Can anyone remind me - dahlias

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Casey76

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Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« on: March 21, 2016, 13:28 »
After my first year with dahlias was spectacular, I've have 5 failed years after that :/

I've bought a whole lot of new tubers, and was wondering if I should sprout them under cover before putting them in the ground this year (or even - shock horror - try cuttings)

Can anyone remind me how I need to go about starting them off...I seem to remember them needing only a shallow container (seed tray maybe?) with compost in to set them off?

Thanks!

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sunshineband

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2016, 14:37 »
You can certainly start them off in trays of compost if the tubers are smallish. They will grow shoots which you can cut as slips (cuttings) or jus leave them to grow. Plant them out with the top of the tuber about5-10cm below the surface of the soil after danger of frost is over.

Mostly I plant mine straight out as soon as the soil temperature is around 10C, with the larger ones at least15cm down. By the time the shoots make it up to the surface frosts will be over. These huge ones get nearly 1.5m tall and so need to be well anchored in the ground. More petit sorts can be planted more shallowly, and even if they have no shoots on planting will still grow.
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Casey76

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 15:08 »
Plant them out with the top of the tuber about5-10cm below the surface of the soil after danger of frost is over.

d'oh - I think this is where I've been going wrong, as I've been planting them very shallow, with the remainder of the previous stalk exposed.

OK, another question...  you know how dahlia tubers are like a bunch of fingers..., could I plant one "finger" and get a new plant, or do they shoot from closer to the previous stalk?  I must admit I've never paid that much attention to it!

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yorky

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 19:31 »
They don't shoot from the actual fingers but from the crown of the plant where all the fingers join. You can break off one of the tubers (fingers) leaving a portion of the crown attached, and as long as there is an eye on that bit of crown a new shoot will grow. Personally I have a problem with that method because I can never identify the eyes. 
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Snoop

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2016, 09:20 »
I've never been a great fan of dahlias (I always remember them being full of earwigs when I was a kid), but my dad used to grow them and I've been getting a bit sentimental recently and was thinking of trying them.

Do you have to lift the tubers to protect them from frost in autumn/winter?

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yorky

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2016, 13:04 »


Do you have to lift the tubers to protect them from frost in autumn/winter?

People in mild parts of the UK seem to do okay in leaving them in the ground. To be honest I think that a poor draining soil is a bigger danger than frost.

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sunshineband

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2016, 13:30 »


Do you have to lift the tubers to protect them from frost in autumn/winter?

People in mild parts of the UK seem to do okay in leaving them in the ground. To be honest I think that a poor draining soil is a bigger danger than frost.

Yes they do not liking siting in soggy soil!

It is hard to see if the tubers have "eyes" but if you leave them, those with an eye do get a little green shoot.

I learned a lot about dahlias from a forum member called Yabba, who sadly passed away a while back. I always think of him as I haul out my boxes of tubers from under the staging xx

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Snoop

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Re: Can anyone remind me - dahlias
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2016, 14:00 »
Thanks, guys. And thanks for mentioning Yabba, sunshineband.



xx
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