October 19, 2009
Dahlia Debacle and Redemption
This year I really enjoyed these no-name dahlias from Lowes, despite the fact that they're kind of (gasp) orange.
I was planning to store the tubers and replant them next spring, hopefully with a few extras from tuber division.
Swan Island Dahlias says that you should dig dahlia tubers two weeks after the first frost, which gives them time to harden off for storage.
It frosted on October 5 around here. I marked my calendar to dig on October 19 (today).
Unfortunately, we had some unusually low temperatures soon after that first frost. On October 11, less than a week after first frost, it hit 16 degrees. Brrr.
Several other days were nearly as cold.I thought my dahlias were goners for sure. Good thing I had snapped all these pictures in late September.
In the middle of writing this post, I figured that I should probably exhume the corpses and post a picture of frost-killed dahlia tubers.
I quickly walked outside, yanked up the plants, pulled away the dirt and found . . .
healthy-looking tubers! Now that's a beautiful sight - see the picture below. I guess the cold temps didn't stick around long enough to do in the tubers.
Now I'll follow the directions from Swan Island to see if they make it through storage. Click here to see their dahlia growing and storing instructions.