahlia leaves, but absolutely destroyed my hardy hibiscus! The turned the leaves to skeletal outlines of leaves. I couldn't figure out what the culprit was b/f it was too late. I have to remember this for next year, if they come back.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

When I first moved here I was saying 'are you a good witch or a bad witch" about bugs. Seriously I had no clue! I bought a big bug book and learned as a winter project. You could do it on line too. Now I'm rolling with the bug flow in my garden ^_^ Fortunately for me there are very few bugs/diseases I have to take seriously. It's one advantage I have living in a colder clime.

Traverse City, MI

Thank you everyone. I sometimes find it hard to manuever around the forum. I get off on someone's writings and then can't find my way back! Oh well, it's a great place to get lost in for sure. My dahlia is a many petal, 3 inch blood red in color and oh so many blooms! I didn't put them in the ground until say.....July? and they grew to my chest (I'm 5'4") and bushed out wonderfully. I am looking foward to getting out there (they are sitting in a bucket) and working on the cleaning, separarting and storing of them. I am really amazed on how many more tubers I have. I feel this is a dum question but I bet when I get in to the thick of separating them I will answer my own question, should I find the "spent" tubers I will throw away?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Yes! Cut off any mushy tubers or any that have been injured in the digging process and then wash as Jax does. You don't want any area left unsanitized to spread rot or disease. I do use a stronger ratio of bleach but it's up to you. Some folks spray cut sections with Lysol. Just make sure you let them dry before the Saran Wrap.

Dahlia 'Wildwood Marie' is still in the draining position on top of the seriously cut back azalea. Today I'll try and cut it apart and find eyes.

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Solon, IA

Married into a family, Edison's Springhill Dahlia Farm 40 years ago, and they had been growing dahlias since the 1920's. We dig the clumps shake off the loose dirt and put them in storage. During the winter they knocked the dirt off, divided the clumps and stored the tubers bare root in wooden trays. Now when I divide them, I wrap them is sandwhich wrap I buy at Sam's Club. Very little rot. I do use a humidifier to keep the cool room in the basement moist and the tubers from drying out.

Boxford, MA(Zone 6a)

dahlianut, I'm glad someone else feels the same about winter. We really need a break to consider our successes and failures; what we need to know more about and what we can forget.

pirl, what a fun project that looks like!!! Oy!

dahliadigger, it's great to have another uber dahlia expert!!! I can't imagine wrapping more than 50 or so tubers. When I start buying plastic wrap at the warehouse stores, I'll know I've crossed over some sort of edge! Until I find a helper, that is!

I give my divided and drying tubers a shot of Lysol, too.

I've changed one thing about sanitation. I've purchased 10 or so "project boards" at HD- they are pre-cut pieces of plywood; you can buy several thicknesses and sizes, and they are only a few dollars. You can cover them w/ newspaper and put it on your counter- tah-dah- sterile work surface! Plus you can move the board to have a clean counter in a jif. I use these boards for all my messy projects: pottery, painting, plant re-potting. I store them vertically in the basement. If they get messy, I hose em' off outdoors.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Jax you are a clever, clever girl. I'm gonna get me a project board. To date I have just been putting police tape around the sections of the house that are under 'de'struction with my gardening projects.

North West, OH(Zone 5b)

I started out using the Saran Wrap method until I ran out of wrap. I have to say this didn't break my heart cuz working with that stuff tests my patience no end, LOL.

So I improvised by putting the rest of the tubers in their own individual sandwhich baggie (the cheap-o fold-down type,) rolling them up just like I did with the wrap, then taping them shut. I have no idea if this is going to work, but I have to say it was a lot easier (for me) than working with that roll of invisible, clingy, tearing-and-shreading other... stuff.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

That sounds very tempting. Did you do the vermiculite roll with the sulphur?

Upstate, NY(Zone 5a)

OOOOPS!! Sorry Trish!! {{blushing}} Leave it to me to put my foot in my mouth!!

North West, OH(Zone 5b)

Pirl I'm about to expose myself again as the total novice I am.

Supplies are limited here and I live almost 50 miles from the nearest town of any size. So I improvised there as well. I did the Clorox dip then submerged them in a liquid antifungal solution. It's just a spray that I had on hand for my brugs and I emptied the bottle into a bowl and just dipped the tubers in then let them dry. Again...no idea if this will work, but you know what they say about necessity.

Wouldn't it be a hoot if I have tremendous success with my unorthodox methods?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'd be the first one applauding!

Solon, IA

LJ, it is my understanding, from people who sell tubers and other growers that the tubers will rot in plastic sandwhich bags. I can not tell you why they will store in saran wrap and not in bags, but if you seal the bags that's what happens. I use Sam's club wrap which isn't as clingy as Saran. You might try the house brand from your local store. Good Luck.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Clap, clap, clap,clap, clap I adore ingenuity.

North West, OH(Zone 5b)

Dahliadigger is that not just one of those "hmmmm" moments? I do not doubt your information in the least (see previous Clueless Dahlia Girl references) but a guy (or girl in this case) has to wonder what the heck would be the difference between plastic cling wrap and a plastic baggie. Hmmm.

Me thinks I see yet another experiment afoot. LOL

Issaquah, WA(Zone 7a)

I hated Saran wrap for the same reason, Lala: too difficult to handle compared to Glad Clingwrap, which is my favorite. Had the same experience as Jax with Glad Press and Seal. "Press and Squeal" was more like it, trying to unpack those tubers! But they did store well. Too much fuss per tuber for me.

Foil worked just like saran; plastic bags of vermiculite works, though I've not used sandwich bags; tubs of vermiculite works and this year I am adding cedar shavings just because they're there to try. Peat moss was drying and the one fatal year we froze badly here, I was stored in peat and lost 95% of my tubers, so never again, (but that wasn't the peatmoss' fault- it was the freeze.)

I think some year someone will do seaweed wraps or "World Wraps" on tubers and report it as a success. Just don't let them freeze, don't let them drown and don't let them dry to excess and you should have shoots come spring.

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