Saturday, September 3, 2011

GIANT DINNER PLATE DAHLIAS - WELL WORTH THE WAIT!





DINNER PLATE DAHLIAS, the queens of the late summer and fall gardens, are the last of the dahlias to bloom because of their gigantic size--but very well worth the wait!  The garden beauties like full sun, a well-drained area (too much water can cause root rot to the tubers).  They are susceptible to slug and snail damage, as well as grasshopper and earwig damage. Control slugs and snails by hand-picking, or using slug and snail bait.  To control earwigs, put a tuna fish can out with a small amount of oil in, burying the can so it's even with the soil line.  They will be attracted to it, fall in and won't be able to get out. Check areas that they might breed (dark, moist areas), put a rolls up, wet newspaper down--then throw the paper, which they will congregate in, away. Grasshoppers can be controlled a bit earlier in the season, when small, with an eco-friendly bait, which I put down this year. When they get bigger than 1/2", they are harder to control. I don't want to harm beneficial insects like praying mantis, katydids, and, of course, honey bees, so I hand pick.  Make sure that any that might be laying eggs are destroyed.  Keeping your garden areas free from debris helps as well.  Dahlias need to be lifted in our area here in Utah.  To do this, wait until after the first "killing frost."  When the plant is black from this, you can carefully pull the tubers.  Shake off, or brush off all soil, let dry upside down for a few days in a warm, dry area, then layer with perlite in a box.  Store in a dry, cool area  until spring, when they can be replanted 2 weeks before the last freezing date.  





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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