Dahlias forum→Thinking ahead on tubers

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NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 4, 2021 7:23 PM CST
Ok so there is snow outside, I just placed my last order for dahlias and now I'm in full on plan mode. That said, I harvested tubers and have been storing. It looks like I'll have plenty and I'm wondering if I would be wise to plant two single tubers per hole if I have them? I think I recall you end up with a bushier plant, but a mess come divide time. What would you do? I can only give so many tubers away and then I'd feel guilty throwing others to the heap. Give me ideas. I'm calling out the dahlia group peeps who have helped me all last season. Btw: I hope you are all well and I ordered too many. *Blush*

@psudan, @pirl, @Melissamaeday
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Jan 4, 2021 7:37 PM CST
I've planted a few to a hole but make sure you have sufficient support set up before you plant and tie up frequently. They don't seem to suffer from close planting. Dividing wasn't any more of a job than if they were 2' apart - don't fear it.

I feel saved by ordering early and being done with it but I'm not young and all garden chores take longer so limiting myself and enjoying the photos others post is such pleasure.

Stay safe!

This is what happens when I don't face the heat and miss staking and keeping them tied up. (Belle of Barmera)




NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 4, 2021 7:49 PM CST
Thanks Arlene! Hope all is going well for you and your staying safe.
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
Name: Melissa
Omaha, NE (Zone 5b)
Dahlias Cat Lover Region: Nebraska Annuals Cut Flowers Butterflies
Daylilies Bee Lover Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Melissamaeday
Jan 4, 2021 8:52 PM CST
Hey Scarlet! I never plant two in a hole, but I know some people do it every season. I tend to just find a way to dig another hole and squeeze more plants in.

You ordered too many?!? Hilarious! It happens. Smiling I've seen a lot of posts on FB/IG where people are complaining about 'dahlia wars', so here is hoping that you were successful in buying what your heart desired. They might be easier to give away/sell this year due to that craziness (I've already gotten requests to sell tubers, which is not normal this far out).

I have purchased 67 tubers, and am waiting on one or two February vendors to open. I'm starting to plan here (yes, the snow gets to me, as well), so I went and messed around in the storage area earlier today. The majority of the tubers look fine, but I discovered that all of my Hollyhill Clowning Around rotted (same as last year). A few years ago that would have sent me into a buying frenzy, but I decided that I'm DONE buying and growing that variety if it wants to act like that.

Hope you're doing well, too!

NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 4, 2021 9:14 PM CST
Doing good here! Busy as per usual. I've been DH s king my dahlias once a month and toss maybe 3-6 each time but these were mainly the small ones that I was kind of meh on. The others are all firm, I've got some shoots forming and I'm hopeful. I've convinced the hubs we'll be opening the bed further up and he's agreed to help do such. I'll be planting tight again just because I have a long list of what I'd like to grow. I just put together a pdf of all that I have so I can see potential colors And how I may put them in the bed. I still really need more land Rolling on the floor laughing but I'll make do w what I have here.

Happy new year!
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
psudan
Jan 4, 2021 9:28 PM CST
We all order too many! That's what dahliaholics do. At one time, there were about a dozen people I gave the extras to but some suddenly decided that dahlias were too much trouble. That's sometimes known as the "I'd rather sit in the house and watch soap operas" syndrome. I started saving fewer tubers each fall and still give dozens to family every spring. If I still have extras I dig up another small bed. Less grass to mow/more dahlia blooms = win/win!

I have one small area that I call my tuber garden. It's only about 2' wide and maybe 10' long. Last year, I crammed 20 or more plants in there. I don't expect tons of blooms, I just want some place to hold the extras while they're making new tubers for next year. Surprisingly, most grow as well as those in the main garden. Many were 5- 6' tall this past year.

I've never planted more than one tuber per hole. I've read that some gardeners plant two but I don't want to chance one stalk growing way to the right and the other to the left. Staking is enough trouble as it is.

My tubers stored in the refrigerator are looking good, so far. No casualties...yet! I've read that stored tubers need a good bit of humidity. I'm not sure how much but my hygrometer always shows around 70%. Hope that's enough. But I don't know if humidity even matters for those that are saran wrapped. Temp is a constant 44 degrees.
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
psudan
Jan 4, 2021 9:48 PM CST
Melissa, hopefully, by sometime in March (?) I'll know which tubers survived and you can let me know which five you want. Darn Huskers! LOL

I've ordered 40 new ones so far. Half are packaged clumps from American Meadows. Can't recall ever getting a mislabel from there. Oops! I probably just jinxed myself!
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 5, 2021 6:19 AM CST
Dan: glad to hear the fridge is working out for you. Look forward to seeing all your pretties come summer. I am also trying to figure out if I move some of the ones marked late bloomers to more sun if that will help encourage them to move into blooming a bit sooner. Of course w my darn freeze and October shows that didn't happen last season. I tried to get as many early or mid bloomers as I could that I liked to prevent that partly from happening again.

Are you still going to keep your eye out at the grocery store?
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Butterflies
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ScarletTricycle
Jan 5, 2021 7:26 AM CST
I just posted a new thread on what people are buying or bought. Oh dear - you've all helped enable me nodding
Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature. - Gerard De Nerval
Name: Al M.
Appleton,WI (Zone 5a)
Dahlias
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Bigcityal
Jan 6, 2021 9:01 AM CST
Always hard to throw tubers away, and to find people that will take them once you tell them they are annuals(around here). You could plant some on each side of a stake and maybe prune off some inner branches as they grow so it doesn't get to be too heavy or dense.

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