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KarenO April 29, 2018 03:48 PM

[QUOTE=Cole_Robbie;697596]Did you get the dwarf sunflower idea from me? I sold all of mine on Saturday, too, even though they were smaller than normal and freeze-nipped around the edges. I'm surprised no one else at my market is selling them yet.

I'm new to planting flower bulbs/tubers. I don't really understand why they leave all the little sweet potato-looking things on the dahlia tubers, when the eye is coming up from the central stem. It would be a lot easier to cut all the rest off, but I imagine it is there for a reason, so I left everything intact.[/QUOTE]

The tubers are storage for starches to feed the plant and help it overwinter in areas where they can stay in the ground but are not necessary for first year plants which can be grown quite successfully from cuttings

Cole_Robbie April 29, 2018 06:41 PM

[QUOTE=FourOaks;697610]I did get the idea from you, yes. Some of the bottom leaves were damaged, but no one seemed to mind.[/QUOTE]

Awesome. That's great to hear.

And thanks Karen. Do the tubers have any relevance as I plant them? It just seems like more material that might possibly rot. I don't understand why they don't tell you to break them off when planting.

KarenO April 29, 2018 08:21 PM

I will leave them alone if they are attached, intact and firm/ healthy. I think they feed the plant until roots grow. Most tubers I have purchased have not got enough roots to support a large fast growing plant just from the budding crown because they have been divided and the roots severely pruned . They also nourish the crown and keep it alive during prolonged cold storage.

greenthumbomaha May 1, 2018 09:54 PM

Strawberry Blonde Marigold
1 Attachment(s)
Thought I would share pictures of the Strawberry Blonde Marigold that just started blooming for me.

I am not a huge fan , but the lone companion Fireball Marigold in the back is stunning!

Seeds were from Harris.

- Lisa

Cole_Robbie May 3, 2018 03:36 PM

I have Fireball for the first time, too, and I like it as well.

I'm thinking I will order cuttings of some pot mums soon, for sale in the late summer. I'll make a second order for my fall color mums. I was also looking at Argyrantheum, if anyone has ever grown that and can offer advice.

I've been window-shopping at the NC farms site:

PureHarvest May 4, 2018 08:16 AM

[QUOTE=KarenO;697614]The tubers are storage for starches to feed the plant and help it overwinter in areas where they can stay in the ground but are not necessary for first year plants which can be grown quite successfully from cuttings

Karen, my Karma Dahlia plugs come in next week.
I am laying down my farbric tomorrow. The holes are about the diameter of a Coke can, maybe a tad bigger in some cases. I had used it for strawberries last year.
Is that size hole gonna be big enough for the eventual plant? I am concerned that it won't allow a big enough space for the plant to do it's thing/the plants will be girdled.

My sunflowers are coming up. I planted them on Saturday! Of course, we've hit the 80's and 90's this week, and they are on black fabric. Excited to see how they do. First time growing them for me.
I direct sowed 66 each of Procut Orange Excel, Sunrich Orange Summer, and Sunbright Supreme. This gives me about a 100' row (plants 6" apart). I plan on doing this every 2 weeks, as they all mature differently, so I will get age separation within each sowing, and between sowing dates. I will have planted 6 rows eventually.

MissS May 4, 2018 10:50 AM

Most often my dahlia's tuber root balls are between 9-12 inches in diameter when I lift the plant in fall. The exception is those from the Karma series which tend to be smaller. Those are usually 6-9 inches in diameter. So to answer your question, I think that you need increase the size of your planting hole.

PureHarvest May 4, 2018 11:00 AM

But all that tuber diameter is below ground. Or are you saying a tuber that wide has shoots coming off of it along it's entire width?
I'm wondering what the eventual girth of the plant is at ground level when grown from plugs.
I know the initial plants will fit through my existing holes, but the pics i look at online of dahlia plants seem to be mostly from tuber clumps. I imagine they make a larger plant, especially if they were overwintered in-place.

Cole_Robbie May 4, 2018 11:18 AM

Dahlia plugs? From where did you order?

MissS May 4, 2018 11:36 AM

OK, now I understand what you are asking. The coke can size ought to be fine. My stems don't get more than 3-4" wide at ground level and my plants are usually grown from tubers rather than plugs or cuttings.

PureHarvest May 4, 2018 03:18 PM

Thanks Miss S!

Cole, I ordered from Gloekner's back in February.
I am getting Karmas: Sangria, Bob Bini, Thalia, Corona Pink, Goldie, Prospero, Yin Yang, and Fox Red.
72 count trays of each variety.
Each plug is about $1 each plus whatever the shipping will be.
My goal is to learn the plant, trial the varieties, establish relationships with buyers (produce stands, florists, and the major wholesaler on the east coast that is 2 hrs from me) and try to make a few bucks to cover my labor and fuel.
I'll probably start a thread.
I'm going to grow 2 beds, 3' wide by 100' long. 3 rows per bed, plants 1' apart and rows 1' apart. Beds 3' apart from each other.
Beds under fabric with drip, all under a 14'x100' caterpillar tunnel.
I will have enough $ left over from the high tunnel grant for the cat tunnel to buy the plugs etc.

Cole_Robbie May 4, 2018 05:31 PM


I just realized that NC Farms will not have pot mums to ship for another two weeks. They have a 25% off sale right now on what they do have available. Two items looked good to me, a bicolor geranium and a hot pink portaluca. I have never grown either one before, but they look neat.


Nan_PA_6b May 4, 2018 05:50 PM

[QUOTE=MissS;698419]...My stems don't get more than 3-4" wide at ground level...[/QUOTE]

[QUOTE=PureHarvest;698447]Thanks Miss S!
... plants 1' apart and rows 1' apart...[/QUOTE]

OK, so MissS says the stems will be 3-4" thick, and PureHarvest says the plants will be 1' apart. A 4" thick stem is a tree! These things branch, don't they? How will they fit on 1' centers?


MissS May 4, 2018 06:24 PM

No each individual stem will be about 1/2" thick. However, hopefully your plants will develop more than one stem each. Mine do. With the multiple stems coming up from below the surface, at soil level the stems may be 3-4" thick by the end of the season.

One foot apart will work. Perhaps just a little more for ventilation and air flow. Otherwise you may get some gray mold on them but it is easily treated.

MissS May 4, 2018 06:27 PM

Cole both of those are very easy to grow. I am just wondering if you bought them when would they be ready for sale? People here are buying them already and come mid-June and July nobody wants them. I'm thinking that you might just get stuck with them if you started them now.

Cole_Robbie May 4, 2018 06:54 PM

You're right. I do ok with summer flowers, because no one else does it. I should stick to pot mums, though. Dahlias last pretty well, too. I got excited about the catalog, until I realized just now that the dahlias I want require ordering them 12 weeks in advance. Yikes. Planning has never been my strength.

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