Harvest day for Dahlia clumps

Phaedra Geiermann

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It's a good day, and the weather will remain sunny and dry next week. While my husband was cleaning the chicken coops, I decided to dig out some Dahlias and see how the clumps were.

And? I am shocked. This is my first year planting Dahlias, and I didn't know they would grow so well. Those I dug out today are about 20% of what I have planted this spring. As they are planted in plastic containers - so I didn't expect such fantastic growth.
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I have a question here, are those new sprouts? I plan to divide and store them in a few days, but what should I do with this one with a lot of look-like-sprouts? Should I just ignore them and just go for the next steps? Thanks for any advice.
 

digitS'

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Those look like the ones that went into the garden during the spring planting. (If that's what you mean by look-like-sprouts.) I'd be willing to discard those. Especially since you have the nice, lighter-colored tuber there on the left in the picture.

Years ago, I would just clean all the roots, set them in some tree leaves in a box, cover with more leaves, and leave them like that in the winter basement. No More. Old roots shrivel to nothing but the clumps were heavy in the fall. There were more plants desired and more plants soon from the garden. Cleaned of old tubers, placed in peat moss, and carrying down the basement steps was easier ;).

Remember that the buds for next year's stems will grow from the neck of the tuber. Leave plenty of that part :).

Steve
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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Those look like the ones that went into the garden during the spring planting. (If that's what you mean by look-like-sprouts.) I'd be willing to discard those. Especially since you have the nice, lighter-colored tuber there on the left in the picture.

Thanks Steve, I forgot to attach the photo, please take a look. I mean those tiny things between tubers and the stems grew this year.
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Phaedra Geiermann

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NICE, I have never grown dahlias. Why? I do not know. Maybe lack of sunny locations. But since our big shade tree fell last summer, I now have much more sun. Maybe next summer. :)
I also thought only the space with a lot of sunlight is suitable for planting Dahlias. However, some varieties can tolerate shaded areas. I tried to plant them in 6 different places; one area is almost fully shaded. They still grow well with smaller and later flowers. I will update here when I dig them out.
 

digitS'

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Some of those other clumps have the potential of 4 or 5 easy clones. But let's just take the very last photo of the clumps in your first post.

The bright tuber on the left is the one with a good chance of easily replacing the plant that grew in your 2021 garden. From the picture, it looks like the one with that potential.

With a good chance that any resulting plant(s) will not bloom in 2022 - the darker tubers and the stems that grow from them have only a chance and maybe not a good one. At least in my basement storage, survival through the winter months would be tough.

I will not be doing anything special with the dahlia roots after cleaning and discarding culls. Certainly, the cellar is no horticultural lab for cloning of something especially valued. And yet, for a good number of years, we have had more useful tubers than there was room or need for in the gardens. Initially, There were a only limited number dahlias purchased and we went from there.

Steve
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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After a rough cleaning and drying overnight in the room without a heater, I started dividing some of them this morning. I don't have to divide them, but it's also a good part of the overall experience.
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Identifying the eyes is not too complicated, and the only difficulty I had was to divide a big clump. It turns out that few tubers are destroyed, but well, I have a lot of them.
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They will keep their drying process a bit longer. I will try both vermiculites (as I have a lot) and plastic wrap methods for storage.
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Last night we had another strong frost, so I guess soon some Dahlias will die back. It seems the winter here is not too harsh for Dahlias, but the humidity might be. Last winter, it rained almost every 2-3 days. However, some dahlias are planted in the compost with good drainage; I plan to leave all tubers as they are now and cover them with another 15cm homemade compost. For those I have planted in smaller planters, I will still dig them out for overwinter preparation.
 

Phaedra Geiermann

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I dug out another four Dahlias today, and they're insane. I never expected such a strong growth of their tubers.
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Especially this one - the center tubers with darker color are the old ones planted this spring. After just a few months, a lot of new tubers grew inside and outside the old ones.
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This one didn't look impressive, but there are so many eyes on the crown area. I plan to divide it into two.
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Like last time, I washed and put them in the greenhouse for drying. I guess I will keep doing this every several days from now on.
 

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