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Old April 17, 2018   #31
Cole_Robbie
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I have been reading a lot about dahlias the past few days, especially growing them in the garden, and I read the same thing about plants in the ground. Even if the tubers don't freeze or rot over winter, they still prefer to be dug up and divided. I guess potted plants would be the same, makes sense.

The tubers to buy for the garden are just crazy expensive, though. I've seen $3-9 for just one.
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Old April 17, 2018   #32
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Yes they are expensive. I have acquired a collection of them over the past 20 years. I have added to it little by little because they are so costly.

Mine are mostly grown in ground. I do not have great luck at saving the pot grown plants over. I am very successful in saving those that have been grown in the gardens. Here in Wisconsin I plant usually plant them out on April 15th. If a frost comes and there is growth, (not this year because we still have snow) I just place an upside down pot over the plant. I allow frost to take the plant down in the fall and then dig the tubers. I do dust them with a fungicide for storage. I divide the roots in the spring at planting time.
A bit pricey but quite easy for an abundance of flowers.
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Old April 17, 2018   #33
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I think dahlias show a lot of promise as a farmer's market product for me, because no one else is doing it. There is one vendor who does well selling glad stems as cut flowers, but he has to dig up his bulbs every year and keep ordering new ones, which is a lot of work and no one else wants to do it.

And as a container flower, with the dwarf varieties, no one else wants to grow anything that grows that slowly, so I would be the only one selling them. The upside is that they seem to last all summer just fine in the container and keep blooming. For most live plants I have sold in the past, the clock is ticking whether I can sell it or not before it starts to look bad from being in a container too long. Even if I got stuck with a greenhouse full of container dahlias in the fall, overwintering them would not be that difficult. I will watch how the one I have does on its second season without having the roots divided.

I also read on a dahlia site that deer won't eat them. If that is true, then I could grow them by the acre. The deer and associated fencing costs are my biggest limiting factor in regard to space.
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Old April 17, 2018   #34
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You are right! The deer don't bother them at all. They may get a little grey mold, but that is easy enough to deal with. A milk spray works on these.

Your plant was started from seed so it will not need dividing for another year or two. Just check to see how many tubers it has formed when you dig it up. If there are many, then divide it in the spring.
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Old April 18, 2018   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I think dahlias show a lot of promise as a farmer's market product for me, because no one else is doing it. There is one vendor who does well selling glad stems as cut flowers, but he has to dig up his bulbs every year and keep ordering new ones, which is a lot of work and no one else wants to do it.
The typical dahlia business model is focused on the production & sales of named tubers, with flower sales being a secondary opportunity. You may want to broaden your view of this opportunity. Seeds do not come true, so vegetative reproduction is the norm for the highest quality flowers. There are a number of excellent Youtube videos on splitting tubers and you'll see that a well grown tuber will produce a significant number of saleable eye/tuber combinations. I hope you are on sand/loam since cleaning tubers grown in clay is very time consuming.

For me deer don't eat the plants, but they do serious damage if they nip out the meristem & leave it lying on the ground. The season is so short here that damage like that often means an A or AA will not ever get to flower.

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Old April 20, 2018   #36
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Interesting. I would be excited about producing more tubers, but I think I would just plant them.

Nice stuff here: https://www.edenbrothers.com/store/dahlia_bulbs.html?
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Old April 20, 2018   #37
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The deer nip off unopened blossoms off my dahlias if they happen by my flower border next to my front deck. The plants will be left alone growing most of the summer and then just as I am expecting to see blossoms open soon, I walk out see clipped stem stumps. I have eight or ten different varieties that I save tubers from each fall. I have to grow them in my flower garden surrounded by deer netting if I want to see any flowers.
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Old April 20, 2018   #38
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Aha. That figures. If the blooms are edible for people, then they must be edible for deer, too.
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Old April 21, 2018   #39
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My local deer are particularly bold, even coming up onto the cement pad under our raised deck at night to eat any potted decorative plants. Back when we had a dog or two, this didn't happen very often. I wonder if people who don't have trouble with deer also have dogs that keep the area around the house scented with urine that might repell the deer somewhat.
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Old May 4, 2018   #40
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Harris Seed sent me a few cutting price lists from greenhouses that grow their seeds. I don't know what most of the stuff is, but google images is helping.

www.bgardens.com is the supplier I am browsing. I noticed they sell dahlias plugs for container varieties. I picked out a few that I like that might pass for fall colors, for late summer and fall sales.

Here is what I have so far:

Dreamy Eyes:


Painter Berry Impressions


Painter Sunfire

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Old May 4, 2018   #41
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I have a few plants blooming in the greenhouse. These are the Harlequin mix from Harris, with marigolds and an orange zinnia in the background.
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Old July 8, 2018   #42
Cole_Robbie
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My experiments thus far have yielded very poor results, with any dahlia except the harlequin mix. I have about a 25% success rate with Black Beauty, and a 0% success rate with both the Fireworks mix and Giant Dahlia from Johnny's. The Giant Dahlia has also been a flop in my garden, slow to grow, slow to flower, and the flowers like to turn brown around the edges and fall apart.

My container dahlias that die seem to get root rot/pythium. I may be over-fertilizing and over-watering, as far as dahlias go. It may also be that container dahlias prefer a lighter pro mix, possibly with more perlite. If I tried it again with the varieties that died on me, I would mix my pro mix about 50/50 with perlite and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #43
Cole_Robbie
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I'm Mr Dahlia Downer with all my bad news, but the high tunnel dahlias have been a total flop. They got botrytis. Flowers turn brown before they open. I think it is from poor air circulation and lack of weed control. My sides on the high tunnel are also closed.

I have a question, please, to anyone who might know. Is it worth it to dig up the tubers in the fall and try them again in a different spot? Or am I now infected with the disease and would just carry it to the new location?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #44
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Sorry to hear that news, Cole_Robbie !



I can't help with your question; wouldn't be surprised if commercial growers apply lots of toxic chemicals to head off such issues . . .
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