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Old 4 Days Ago   #16
bower's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 5,322

They sure do look great. Will be watching with interest to see how the economics work out for you. And to see the flowers of course... natch!!!
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Old 1 Day Ago   #17
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,257


You're doing a great job! What varieties of Karma Dahlias are you growing?

A few questions/things to consider:

Are you planning on disbudding and selling stems without side growth or are you selling stems with lateral growth and buds in addition to the terminal flower? Your plants are very consistent in size and, since you topped them all at the same time, you might get a huge flush of flowers all at about the same time and make marketing more of a challenge. You want to aim for a consistent supply throughout the season. Maybe experiment with a few plants and disbud each lateral down 2-3 nodes (depending on variety). This will give you longer stems, slightly larger flowers, and start the next flush of blooms sooner (and help stagger the crop).

All growers here (So Cal) sell bunches of 5 stems. I think you might get a better price per stem if you do 5/bunch instead of 10. It is a psychological thing - 2 bunches of 5 stems look like more flowers than one bunch of 10.

Have you started a spray program?

Good luck on your venture!
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Old 3 Hours Ago   #18
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,204

Heritage, I am growing Sangria, Bon Bini, Thalia, Corona Pink, Goldie, Yin Yang, Fox Red and Fox Maroon.

When you say disbud laterals, do you mean doing a second pinch? As in pinching the terminal growing point on the current laterals? I had read some do a second pinch and had considered it. It would be nice to stagger the crop by doing this like you point out.
I was not planning on selling any stems with lateral buds. Single flower stems only.

I am not spraying because I don't see issues yet. I found one slug this morning but it has been dry this week. I will put Sluggo down as an insurance plan.
Although did see a bunch of tiny light green bugs flitting when I handled the plants this weekend. At first I thought they were whiteflies because of the way that they behaved. But they are some type of hopper/leafhopper. I'm not seeing any damage yet, but a spray might be in order. Gonna be hard to get something on the underside of the leaf where they hang out. Not to mention they hop away when you go to spray/handle the plants.

A few plants have some powdery mildew on the oldest/lowest leaves. The planting is in a tunnel, so I'm hoping lack of splashing rain will keep the threshold low. I don't like spraying anything, even organic. It's a pain and time-consuming. But I'm willing if the product works. Not sure what I'd use though...
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Old 2 Hours Ago   #19
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,647

disbudding is taking off all the side buds and leaving the first and central bud to form the largest and spectacular of flowers on each and every stem. this is a lot of work but well worth the effort. you might want to do both as there is a market for disbudded flowers and a market for pinched or "spray" stems of flowers. I worked in a greenhouse that grows the nicest roses grown locally ... as in not south of the border in central america... they were not cheap to buy... they were absolutely beautiful... I worked in the rose house ONE day and said I would never do it again. I had a new appreciation for those who did dsibudding. arms raised above your head all day long with thorns scratching your armpit sides as you straddled the isles on the edges of each bed and reached across the bed for each and every stem . or you worked in the mum house hunched over disbudding the mums to make football mums for the flowershops or pinching out the top bud on the potted mums to make flowershop pots of mums in 6" pots... Dahlias are the same way. you can either disbud all the side buds for one stem with one flower or pinch out the center bud for sprays or leaves some with the center bud and the side buds too. depends on the florists needs or wants.
carolyn k
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Old 2 Hours Ago   #20
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,204

I follow you.
So basically not allowing new shoots to form along the current set of laterals I have growing. Only the main stem and it's terminal flower.
I guess what I was reading about was pinching the lateral's grow tip to get it to produce laterals for more stems.
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