Dahlias forum: Planting Dahlias

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Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Mar 19, 2015 11:39 AM CST
I picked up some packages of Dahlia's last week at Walmart. I tested them for firmness and they were still okay. But I am in Iowa Zone 4 and want to know if you think I should pot my Dahlias since it will be a while yet before I can put them in the ground? Or should I just keep them in a dark cool place? I am not sure but I may have asked this before but my memory is not good most of the time.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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
Mar 19, 2015 12:31 PM CST
I'd keep them cook in a dark spot. It's too early for many of us even in warmer zones to send the dahlias into growth.

I bought quite a few from Walmart. They had some very pretty ones!
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Mar 19, 2015 12:51 PM CST
Thanks, Arlene, I will get them into a brown paper bag and get them into a cool place. I have some that I dug up to keep over winter. I have not checked on them lately so maybe I will see how they are over wintering.
Happy gardening.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 19, 2015 1:22 PM CST
Last year I started all of mine inside mid March. It was about a month earlier than I should have. They did fine, but I have lots of grow lights to keep them under. And while the plants were bigger (12-18" tall) when I put them out - I didn't see much difference in when they started blooming, and I had an extra month of babying them inside. I am going to wait until mid April to pot them up this year.

I do think its worthwhile for me to get them going inside, as opposed to waiting and planting unstarted tubers in the ground. Even if I get only two extra weeks of bloom time, thats two extra weeks of a big grin on my face.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Mar 19, 2015 2:47 PM CST
Thanks Geof, Do you put all your Dahlias in pots or do you put some directly into the ground? I have only put them in the ground because I tend to not get the pots watered or fed at the right times. Maybe I will try putting some in pots this year and see how they turn out.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 19, 2015 5:07 PM CST
Actually they all go in the ground eventually. I pot most of them up in biodegradable "cow pots" to grow them under lights - and then I plant those in the ground when it warms up. I have tried growing dahlias in pots a couple of times, but not with great success.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Mar 19, 2015 5:11 PM CST
What are cow pots? And where do you get them? I have never heard of them.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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
Mar 19, 2015 6:38 PM CST
I've also made the same mistake of starting the dahlias, downstairs and under lights, much too early and to no benefit. I'll start in mid April this year. I have no luck putting them in pots. They grow but blooms are sparse.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
Mar 20, 2015 5:52 AM CST
Cowpots are like peat pots - but made of dried cow manure - and they actually do break down quickly when planted in the ground. My experience with peat pots is that they often don't break down like they are supposed to, and cramp the plants.

http://www.greenhousemegastore.com/product/cow-pots/cow-pots...
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Mar 20, 2015 6:22 AM CST
Thanks Geof for the link as to where to get them. I will pick some up and give them a try. I like the idea of putting pot and all in the ground and having it become part of the earth. Thumbs up
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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
Mar 20, 2015 7:10 AM CST
I tried them when they were first available but didn't care for them.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 20, 2015 9:55 AM CST
I am also putting off officially starting my tubers to April 1. Too much work otherwise. I would buy the cowpots but I bought a huge number of 4" x 6" tall plastic pots so I guess I am committed to them. Would love not to have to turn them upside down to dump them out of the pots to plant. They are so fragile. Maybe this year they will be smaller being started a month later and that will make it easier. Dahlia beds are snow free but the leaves dumped on them (on purpose) last fall are still frozen. Not sure if I should remove the leaves or just leave them there and dig holes in them for the dahlias. There are lilies, iris (Siberian), five peonies) along with some other perennials like Blue Sapphire, ajuga, sedum, lamium, poppies (icelandic) in one of the beds. Hopefully they can find their way to the surface. The leaves are about 2" deep.
"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: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
Hummingbirder Sedums Winter Sowing Peonies Region: Michigan Garden Ideas: Level 2
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jvdubb
Mar 20, 2015 10:06 AM CST
I like to start mine in pots simply to control the amount of water the tubers get before they grow a few inches above soil. Before I did this I lost many due to overly wet spring weather. But I won't start them until the beginning of April.
[Last edited by jvdubb - Mar 20, 2015 10:06 AM (+)]
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Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 2, 2015 9:32 PM CST
wow! you guys plant your dahlias way early compared to me. ive always waited until first weekend in may. threat of frost has passed and the frequent seattle rain waters them just enough without me having to bother. are there any inherent problems with planting them at the beginning of april?
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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mandolls
May 3, 2015 5:34 AM CST
@riverman123 - I am pretty sure all of us starting Dahlias early - are starting them either in greenhouses, or under lights inside. Mine usually don't get planted outside until the end of May, but they are 12-18" tall. If I could reliably plant them out the beginning of May, I don't think I would bother giving them a jump start.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
May 3, 2015 8:08 AM CST
Ah, got it!
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
May 4, 2015 9:30 AM CST
@riverman123 Cancel my questions on the other thread regarding when you plant out and where you are. Hilarious! I just opened this thread and got both answers. Mine start growing with or without me over the winter and especially in March. I have heard I could just nip the growth off and not really start them in soil til much later. I may try that someday. Holding these guys (over a hundred) over two months is really a pain.
"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: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
Image
riverman123
May 8, 2015 4:52 AM CST
over 100 Dahlias...??? I bet that's a sight to see when they start blooming!
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
May 8, 2015 7:44 AM CST
Jason - hope you didn't miss this video of the dahlia gardens in Bredbury, England, owned and maintained by Geoff Hoyle:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14YTjp5v8LE&feature=youtu.be
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
May 16, 2015 9:37 AM CST
Well, I am going for it. Planting out today. Except against the house as it is being painted in the next week. Good temps and nothing to be gained by waiting til May 31.

Oh, an aside. Arlene, how is your computer acting. May 14th came and went for mine and the huge activate windows sign went away. No change other than the usual nonsense with the touchy touch pad. Writing disappearing, cursor bouncing around like a frenzied mouse.
"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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