save the dahlia

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  #1  
Old 10-21-06, 08:09 AM
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save the dahlia

Hi i have little idea about gardening, and already have a criminal record for murdering pot plants. I have just moved into a property that has some lovely plants and flowers, including a large bed of dahlias, which i believe were from someone who used to show them. I had a quick look on the dahlia society website and it says they need to be 'wintered' and planted again. Firstly i'm not very mobile and cannot dig and bend, secondly i don't know what i'm doing, and thirdly i have nowhere to put them. Any dahlia growers advice would be welcome. At the moment they're still going strong as the weather is mild and i live in surrey (uk). The back garden is a mess (blank canvas for next year) so i could possible put shelter boxes there, but they would have to be cheap. appreciate any help thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-21-06, 08:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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My grandfather used to grow many dahlias when I was a child growing up in the UK, as kids we somehow inherited the job of looking for ear-wigs, they loved to hide in the petals.
I called my father on this one...lol . It would be good if you can get someone to dig them up for you, they need to come out of the ground, once the leaves have turned dark, he said his dad used lay them out till they were dry, do not remove the excess soil, he then used to place them in cardboard boxes in the garage or coalhouse, along with wood shavings and sawdust,you can usually buy it at a lumber mill or pet stores use it for shavings for hamsters and mice, place it in layers about 3" deep then put the plants on top, roots down then more shavings etc. Check periodically throughout the season, dont let them dry out too much, a bit of humidity is good, and then replant in spring.
Hope this helps.
 
  #3  
Old 10-21-06, 09:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Hi Lowlife,

Congratulations on your new home! Let's see if we can keep your criminal record from getting any longer. Some great advice from Gmcladee.

There is a dahlia society in the UK.
http://www.dahlia-nds.co.uk/

Here's what they have to say about overwintering dahlias.
http://www.dahlia-nds.co.uk/web2d.htm#_Toc89429667

Here's their growing info.
http://www.dahlia-nds.co.uk/web2d.htm

Since you probably live in hardiness zone 8, the closer to the water you are, the warmer it might stay over the winter. Keeping them from being wet all winter will probably be your biggest challenge. Here's a UK hardiness zone map.
http://www.uk.gardenweb.com/forums/zones/hze1.html

Is there any way to contact the former owner and ask them what they did with the dahlias? You also mention that the back yard is a bit of a mess. Is it possible that these dahlias were left in the ground last year? Maybe someone from the dahlia society could come and dig them for you if you offer to share what you have, as the tubers can be divided. It would be best for them to see them in bloom as some might be older varieties that could be coveted.

Newt
 
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