Digging, Dividing & Storing Dahlia Tubers: Do you have had fungus problems with your stored tubers?

Views: 363, Replies: 11 » Jump to the end
Digging, Dividing & Storing Dahlia Tubers

By frankrichards16
October 18, 2015

In the colder climate zones, dahlias have to be dug up in the fall and stored for the winter. I have been digging and storing tubers for many years. I have tried many different methods. Here is what works best for me.

[View the item] Give a thumbs up

Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 18, 2015 8:25 AM CST
Hello Frank, I wonder about the Saran wrapping with humid winter's like ours. One fall I placed my tuber's, in very dry wood shavings that had been dusted with powdered garden sulphur, but still I had some tubers too dry and shrivelled, so that they never broke up dormancy.Did you ever try a similar method ? What would be your normal sprouting expectancy? Thank you, warmly from the southern hemisphere. Arturo
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
Image
jvdubb
Oct 18, 2015 8:42 AM CST
Arturo,
I am not Frank but I will share my experience with this method.

After I saran wrap my tubers I store them down in our pump room in the basement. It stays between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. I don't know how it compares to your humidity. But because it is a pump room is not exactly dry.

I do not dust my tubers before storing. I just make sure they are good and dry. Both years I tried this method I got some fungus on one variety of my tubers. The same variety that would get fungus stored with other methods previously. And last year I had one other variety get a bit of fungus.

But the fungus did not harm my tubers. I simply left them out to air out and gave them a heavy dusting of cinnamon. Once planted they grew just fine.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Oct 18, 2015 9:26 AM CST
@hampartsum

I have stored tubers in wood shavings, but I have fewer dried out tubers using saran wrap. I would put wood chips and tubers in a plastic shopping bag and leave the bag partially open. If I sealed the bag completely, I had more tubers rot. Leaving the bag partially open allowed some moisture to escape, but not totally drying out the tubers.

When I divide dahlia clumps, I try to save the best 3 or 4 tubers. Sometimes, if the tubers look really good, I can't resist saving more. If I get 2 or 3 good tubers from a clump, I am happy.

Last year I saved around 300 tubers (66 varieties). A few years ago I had over 300 varieties and stored over 1200 tubers. This turned out to be too much work. So I have trimmed down. At any rate, this past year my sprouting rate was over 95%. I do not plant any budless tubers.

Small tubers are the hardest to save/store. If they make it through the winter, I usually pot them and put them in the greenhouse before planting in the garden. I only had two such tubers in the greenhouse this year and they both survived just fine in the garden.

When I first started using the plastic wrap method of storing dahlias, I stored half of my tubers in wood chips and the other half in saran wrap. After that, no more wood, just pure plastic.
[Last edited by frankrichards16 - Oct 21, 2015 6:40 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #971866 (3)
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 18, 2015 3:15 PM CST
Thank you both of you for your comments! Here we live a typical mediterranean climate. Our summers are very dry with almost no rainfall for at least two months. Relative air humidity drops to less than 15%. Then after the first rains in April ( the begining of fall) humidity starts rising and reaches 95% by mid winter and early spring. Since I don't have a underground cellar I store my tubers in our main farmhouse storage room. I've found that my ( and also inherited) discarded old frigidaire refrigerators can keep my tubers fairly uniformly cold and away from nibbling critters ( ravenous mice!). The storage room has no heating though temperatures do not drop below freezing ever. Next season I will defintely try the Saran wrap. I reckon that Saran wrap has microholes that allow material to breathe through. Thank you also for your advice in selecting what to keep and what to discard. Recognizing early in the process which tubers are worth the while keeping is very time and extra work saving advice! Although I have potted about 120 tubers this spring, I'm trying to enlarge my collection so your advice will be taken into great consideration. For miniatures I start them inside our greenhouse from seed. I'm also trying out new plants that I've started from seed collected from the taller cultivars. We'll see. Thanks again. Arturo
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Oct 19, 2015 6:28 PM CST
Regarding powdered sulphur, I dust it on every bulb, tuber, etc that I store. It is my understanding that it helps to prevent fungal rot. It does not affect whether a tuber might shrivel, IMHO. I always have far more problem with shriveling/drying up than fungal rot. However, I do not check things once stored - in my basement. Perhaps I should Smiling I store in vermiculite or perlite.

This year I may try this saran wrap method - looks promising. Thanks
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 20, 2015 9:15 AM CST
Hello to you all, apart from digging out the tubers, last fall I tried something else with a group of not so worthy dahlias ( we all have some with which one can try out new "perhaps" techniques). I lifted and repotted them in dryish sandy soil in 15 cm x 25 cm black polythene plastic bags and left them inside my cool greenhouse in a shaded end. The soil was kept almost dry. This spring ( about three weeks ago) this group of about 14 , timidly first and then quite vigorously later, sprouted . I moved them to a very sunny warm greenhouse and are probably going to be the first to go out. In my scheduling, potting tubers is part of my chores. Doing this in fall may save precious spring time, specially since there is little pressure in fall as everything gradually goes dormant. Of course this means that the clumps are lifted in one piece. I'll try out this with division included next fall on larger clumps. Once again we'll see.! Probably if this has good survival chances, then it may well serve for smaller tubers ( i.e Bishop's Children cvs.) or those that are more difficult to handle, once they are out of the ground. Thanks Arturo
[Last edited by hampartsum - Oct 20, 2015 5:26 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #973186 (6)
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 20, 2015 5:32 PM CST
Hello Frank, I didn't understand what you refer to when saying "I do not plant any budges tubers". Please forgive me if I sound dull, but since all your advice is very useful I reckon that I may be missing something. Thank you Arturo
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Oct 20, 2015 10:06 PM CST
@hampartsum - I wondered the same thing. Big Grin
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Oct 21, 2015 6:39 AM CST
@hampartsum @DavidLMO

sorry, a typo

budless

Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 21, 2015 7:53 AM CST
Hello Frank, Thank you!! Thank You! Smiling
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
DavidLMO
Oct 22, 2015 7:12 PM CST
I agree I too don't save budless dahlia. Pretty much the same for canna. I do take Glad bulblets and toss then in a container of dirt and park in a side area to grow. Worth it? Prb not - but makes me feel like I tried. nodding
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Arturo Tarak
Bariloche, Rio Negro, Argentin
hampartsum
Oct 23, 2015 3:47 AM CST
Perhaps those budless tubers could be stored for cooking! I've got to try out some recipes that are around in internet. Originally the aztecs in Mexico used dahlias for food, I wonder. Dahlias store energy in form of inulin instead of starch. Thus they are appropriate for diabetics like myself. I recognize that it requires a lot of courage to try out new edibles! Smiling

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Digging, Dividing & Storing Dahlia Tubers
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Pacific Blue Ice"