Degree Days - Knowledgebase Question

North Bend, WA
Question by Sal_Passanti
September 5, 1998
Can you supply me with Heat Degree Days required for tuberous ornamentals like Dahlias?


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Answer from NGA
September 5, 1998

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Heat units are generally measured for heat loving crops like grapes, that need a minimum number of heat units to ripen. In your area, expect about 1321 heat units (on average). You can calculate degree days, or accumulated heat units, by averaging the daily temperatures above 50F. For instance if the high temperature of the day is 65F, you subtract 50F and end up with 15 heat units for the day. Keep track over the entire growing season and you'll have a number equal to the heat units in your area. Dahlias will grow in your yard. Plant them in June when the soil warms up, in a sunny location, and they'll bloom for you from August until frost.

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