Well, it's time for me to start my 2020 dahlia season which is only my second year with them. I'm afraid that my tuber storage didn't go as planned and I had quite a few losses. I had ordered some backups to start early so I will still have plenty but I think I went wrong from the start storing them and I kind of knew it even as I packed them up.
We had such a mild Fall and Winter, we never really got a hard freeze and I dug them all, washed the clumps and then got so busy with holiday projects, I think they dried out in the cold garage for way too long before I packed them in newsprint lined open crates with damp peat. Then I think my storage area which is a walk in cooler that I convert to winter storage, leaving it off with the door open may have fluctuated too much temperature wise. It would be cold in there but also warmer on the warmest winter days.
I dug them all out of the crates this morning and had so many "empty" tubers it was sad. I saved anything resembling a plantable tuber but couldn't see eyes yet so I'm going to put them in a little damp peat and bags and see who is left standing. I would estimate I lost about 60% of the 175 I stored but we'll see in a few weeks.
I was disappointed last season with the long bloom times on the larger varieties so I've started all my larger sizes early in a cold frame that stays pleasant and nicely warm on sunny days. I'm so grateful to have had so many spring garden projects to keep me busy.
Hope everyone is looking forward to lovely season!
Photos of the color gradient dahlia garden in 2019, I will NOT be doing the rigid color design this year it was too much work