It will soon be April and I need to check my over wintered tubers and buy some new varieties. The I can start my Dahlias in to growth. It is too cold to plant them out in the garden in April in the north so I start to get them going in pots in the greenhouse.
I planted the tubers in pots big enough to hold the tuber easily and covered with potting compost. After a good watering I left them under the bench in the greenhouse. Within two to three weeks I expect to see the first shoots poking out of the compost and beginning to green up. Another month will have to go by before all danger of frost will have disappeared in the North so it will be the end of May when I knock them out of the pots and they go into their final planting position
Tips For Good Dahlias
- Choose strong healthy varieties
- Dahlias like plenty of space and their own area to grow so space them well.
- Dahlias need water and are hungry feeders so give them rotted compost in the hole before planting.
- Through summer give them water containing a high potash based feed and an occasional foliar feed through leaves
- Dahlias can grow 3 – 4 foot tall and need some support. 3 or 4 canes or a proprietary wire support is appropriate.
- Deadhead the plants regularly and they will flower until the first frost
- Dahlias are good for cutting but I find them short lived in the vase but that’s just me preferring flowers in the garden.
- Dahlias can be left in the ground over winter and subject to a very late frost will survive -give them a deep winter mulch when you cut them back after the leaves have been blackened by the first frost.
- Digging up dahlias and keeping the tubers gives you chance to dived the plants or take cuttings from stock started into growth early in the year. If you want to bulk up stock of one plant start them into growth in wet compost in the warmth in February – when shoots are 2″ or more take them as cuttings and give them warmth at the roots.
- The season was wet and the dahlias enjoyed rapid leaf growth.
- Slugs ate the white varieties but left other leaf alone – strange!
- I did not deadhead enough and lost some of the flower power.
- Now the first frost has sent the leaves into soggy decline I will dig up the tubers, allow them to dry and store them for next year. The North of England is too cold and damp for the tubers to survive in the ground through winter.