Written by Phil Clark   
Sunday, 04 October 2009 03:06

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DIGGING & STORING: Dahlias should be dug in the fall after the `15th of October.  Just before digging, cut the stalk off leaving 6” above ground level for a handle.  Tie a label onto the handle with the dahlia name.  With a spade dig around the entire plant about 1 foot from the stalk.  Carefully lift up tuber clump with the spade, use care to prevent broken necks.  Set tuber clump aside to dry for a few hours, then remove excess dirt from around the clump of tubers.  Next wash excess dirt from around tubers, then divide and label individual tubers.
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We recommend a fungicide treatment to reduce the numbers of fungal spores present on the tubers.  We dust ours with powdered sulpher.  To do this mix one cup powdered sulpher with 8 Quarts of vermiculite in a container and mix together.  After tubers have been washed & labeled put a few in the mixture and roll them around to coat the tubers surface with the sulpher.  After treating with the fungicide  they may be placed in storage.

HTML clipboard There are many different ways to store your tubers:  They may be stored in shavings, peat moss, sand, sawdust , vermiculite etc.  We have switched to the newest way of storage which is to wrap them in saran wrap.  The tubers do not tend to dry out and stay nice and firm.  To store them in this way  tear off a sheet of plastic wrap about 2’ long and lay on a flat surface.  Place a tuber on one end and roll the plastic over one complete turn.  Lay another along side and roll again.  Make sure no tuber is touching another; plastic wrap must separate all tubers.  You may wrap 5+ tubers per package depending on tuber size, but in the last 6-7 inches fold over the side portions of the plastic wrap and continue to roll to the end.  Fasten with masking tape that is labeled with the tuber name.  

HTML clipboard Wrapped bundles should be stored at 35-50 degrees F in cardboard boxes or other containers you would ordinarily use.  The tubers emerge very firm,  low losses due to tuber rot, and no loss from shriveling or drying out.

HTML clipboard When you are ready to plant or pot up your tubers, open the package, remove the tubers and check for eyes.  The tubers tend to eye up earlier with this method, but some will not have eyed up yet as they all seem to have there own timetable.  The ones that haven’t eyed up yet can be placed in flats, covered with damp vermiculite or peat moss and placed in 70-75 degrees F.  In 1 or 2 weeks recheck the tubers for eye development.  

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For more information on dahlias
you may want to purchase
the "Guide to Growing and Caring for Dahlias"

HTML clipboard Published by The American Dahlia Society,
16816 CR10 Bristol, IN 46507
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 October 2015 13:20