BILOWZ ASSOCIATES INC. is an award winning landscape architectural design firm with a proven philosophy: "Creating Design with Harmony & Balance."
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Friday, October 16, 2015

Digging the Dahlias

The last of the Dahlias as we fall into cooler temperatures

Though Dahlia prowess still reigns in the garden 

Did you plant Dahlias this season? Maybe you're still enjoying their flowers in the fall garden. As you can see above, our Dahlias keep sharing their magic even with some cooler evenings. But this beautiful flower does harbor a secret, at least if you live in a cold climate like New England. You must dig them up if you want them to flower next spring. So let's get started with the rundown; a few quick Dahlia tips.

Dig when the tops of your Dahlias go down. Cut off their tops but do not compost the stalks. Dispose of what you won't be storing and place in your trash so as not to harbor any diseases in the garden next year. (A common tip but it's always worth repeating.) Onto to the drying process. Once you dry properly, shake off any excess soil . Okay, now what? Time to pack for winter vacation. Carefully place and pack the dried tubers in peat moss. The perfect luggage for Dahlias - small wooden crates (approx. 6" X 12") work awesome for storage bins. The next question on your list - where to keep them until spring? Store in a cool, dark part of your basement or an area of your garage that does not get too cold. Seems pretty easy, right and not too much work? Hold on, there's another tiny plug or plus come the following spring. You can determine a brand new area to plant your Dahlias. You're given this grace period, winter, for fine-tuning, adjustments and planning so consider a part of your spring transplanting, at least a part of it, done months ahead. And if you planted them in a not so perfect place this year, it's redesign time or as we like to call it, 'plant chess.' It's one of the best parts about spring plantings. 

Remember, if you leave the Dahlias you planted this year behind, under the soil to overwinter, you won’t be digging the beauty of your Dahlias next year. Keep your Dahlias going for longer than an annual can give you. Dig when the tops go down so you can truly dig their beauty in the coming years.  If you didn’t plant Dahlias this season, make sure it’s on your list of what to plant next spring. And don't forget the fall rules for keeping them blooming year after year.

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)