Rusty's Dahlias

RustyDHart

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his dahlias back!!?
Thanks......Anyone else who has some Dahlia photos are more than welcome to share here...I'd love to see other gardeners Dahlias.... Here is "Hawaii".....
dahlias 2013 005.JPG
 

canesisters

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Soooooo. If someone wanted to attempt to grow their first dahlia(s) - where would they start?
Give us the basics on 'growing Rusty's Dahilas'.
 

RustyDHart

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Soooooo. If someone wanted to attempt to grow their first dahlia(s) - where would they start?
Give us the basics on 'growing Rusty's Dahilas'.
Thanks for asking.......First...I'd start with a few healthy Dahlia tubers that are showing eyes from the crown area of the tuber...... then I would plant them laying on their sides about 6 in. below the surface of a well tilled garden spot that has been enriched with natural compost and that is in an area that's not too sandy or has too much clay. You want the bed to drain when you have a lot of rain but yet have enough to deeply saturate the ground when it does rain or is watered. Here in the North I try and plant my tubers by the middle of May...sometimes a little later...depending on how cold it is. You can plant a stake in the Dahlia holes before you place the tubers in to help hold up the heavy blooms and foliage. Some dahlias can be over 6 ft. tall....depends on the variety......tuber size has NOTHING to do with the size of the plant or blooms.....it depends on the Dahlia variety and how they are cared for. Dahlias do like a lot of sun....partial shade is OK....sun in the morning is best....esp. in hot parts of the country. I pinch off the tops of my plants when they have 3 sets of leaves...this helps make a blocky plant and not a long thin one. I use fertilizer from my sheep and I try and water at least once a week if we've had no rain. This can help get you started.....I can mention pests, disbudding, showing, and digging and storing later if anyone is interested....(???) Here is another shot of the variety called "Pippi"....I planted about 150 of these this year.....popular at the Farmer's Market.
dahlias 2013 023.JPG
 

NwMtGardener

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Hmmmmm, you say you plant the tuber on it's side...does that mean the eyes you talk about coming from the crown are pointing NOT up, but to the side? Why?
 

RustyDHart

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Hmmmmm, you say you plant the tuber on it's side...does that mean the eyes you talk about coming from the crown are pointing NOT up, but to the side? Why?
You will notice the new sprouts (eyes) starting to grow from the crown end of the tuber....I will lay the tuber on it's side with the eyes pointing up towards the garden surface. Laying them sideways helps to develop a good root system with proper tuber growth direction.....you want the tubers to grow out from the crown like spokes on a wheel. Having the whole tuber in this position exposes the tuber from end to end equally from the soil surface and when planted big end down and crown end up......the upper area is warmer than the bottom of the tuber and not allowing the surface roots to expand and grow naturally..... When a Dahlia plant is dug up...tuber clump and all......one will notice that the tubers jut out from the main plant horizontally (on their sides) and not vertical.....it's a more natural way of planting the tubers and I know of no other big growers that plant vertical tubers....there may be some....but every Dahlia book I have ever seen and read says to plant the tubers horizontally..... I hope this answer your question? Here are some of my "Kelvin Floodlights".....
dahlias 2013 050.JPG
 

NwMtGardener

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Yes, I think! My confusion is due to never having seen a dahlia tuber, haha. If I understand you correctly, it's like my iris rhizomes - the rhizome itself is laying horizontally, and the eye sprouts point up toward the soil surface. The new rhizomes also come out horizontally on iris. Sound right?
 

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