Monday, September 12, 2011


Dahlias are a favorite bloom in the garden bed around here.Dinner plates are the last to bloom since they have such a large flower, taking anywhere from 2- 2 1/2 months to bloom. Their 10-13" blooms never cease to amaze with their beauty and sheer size! Plant in the spring with a handful of bone meal mixed in well with the soil, when danger of frost is past, and water in well.  Don't water again until  the sprouts are above the ground.  Stake when you plant the tuber, to ensure you won't damage the tuber later on when staking. Continue to tie the stalks to the stake as they grow, to keep them upright.  Fertilize with a 0-20-20 or comparable fertilizer (avoid high nitrogen fertilizers).  When it grows 3 sets of leaves, to promote shorter, bushier plants with better stems for cutting, pinch the center shoot just above that 3rd set of leaves. Plant in full sun in fertile soil.  Dead head regularly. They are bothered around here by grasshoppers, earwigs and slugs, so plan on hand-picking or using products specifically developed for themIn the fall, pull them, carefully, using a pitchfork, to protect the tuber "fingers", after the first killing frost--you'll know because the plants will turn black. Shake all soil off the tuber and let dry, upside down, in a dry warm place, for a few days.  Store tubers in layered vermiculite or perlite in a cool, dry area, checking on them intermittently during the winter.  If dry, store with a cup of water, placed in the box with them.  If moldy, you can brush the mold off and lay out so they can dry out a little.  Here are a few of the giants that are presently blooming:  White Fleurel, Purple Thomas Edison, Red Garden Wonder, Raspberry Emory Paul, and Orange Mrs. Eileen.
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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