Storing Dahlias over winter
Over winter Dahlias are in dormancy. This means the leaves and stems dry and shrivel. ( They make great kindling when completely dry).
Yes Dahlias can be left in the ground over winter in snow free areas but I dig most of mine as it can be really wet. The soul here in some parts is very claggy. So if your soil.is not really well drained I’d recommend digging.
Care needs to be taken to dig slowly to avoid tubers breaking badly.
Trim stems to perhaps about 5 to 10 cm and if soil is not too claggy you could leave on clumps. I tend not to divide clumps if I am going to store them as they winter better.
They are best stored in a dry and fairly well ventilated area, it’s a good idea to check them every few weeks as any gooey tubers can be removed.
I store mine in large pots, shade cloth, chaff bags with plain soil or well drained potting mix. I have also stored them in autumn leaves and sawdust. Soil seems the best.
Elevate the pots etc if you can on a wooden of plastic pallet as well to aid in airflow and to stop any errant water becoming a problem.
Because I am digging so.many tubers early this year I’m offering tuber clumps for sale now as I can’t store them all.
Keep an eye out for some little and some not so little beauties.
These include the Burgundy Berry Dahlias which I am checking over as I dig them up so I am listing a couple of clumps every few days.
There will probably be some Purple and White bicoloured Dahlias too, some lovely miniatures too.
Lastly thank you for your support. It is so much appreciated by myself and all the furry and feathered animals that have a forever home here.
Dahlias are normally divided just before planting in Australia or by a grower prior to selling to check for good eye formation ( this mis where the shoots and stems grow form, like on a potato Dahlias develop eyes
When you divide a large clump of Dahlias you may find some naturally come apart as they are plants that developed their own stem. Otherwise it is a bit different and a good sharp knife and Secateurs will help. The important thing to note is a Dahlia tuber will easily grow as long as their is some stem and end of tuber is intact. Large clumps may have a squishy tuber on outside, simply remove and cut back to clean tuber or stem.
By dividing a good sized clump you can share with friends, increase the flower production and they settle in faster than a larger clump.
Prior to planting dig in well rotted cow manure into soil and let it sit for a few weeks if possible. Use free draining soil and check ph of soil prior to planting especially with newly bought soil.
Just remember when planting resist watering especially when they are first planted, at least wait until good growth above ground is achieved. Place stakes in at planting to avoid tuber damage.
When cutting Dahlia flowers make sure to not leave an open stem, stems are often hollow so cut down until it is sealed and on a angle.
It’s been a busy few weeks digging Dahlias, helping some friends as well as my own. I’m now finishing up digging the remaining couple of Dahlia beds and sorting dahlias ready for colour mixes.
I’m preparing new areas for Dahlia planting in late September this year. I always plan to be organized and it seems I do get a bit better this year. Extra labeling of Dahlias worked well other than the strip where Magpies decided it was fun to pull them out to see if they tasted yummy.
My preparations include getting a load of newspaper and cardboard together, a delivery of plain organic soil coming later this week. I decided not to use a rich mix like I got a few years ago as it was highly alkaline and needed to age a lot and add a load of cow manure, not just a little bit either.
So a new bed in my yard will have added cow manure into the soil. If soil is very dry I will wet the bed down prior to planting a bit but not after planting and I don’t water my Dahlias unless they are in pots and then infrequently. Last year during the drought I didn’t water them at all.
So for now most of the dug up Dahlia tubers are snuggled up in autumn leaves or wood shavings or in the pots they grew in also under cover. Storage area needs to be dry and out of sun, but well aired as well.
I’ve just listed Pretty in Pink Dahlia mix for sale via my Website,its in limited amounts. There will be more listed over coming weeks such as Whimsical White, Racy Red, Powerful Purple.
If you would like to know of newly listed mixes and lots of other happenings please add your name and email to the link below.
Keep warm, well and safe