Answer: I'd leave the foliage alone on your dahlias until they experience a hard freeze. Going through a freeze will prepare the plants for winter weather. If you prune everything down prior to a freeze, it will prompt the plant to grow to replace the missing foliage. So, just let the upcoming storm freeze the tops, then cut them down to soil level. If your garden drains well, you can leave the dahlia tubers in the ground all winter. But, if you get high rainfall all winter, or if the soil doesn't drain quickly, I'd suggest you dig and store the dahlia tubers rather than leave them in the ground. I do both in my garden. Those that are planted in the ground are dug and stored in peatmoss in my garage all winter; those that are planted in containers are left alone because the containers are filled with potting soil which drains rapidly. Best wishes with your dahlias!
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