Our strolling down the sidewalks of Bramwell was detoured by a marvelous garden.
There was a row of dahlias shamelessly showing off right there next to the sidewalk.
You couldn’t expect me to waltz right by without stopping to meet them.
Thomas Edison was closest to the gate. I barged in like a blogger gone mad.
There were some show-stoppers that I needed to know the names of for future purchases.
Harold Brown, the pianist and gardener, informed me that these beauties came from Old House Gardens in Ann Harbor, Michigan.
When flowers are involved, the Flower gets a bit brazen.
Dahlias need four things to thrive.
First, they need rich soil. I enrich mine with homemade compost and mushroom compost.
Second, they need a lot of water to grow. Mine are at the bottom of a hill with a berm.
Third, they must be supported. I have been negligent in this so excuse the messy stake job.
The fourth thing that MUST happen is cool weather. Dahlias struggle until it cools down.
Then they show off with giant, heavy blooms.
These are my three favorites, Thomas A Edison, Snow Country and Firepot.
I love the cool weather, also. I have wilted and withered all summer. Hooray fall!
Dahlias cannot survive our winters here in North Carolina,
so they must be stored inside over the winter.
There is a process to doing this. I call the steps of the process the “Dahlia Four D’s.”
The first D is to let them die. Okay not really, but they must be killed back by frost to know to go dormant.
The second D is for dig. I chop off the dead stems to about three inches height. Then I dig around then down. That way I do not chop the tubers with my shovel.
The third D is for dry. They need to spend a few days drying before the soil is removed.
The forth D is for divide. Once the tubers have dried a bit, they shrink a little. This makes it easier to untangle the separate stems.
Store these in peat and/or vermiculite. I use boxes that I can stack on shelves.
Leave room for air. I shake these boxes periodically and open them every few weeks to make sure none are rotting or shriveling.
So if you have dahlias, it’s time for the four D’s.
Die, dig, dry and divide.
FLOW in the Know