Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bringing Out the Dahlia Tubers for Planting

My new dahlia tubers arrived from Swan Island!  I'm so excited!  I decided to plant my old dahlia tubers that I stored over the winter in containers to give them a head start.  This is purely experimental, so I don't want to try it on my new ones.

In October (maybe November), I dug out the tubers 2 weeks after the killing frost, and I washed them off, dried them and then packed them with peat moss in a box and stored them in my basement.  I checked on them once, and they looked OK.

Well, I pulled them out yesterday and I was so dismayed.  This is what I found:

The first two tubers to come out of the box were shriveled and desiccated.  However, as I continued to reach in the box, the rest of them looked OK:
They had even begun to send out shoots!  So I used a bunch of old containers to lay them in and covered them with some moist potting soil - being sure to let the shoots show, and stuck them under the grow lights.   I have 5 of them.  I have no idea which is which, because I didn't keep track to them very well.  I have since leaned that you can actually write the name of the dahlia right on the tuber with a Sharpie.

After just 2 days, the sprouts started to turn red:

Here they are, a week and a half later, outside and growing steadily:

All of my new dahlia tubers are still in the box from Swan Island.  I will put them out when the days and nights are warmer.  Then, in September, I will determine whether or not it's worth potting them ahead.

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