Dahlias forum: Pot Tubers

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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 2, 2014 6:01 PM CST
Though I had heard of this many years ago, I didn't give it a try until this summer.

Put simply, it's removing the top few inches of stem, complete with leaves, and rooting it. Gradually it will form a tuber identical to the parent plant. I took three cuttings of the ones I had selected and my success rate was 66% so I'm bound to do better next year.

I'll unpot one tomorrow to show the tuber.


Thumb of 2014-10-03/pirl/afa2fb

These two even have buds!

Thumb of 2014-10-03/pirl/33621f
Thumb of 2014-10-03/pirl/fe8b74

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 3, 2014 11:14 AM CST
You did a great job. Did you put the cuttings in a little greenhouse? Kevin Corralito suggested putting the cutting in a small 4 oz cut then putting a 12 oz clear cup over the top to form a little greenhouse. The soil is saturated til it runs out the bottom holes in the small cup. I kept mine in there until I could see little roots in the smaller cup. Gradually let in outside dryer air until they came out completely. It sounds like your method is much simpler and has really good results. How did you do yours? Nor did mine ever form tubers.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 3, 2014 1:51 PM CST
I did not use a little greenhouse since this was just an experiment to see if they'd grow. All cuttings were taken during the summer and just stuck into a soilless mix and kept in half shade, half sun. They're in a tray that's in a typical watering tray.

When the mowing guys leave I'll empty a pot to take photos of the tubers, I hope!

If this works I won't have to face digging so many dahlias on what is usually a nasty late November day.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 3, 2014 6:43 PM CST
Results were rather dismal. Maybe my hopes were too high.

Nenekazi

Thumb of 2014-10-04/pirl/2975da No roots on the one at the left, minor roots on the middle, very good roots on the right...but no tubers in sight.
Thumb of 2014-10-04/pirl/84cd2c It does have a bud so I'll hold out hope that a tuber will form.

Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Oct 4, 2014 10:11 AM CST
From what I have read - cuttings take a long time to form tubers. Better to take them from the first sprouts off the tubers when you wake them up in March. They still won't form as many, or as large a tuber(s) as a tuber grown plant will.

I tried a few cutting from early sprouts this year, but once they were established I gave them away, so I don't know how they faired.

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 4, 2014 10:56 AM CST
I talked with Kevin about my lack of tubers and he said it may have something to do with the temperature and hours of light. Ours are rather extreme, so I thought perhaps he was right. But your mix is very different from mine and you seem to have the same results. I always wondered if I had just grown them in pots and never unpotted them for a few years if they eventually would have formed tubers.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 4, 2014 11:03 AM CST
Thanks for the input, Geof. Next time I'll try with the first sprouts of the year. Just getting blooms should be enough of a positive reward for my efforts this year. I'll hold them over the winter and see what happens by spring.

We'll find out, Mary, and I'll report back. As I unpot the others to check what's happening, I'll let you know what happens.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 6, 2014 7:42 PM CST
Great. Not sure what I would do with more dahlias as I am pretty much out of room, but it is such a neat experiment. And if I don't have to mess with those darned little pots (the tops keep falling over) and the hardening off process that would be wonderful.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 6, 2014 7:52 PM CST
I have a very little greenhouse on the enclosed, unheated porch. I'll try keeping them there and see what progress they make, if any. It's been fun and I had been looking forward to not having to carve up big clumps but I guess I'll face it anyhow...this year.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 7, 2014 10:40 AM CST
It is clear and cold this morning. 29F so I guess I have to bite the bullet and start digging the rest of the dahlias and then begin chopping down the tops of everything else. And I will force myself to get at least two bags of the wonderful leaves that are falling across the road. The bike path along the road is covered with leaves and no danger of getting small rocks that cause havoc in the grinder. Damien says he is short on 'brown stuff' for the mix. I might even try to get some of that fine chips that are partly rotted from Lowe's.

I am thinking of selling my two rolling bins as I don't think they work at all. Then I would have a spot to build at least a two bin compost pile. I would have to put down some plywood to cover the gravel for a bottom though.It would eventually rot but no a big deal.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 7, 2014 10:47 AM CST
Speak to a local Cooperative Extension Agent about plywood on the bottom. I think gravel would be preferable. The compost has to be able to drain.

The compost at the bottom is SO rich!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 7, 2014 10:51 AM CST
Oh. I didn't think of that. I guess I was just thinking about trying to turn the pile to the next bin and hitting gravel. Guess it wouldn't hurt anything as there is a spruce in that gravel pad that could certainly use the nutrients that drain down.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 7, 2014 1:25 PM CST
By the time you get to turning the compost at the bottom you'll be looking forward to your fume blanc and not caring if you got the last inch transferred. It's back breaking work. The first few forkfuls go fast but then each forkful gets heavier and heavier. Nearer the bottom, where it's damp, moving it with a soup spoon would be less strain on your body!

When you do get to the bottom use a barrel, fill the barrel* (not too full - test the weight) and then dump it in the next pile.
*using any type of shovel, spade, trowel
Thumb of 2014-10-07/pirl/f7e9fd

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 7, 2014 2:13 PM CST
What a neat set up. I was going to try to find free pallets but Damien said 'good luck'. I guess they cost money up here. I thought surely that stuff gets sent up here on pallets and aren't worth sending them back down south. I like the 'cloth' stuff around the sides for air flow. I asked him if I could sell the black rolling drums and build a real compost pile and he said go ahead. Then he said "who paid for the drums" and I said "we did" since some stuff I buy myself. He laughed and said then I get to pay for the materials to build the new bins. What a jerk. lol
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 7, 2014 5:49 PM CST
Uh oh - trouble in paradise.

You could use wire for the bins and forget the wood - MUCH quicker and easier. Just support the corners with rebar.

https://www.google.com/search?q=wire+compost+bin&biw=1242&bi...

If I were doing wire I'd still go with a rectangular or square shape, NOT round - has to be maddening for turning.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 7, 2014 8:04 PM CST
Hmm. I will wonder over to Lowe's and see what they have for wire and fencing.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 8, 2014 8:44 AM CST
Better than rebar I'd use those tall green garden posts for the four corners. The opening is critical so you can get to the contents to add or remove compost.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 8, 2014 9:28 AM CST
What are they made of? Not the round plastic ones? I wouldn't think they would be strong enough
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Oct 8, 2014 9:35 AM CST
Are you asking about the tall green garden stakes? They are metal and heavy duty.

http://www.rakuten.com/prod/smart-support-steel-stakes-6/261...
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 8, 2014 11:37 AM CST
Yup. Just realized what you were talking about. I have almost waited too long to dig my tubers. The ground is freezing deeper each day. I got another bed dug up this morning and am just bring in the whole clod, frozen topsoil and all into the garage to thaw out so I don't damage more tubers breaking off the frozen stuff. I have put the dried and cut tubers in zip locks for the time being just to prevent descication (pooh) until I can get some media to store them in. Saran is out. Too many smaller ones. I know they don't usually make it (the ones like a pencil) but I want to at least try for them.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

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