Dahlias forum: Get ready, set, START!

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Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Mar 23, 2017 6:57 AM CST
Is anyone starting their dahlias yet? I've been going over what I have and trying to decide which ones I'll bring to my new home in town. Alas I think I need to go through my list and cut down some more. Mine have come through storage in great shape. I saved multiples of each one in case I hade a lot of losses, now I'm gonna have much more than I need. I think I'm gonna start them in clear plastic bags and damp peat moss and put them in the green house. I'm getting antsy to get started. Am I too early? I can plant out in the garden safely about mid May
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Mar 23, 2017 9:50 AM CST
I usually have the bags upstairs by now myself but am moving slowly this year. Probably due to the couple of feet of snow left to melt before I can see ground. And not wanting to move my car outside yet so I can set up the 'greenhouse' in the garage. But I do need to see what has survived in the crawlspace. Maybe seeing things growing in the dark down there will inspire me. maybe....

Well we are in the third week of March which would give you at least six weeks of growing inside. Presume you could put them out in pots the first of May depending on weather to harden off. Course you do have a greenhouse (a REAL one) so you won't have to rely on lamps to keep them robust and non-spindly. No, I think you are probably right on time. Plus you still have to see who will send out sprouts unless you only bag up things with sprouts already and pitch the rest. Sounds like you will have more than you can use so no loss there.
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Mar 23, 2017 10:19 AM CST
Antsy here as well. I brought several to the unheated indoor porch and AC Paint has five sprouts so I'll have to try separating the clump into as many pieces as possible. At least it's a good hobby for the cool weather we're having that doesn't tempt me to go outside.

When I last checked the bags (on the attic steps) a few more had begun to sprout so they're enjoying the sun on the porch too.

There are times I believe they have internal clocks that get them growing.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Mar 24, 2017 9:48 AM CST
Absolutely!! I am almost afraid to go check but I will do so this morning. If Arlene can get the ball rolling then it is high time I get a move on also.
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Mar 24, 2017 10:42 AM CST
I did separate a lot of AC Paint and ended up with a mini clump (3 sprouts) plus three sprouted tubers. I'll aim to do a clump each day.
Name: Dan
NE Ohio (Zone 6a)
psudan
Mar 24, 2017 2:02 PM CST
I've only checked my stored tubers a couple times since last fall. The ones in bags of cedar chips look fine. I haven't unwrapped any of the ones in saran, but they feel nice and firm. I just have to hope they'll spout.

I intend to plant tubers this year. I don't have enough sunny windows or grow lights to accommodate well over 100 plants. And carrying 20-something planters out to the sun and back to an upstairs bedroom every warm sunny day gets old in a hurry. Too much baby-sitting. Man, do I ever need a greenhouse! Anyway, the only early starting I'll be doing will be placing the tubers in trays of soil to allow them to develop a root system. Any blooms will likely be at least 2-3 weeks later than starting with a plant. But there's not much to lose since the bugs destroy the earlier blooms till mid/late August anyway. The only alternative would be to start spraying early and often. And I hate to do that. Biggest worry with tubers is rot if it's a wet spring.

I've bought around 40 tubers/clumps this year. Most were replacements for iffy ones I grew last year. One garden center near here had a display of packaged dahlias, the likes of which I've never seen. It was "kid in a candy store" time. LOL
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Mar 25, 2017 7:48 PM CST
I swore I would go downstairs and look today but never made it. Spent the afternoon cooking stuff for the grandsons. Their mom doesn't really cook and Brendan (15) has started asking what Grandma is cooking. So I made a French Bean and Ham soup and a really nice meat loaf. That should keep the boys (Nick is 25) in food for, oh, two days. lol.

Weather is nice. Snow is melting fast. Just no fast enough in the middle of my garden. Mostly on the driveway, sidewalks type stuff. But my car shouldn't get too frosty outside if I move it out and set up the greenhouse in the garage.
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Mar 26, 2017 9:31 AM CST
Starting to get organized here. Got out my bag of peat moss. It's dry as an old bone so I poured it out into a couple of tubs and added some water. Don't want it wet, just damp. I've saved a bunch of plastic zip lock bags from work. I plan to put a handful of the peat in each bag with a tuber and put them in the green house to sprout. My green house is really filling up though. I only planted 9 flats of seed this year and I'm transplanting them into 4 inch pots which takes up a lot of room. My daughter and I just finished potting up all of our Geraniums which we save every year and they have taken up one and a half shelves. I took a lot of cuttings last year and now I think we have much more than we need. Sigh, I never know when enough is enough.
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
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Carolyn22
Mar 29, 2017 7:20 AM CST
Hello Everyone.

I have not checked my dahlia tubers in probably a month or so. I should probably go into the attic and give them a good looking over. Last I checked them, they all looked great.

I typically bring them out of the attic, when the attic starts to warm up some and then they are in the house a week or so before taking them outside to plant. I like to get them into the ground by Memorial Day. There have been some years, where it has not been until the middle of June that the tubers did not get into the ground.

I would love to have a greenhouse to get them started during the month April - May is such a busy time trying to get everything else ready to go out into the garden and I just don't have the room in the house to start my tubers. I suppose I could commandeer the dining room table, but DH already thinks that I have taken over the rest of the house with all my houseplants Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing



Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Mar 29, 2017 5:03 PM CST
Hi Carolyn. My DH thinks the same thing. lol I was about accepting the idea of putting my car in the driveway to fire up the garage greenhouse when we were dumped on with about 8" of snow. Heavy wet snow. The city isn't doing squat to clean the roads in the subdivisions but it is melting on the main roads. But were are supposed to get another 8-10" by this weekend. Schools were closed today.

So I guess the dahlias will just have to languish in the crawlspace another week. Thumbs down
Name: Connie
Winlock, WA (Zone 8a)
Need has nothing to do with it.
Image
CLC70
Mar 31, 2017 11:32 AM CST
I've started putting mine 3 to a bag in some damp peat moss, punching holes in bags and leaving them open, then setting them in trays in the green house. Lord it's a lot of work and am already running out of space.
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 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
pirl
Mar 31, 2017 1:47 PM CST
It is a lot of work, a/k/a "Labor of Love".
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
Image
Carolyn22
Mar 31, 2017 2:15 PM CST
I agree - It is definitely a labor of love!

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Mar 31, 2017 2:44 PM CST
Well, 'labor' anyway. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Carolyn Madden
Pennsylvania
Charter ATP Member The WITWIT Badge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Daylilies
Bulbs Purslane Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Hummingbirder Clematis Cat Lover
Image
Carolyn22
Apr 1, 2017 6:59 AM CST
Well, 'labor' anyway. Rolling on the floor laughing

Funny you say that Mary. I initially got into dahlias because somehow in my mind, it "extended my gardening season". Somehow it worked out as being more a mad dash than anything else! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Apr 1, 2017 10:39 AM CST
Yup. A hundred times more work than any other flower I grow including others that I dig up and winter over like gladiolas and seeds that I collect. But they are so beautiful. Really rival peonies in some respects and are superior in that they bloom for me for several months, and in most cases have more blooms per plant.

Today is the day!!! Crying Car into driveway. Hope the snow storms are over. I still have my studded tires on thank heavens. Roads are terrible in spots where it has turned deep and slushy. And then defending yourself against idiots who simply cannot drive moderately and with consideration for others. Saw a big crew cab 4X nosed well into a snow berm yesterday. I would lay odds he/she was not paying attention, going too fast, and someone ahead slowed down (people do do that when the light turns red!!!) and he/she had to take the berm or rear end someone. 4x or not, no way he was getting out without a tow truck. I am ashamed (not really) I smiled to myself. So many of the 4x guys think they are bullet proof on these roads. I have a Subaru Outback and it keeps me upright and on the road when driven with care. And no, I am not that other idiot who drives down the middle of two lanes at 25mph. Anyway. We all contend with this who live in snowy country so no news to anyone here.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Apr 3, 2017 11:24 AM CST
Well, I finally bit the bullet and moved the car to the driveway. Two rolling racks are in the middle (sort of) of the garage plugged into the quad receptacles in the ceiling. Plywood table is set up with fresh poly as the old stuff has finally been shredded. All dahlia bags are out from basement and lights from ceiling are dropped down as the glads and Candy Tufts are now too tall for the grow racks.

Dahlias are severely dessicated. Some have growth though. I decided the only way to handle it was to take those with growth and put them in grocery bags with moist soil. I briefly dipped them in a bucket of water. Then under the grow lights to see if they plump up. I don't know that I will have enough room but maybe. The smaller ones might go in small pots with moist soil. Especially the ones that show no sign of life. Dan has commented that some that he really felt were goners sometimes revive so I will give them a chance. Some of my favorites are in that condition. But I think I am almost relieved as I simply could not deal with the monster bunch of plants I had last year. Neither the growing out nor the planting. I do have some coming in the mail so am not worried about being without dahlias.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Oberon46
Apr 6, 2017 9:22 AM CST
All dahlias are in bags with damp soil. Many sprouting. Not sure what I will do from here. They are all in clumps and I don't think I have enough large pots to accommodate them. But have far fewer than ever before. More than enough though with my increasing peony collection needing more ground.

Starting seeds and more gladiolus now. I can see needing to set up the other 4x8 sheet of plywood. Yuk. At least I am getting a later start than usual so will have fewer that will exceed the height my lighted racks can handle.
Name: Gary
Wyoming MN (Zone 4a)
hostasmore
Apr 6, 2017 10:24 AM CST
Planted Unwin dahlia seeds this week. They were so fun and easy last year. I will probably do them every year.
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
crawgarden
Apr 6, 2017 11:13 AM CST
I do the lazy method, if free shoots start coming in the container, I'm good to go...if not, out they go. Thinking this will be an "out they go" year. We had a downpour than a hard freeze that night.
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

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