Dahlias forum: Dividing dahlias-which time is best, spring or fall.

Views: 314, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Mar 29, 2016 7:46 AM CST
My daughter dug her tubers, washed them off, let them dry for 2 days, stored them in cedar shavings and they are looking great. I dug mine, washed them and set them on shelves in my green house and started dividing right away. It probably took me 4-5 days to get them all done. I initially stored them in shredded paper but then changed to cedar shavings part way through the winter. They started to shrive in the time it took me to get them cut up and they have not stored well due to dehydration. I'll be doing things different this fall and would like everyone's opinion on when to divide.
Name: Geof
NW Wisconsin (Zone 4b)
Region: Wisconsin Dahlias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
mandolls
Mar 29, 2016 5:45 PM CST
I think that a lot of it depends on climate and humidity where you are. Its a matter of trial and error for all of us.

Here it is very cold and dry in the winter - in WA quite a bit warmer and rainy I suspect.

Your green house is probably getting pretty warm still when you are digging tubers so thats probably why they are drying out so fast. The only time I have had tubers shrivel before storing is when they were laying out for 2 weeks before I go them all divided and wrapped. Peat moss or vermiculite is going to hold the moisture better than paper or shavings do, But you live in a pretty humid part of the country. What kind of container are you storing them in?

Because I individually wrap mine in saran, I use cardboard boxes, or if I use a plastic bin, it doesn't get closed tightly, but packing them in loose dry material - I would think a closed plastic bin would be better.

If you have the space, storing whole tuber clumps still covered in dirt works well for lots of people. And in your part of the world (if you have well draining soil) you could potentially leave them in the ground over-winter, and dig and divide in the spring couldn't you?
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Mar 29, 2016 11:08 PM CST
I dug mine, knocked the dirt off and then washed. Let them lay no more a day or so and they were starting to shrivel from the get go. No clue why. I left them in the ground for at least two weeks after the tops froze which was supposed to toughen up the tubers. So this fall will be another trial and error. Maybe I don't wash them at all, just knock off the dirt, if I cut any, then let them lay a day or so at the most, then saran wrap them. I store in my crawl space in cardboard boxes. The temp stays between 50 and 55 and is probably not dry.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 30, 2016 7:24 AM CST
Years ago I did wash them but stopped one year when it was just too cold to stay outside washing them.

Yesterday I checked all tubers and didn't find any rot, nothing soft, many putting on growth (a few inches) already.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Mar 30, 2016 7:41 AM CST
that would make it so much easier. And faster too. We'll see how it goes this fall. The little green pips are slowly showing. (difficult to type with a 11# dog snugged in your lap under his blanket. Usually he lays at the foot of the recliner but not this morning).

Cold, wet, over caste. Lovely @ 5am. But still, it is 34F so I will call it 'balmy.' More peonies are showing tiny pips which is always a harbinger of spring. D got my plywood so I will set up my additional table and start the seeds for annuals and vegies; oh, also onions, gladiolas and Crocosmia
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Mar 30, 2016 9:28 AM CST
Heavy clay soil here coupled with warm wet winters. I'm afraid of rot if left in the ground. Warmth in the green house was probably the problem. Then I had some flooding in my basement in December which put a lot of humidity in the air. My tubers were in plastic bins and they sweated which is why I changed their packing and I put them in cardboard boxes. I've also had a dehumidifier running ever since. But then I worried all winter the mice would find them, but they didn't. Maybe having 7 cats prowling about helped! So much to think about. Yesterday I started planting all my tubers up for an early start. This is the first time I've done that. It'll be another month before the last frost. My new dahlias are starting to arrive. 72 new ones! I'm getting so excited.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Plant Identifier
pirl
Mar 30, 2016 10:17 AM CST
Wow! Getting 72 new arrivals will keep you busy!

What is your zone?
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Apr 2, 2016 6:08 PM CST
Zone 8. Some years it gets down to12-15 degrees. But that's rare. Usually most of my winter is wet and rainy.
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
frankrichards16
Apr 12, 2016 5:49 AM CST
I dig, wash and divide in the fall.

After a 4-6 hour dry, I wrap in plastic food wrap and store in the cellar.

I prefer dividing in the fall to save on storage space.

This method works well for me.

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Apr 12, 2016 7:20 AM CST
by the way Frank, nice picture. You're a handsome dude! lol Hilarious!
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Dahlias forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"