Dahlias forum→New to dahlias.

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Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Irises Region: Australia
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LolaTasmania
Oct 1, 2020 2:56 PM CST
I've only recently bought my first dahlia tubers. I know nothing about growing them but as I have read that they are deer resistant I figured they may be wallaby resistant as well so I should give them a try. Of course it was silly to order just one and pay more in postage, so I bought six. There wasn't much choice in the catalogue so a couple of them can be sacrificial testers as their loss will not be keenly felt.

I can't plant them until November as I don't know the date of the last frost here in Tasmania but I do know it for Melbourne so I think two weeks after Melbourne would be fine, which make it November 14th. I have put in stakes and dug over the areas I will be planting them in. They are going into a new garden bed by themselves which is opposite a rose garden. I figured that when (not if) the critters eat my roses I will at least have the dahlias to cheer me up.

My main question to you all is will I have to dig them up every year or can I leave them in the ground? We do get frost here and temps down to -5C in winter although -2C is the usual worst temp overnight. I use hemp mulch which is very thick and a good insulator and the ground itself has never frozen. It snows one day per year but winter is our wettest season. I can build small raised mounds to put the tubers in if this will allow me to leave them in situ.

I have heard that if you leave them in the ground that the ones you love will die and the ones you dislike will survive. Should I leave them and treat them like annuals so I am pleasantly surprised if they come up again next year? The digging and storing sounds like a lot of effort and not foolproof.
Can they be grown in pots and the pots put in the ground and then dug up and allowed to overwinter in the garage?

I have found a better supplier who has beautiful dahlias but I don't want to go mad and buy them when I don't know how much work they will be to look after. Should I experiment this year by digging up my favourites and leaving the others to see how they go over winter? Any advice would be appreciated.
Name: Top
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Peonies Dahlias Region: Missouri Seed Starter Zinnias Daylilies
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Topdecker
Oct 2, 2020 5:23 PM CST
It certainly sounds as though you'd be able to leave the dahlias in the ground, especially if they are well mulched.

I think that you are going to find that most of us have to dig our tubers and don't have a lot of experience with leaving them in the ground. You might have different optimal planting times, different division/propagation considerations, and generally have a different experience than those of us with cooler climates.

I will say that there are lists of dahlias thought to be more heat tolerant. Dahlias droop and can get quite dramatic with temps where the nights are hot. Nights where the dew point is high. I don't know how warm it gets there, but that might also be a consideration for you when selecting varieties.

https://www.dahliasocietyofgeo...

The Dahlia Society of Georgia keeps a list of heat tolerant dahlias.

Top
The return of perennials in the spring can feel like once again seeing an old friend
[Last edited by Topdecker - Oct 2, 2020 5:24 PM (+)]
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Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Oct 2, 2020 9:04 PM CST
Swan Island Dahlias on youtube have vids about leaving them in the ground. The problem here in zone 8 is that we often have really wet winters/springs. (You won't need the plastic if you don't have all the wet.) The Middle Size Garden youtube also has how she leaves her dahlias...not sure if her zone is 8 or 9.
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Irises Region: Australia
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LolaTasmania
Oct 3, 2020 3:45 PM CST
Thanks for the advice and the links. I think I will leave them in the ground but buy some others that I really love next year and plant them in different beds. If the old ones don't come up I will know I have to lift the others if I want to keep them. I will also try to mound them up a bit so they don't stay wet during winter.
Name: Jen
The Dry Side of Oregon (Zone 6b)
Native Plants and Wildflowers Seed Starter Cactus and Succulents Cut Flowers Dahlias Bulbs
Birds Bee Lover Hummingbirder Greenhouse Region: Oregon
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SassyBluejay
Dec 13, 2020 10:48 AM CST
Welcome to dahlia growing! Please let us know how your experiment goes. I'm doing the same thing this year. I live in a very arid area (zone 6b) so I haven't had much luck with storing in the heated garage; this year I'm leaving some in the ground. Fingers crossed - keep us posted!
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Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Irises Region: Australia
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LolaTasmania
Jan 9, 2021 7:47 PM CST
My very first Dahlia bloom ever is Puck!
Thumb of 2021-01-10/LolaTasmania/f40da2

NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 10, 2021 6:33 AM CST
Yay for your dahlia! Looks lovely - enjoy all the future blooms.
I hear the passing echoes of winter and feel the warming spring on my face. ~Terri Guillemets
Name: Tori
Boston, Massachusetts (Zone 6a)
Loveflowers26
Apr 2, 2021 2:00 PM CST
Hello! This will be my first season growing Dahlias and I am obsessed with them already. I have gone a little overboard with puchasing them because they are all so very beautiful!!! I have awhile before I can actually plant them so I am planning on planting them in pots to get a head start. I have staked out a plot of land on my side yard for my dahlia garden and can't wait to get started prepping the soil. I have grass in the area and was just going to till the area but was just reading some posts here and someone metioned a sod cutter. Do I actually need to cut the sod or can I just till the area. I have never used either of these pieces of machinery so excuse my ignorance.Greatly appreciate any tips anyone can offer, thanks!!
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Apr 2, 2021 2:19 PM CST
You can turn by hand which my hubs hates to do and why I was looking at a sod cutter. Do you know what type of soil you have? Mine is sandy but when we have to open a large bed it's a lot of work and usually my hubs ends up with blisters, sore back etc. if I can find something that will speed along his help to get my bed enlargement done I'll go that route.

And welcome! Welcome!
I hear the passing echoes of winter and feel the warming spring on my face. ~Terri Guillemets

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