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Successful dahlia storage ...

FrozeBudd_z3/4
last month
last modified: last month

Dahlias are quite exacting in their storage requirements, just a bit too moist and they so easily rot, too dry and they shrivel surprisingly quickly! Last October, these were dug and let to sit in the warm sunshine for two afternoons, tops removed and tubers stored in large cardboard boxes and surrounded with silty dry garden soil. Winter storage temperatures maintained just above freezing to that of about 5 C / 40 F.


A large number of dahlias are on order for spring, I think I'll be a bit grumpy when digging and storing them all this fall!



Comments (46)

  • cab84
    last month

    Wow those look fantastic! Mine certainly did not overwinter as well as yours.

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked cab84
  • popmama
    last month

    Yeah those look great. I haven't taken mine out yet, but I always fear the worst.

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked popmama
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  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    last month

    I doubt I've ever had such good success, though I think such in part can be attributed to the excellent mid summer / early autumn weather. Tubers turned out plumb and in excellent condition going into storage. But, yes, that silty dry soil packed around them obviously had done the trick along with correct storage temperatures. Years ago, I had built up a good little collection of twenty some varieties, though dang for the poor storage results I always experienced and also friggin leafy gall disease, I ended up just throwing in the towel on dahlias! Thought I'd give one last kick at the can and hopefully now have my technique down to a T.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    last month

    Thought I'd give one last kick at the can and hopefully now have my technique down to a T.

    Maybe you could start a 'side business' ie storing other peoples dahlias!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    FrozeBudd - Great outcome! I am surprised that you used silty soil. I usually hear people use sawdust or some such thing. Peat moss? I don't know because I've only bought a couple of Dahlia bulbs in the past and thought of them as disposable because I have no way to keep them at the right temperature. I'd love to know how you kept them at a constant 40F. And do you have silty soil in your garden? I don't even know what silty soil is. [g] All I have is loamy clay.

    And Rouge has a great idea! lol Or maybe you could go into the Dahlia bulb business since you have the storage down to a T.

    And I forgot to say, I ordered 10 Dahlia bulbs this year, that I have no idea where they are going or if I will be able to store them over the winter. [g] How would putting them in a cooler in an unheated, free standing garage do? I suppose I could test it out and put the cooler out there with a thermometer in it to check.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    last month

    hit submit.. and it just disappeared ... ????? .. lets try again

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    last month

    did i copy and save???



    ====>>>


    one thing i learned... back in the day .. YOU DONT HAVE TO KEEP THEM ALL .. lol ...

    but it was hard to compost duplicates .. what if the first dies .. better have a second .. wait is a third a failsafe .. lol ... it was a very vicious circle of logic .. lol .. same with canna ...

    where you you have a constant 40 degrees ... dad used to put them under the stairs on the concrete basement floor ... in a wood bushel basket lined with newspaper ... i used to put them in the 3 foot crawl space under my house .;.. then it just became too much work... and that was that ....

    now ... whats this all about ... have i missed all the pix of your garden from years gone by???

    ken


    == dodged a bullet there ...

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    last month
    last modified: last month

    whats this all about ... have i missed all the pix of your garden from years gone by???

    Ya whats with that Ken??

    Here is documentation of my in person visit from almost 5 years ago:

    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/4056063/visited-a-gw-member#18081720

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Prairiemoon, Cab84, Popmama, I've observed how very well dahlias dug and stored with a good sized clump of soil adhering to them have kept and imagined the same would go for packing loose soil around them ... only drawback, it's heavy! I've used peat moss in the past, though one must be careful of the moisture level, a tad bit too much and you'll have moldy rotted tubers. I believe any dry garden soil would work, the key word is "dry", thus porous enough to breath and yet insulating to help maintain moisture within the tubers. Within my attached garage, freezing temps are experienced during our nasty bitter cold snaps. Though, I then place the boxes of tubers next to the warm wall of the house and throw a very thick whack of blankets over top to prevent possible freezing. I also have a cold storage room that can be maintained at 33 to 40 F with the opening and closing of venting.

    As for placing tubers within a cooler in an unheated garage, all would depend on how cold your winters are, such outbuildings provide only a certain degree of frost protection and that cooler could easily become an ice bucket. Also, a container without adequate ventilation would foster humidity and rot of tubers.

    Ken, editing comes easy for me and without guilt! But, yes, dang, when any plant is particularly good, it's hard not to have multiples ... cause, indeed what if I loose one! Also, hard to toss nice healthy extra plants and tubers on the compost pile, though with few of my friends wanting to take on the work of growing dahlias, there's often little choice. I guess, I could always put them up on Kijiji, though few folks tend to want to make the effort to travel just a few minutes out of town!

    Yes, for sure, under the staircase on the cement floor of an old home is where dahlias love being stored! Old neighbor lady had laughed when long ago I had told her of my dahlia storage woes, she took me down into her chilly dark basement to where under the stairway boxes of dahlias sat in April looking every bit as sound and plump as the autumn day they had been dug, I was envious of her success!

    I post plenty of photos on here, if that is what you had meant? Okay, here again my favorite dahlia from last year 'Karma Bon Bini' ... an excellent, excellent dahlia! With the nearly 20 I have on order, I wonder if any will dethrone it as my top dog?

    Rouge, I hope one day you and yours make a return visit! :)

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month
    last modified: last month

    FrozeBudd - Okay forget the cooler idea. So that leaves me with no place to store Dahlia bulbs as I thought. My garage being unattached is just about as cold as the outdoors. My basement is one open space with a boiler in it and it's as warm as the rest of the house. Can they be stored in a fridge?

    You have a cold storage room that you can control the temperature? Wow! You were meant to store dahlias, clearly. [g] Beautiful Dahlia! Look forward to seeing more pics of this year's Dahlias.

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    At the previous residence, I had a large cold room build in the basement, the thing of course being very well insulated and with necessary cold air intake which was adjusted by opening and closing the vents. When building this new place, I was sure to accommodate a large cold storage and of course no infloor heating was installed in that section. We have a walk in basement making it ideal to haul wheelbarrows of garden produce directly in there! Yes, I was meant to store bulbs, roots and tubers, lol :)

    Here's a link regarding storage of dahlia tubers.

    Can I store Dahlia tubers in the refrigerator?

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    last month

    Thanks FrozeBudd, that's a good discussion you linked to.

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    last month

    she took me down into her chilly dark basement to where under the stairway boxes of dahlias sat in April looking every bit as sound and plump as the autumn day they had been dug, I was envious of her success!


    ==>>


    yeah.. old school .. maybe dad knew her.. lol ..


    sometimes i think the WWW just complicates life ... to much info ...


    i always dreamed of a good old fashioned root cellar ... where they used to store all the fall root veg for winter.. pumpkins.. gourds... apples... cabbage ... all you needed was a shovel.. and start digging down to the frost line and below ... that constant damp.. moist 40 degrees or whatever ..


    i mean really .. its all in the name.. roots... hmm.. where do you keep your dahlia roots.. lol ...


    when i moved to 5 acres.. i realized i had the room for it ... but.. well.. i dont like most of those veg anyway.. so why waste the effort.. lol ... and if it cant go in the cellar.. can it ... now that is going all little house on the prairie on the topic..... lol ...


    ken


    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffcm&q=root+cellar&iax=images&ia=images



  • linaria_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    congratulation those look excellent.


    do you plan on planting them like that or will you divide them somehow?


    I personally like dividing them as I have little storage room, but they seem to store better in a clump, I still need to improve my storage method...

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Ken, from the late 60's, I have early childhood memories of that old root cellar that sat on the hill until becoming so deteriorated that dad had bulldozed it in. I recall the dark void it was, scary to a child, lol ... it contained a well and heaps of sawdust. Had been used until all of mom's 10 big sacks of potatoes had frozen that one winter and soon afterwards the old structure began to fill with water right full to ground level! Why sooo many potatoes? ... back then there had been extended family and hired men to feed, besides just the way of old with everyone working their fingers to the bone!

    Yes, there's some attractive root cellar styles shown link!

    I would not be without a basement cold room, considering my cold winters, don't want to traipsing though deep snow and bitter cold to retrieve veggies from an outdoor building. Ken, you really need to eat more turnips, lol ... I just cooked up some pan fried parsnips in butter and when browned had added a good bit of brown sugar and a few dashes of all spice, delicious!

    Linaria, yes, I'll be dividing the larger tubers and those I wish to make duplicates of. In the fall, I did snip off some of the old mother tubers showing decay, otherwise the entire clumps have remained firm. Years back, I had at times divided them in the autumn, though pretty well always losing those to rot ... heck, had lost everything back then no matter what I had done!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Mazerolm. dahlias are addictive and rewarding with most producing heaps of blooms, BUT also can be soooo frustrating with storage issues. Here's a parcel of tubers I recently received from an eastern Canadian supplier, I'll withhold the name for now, as attempting to see if he'll step forward with reimbursement. The tubers were horribly shriveled and some so deteriorated as to be rotted all the way through! No, these hadn't been long delayed in the mail, nor had they been frozen, it really appears storage is the obvious problem, most all completely dead on arrival.

    With shipping, the total pricing for the eight tubers was over $92.00 ...



  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    OMG, FB, can't believe you got a shipment like that! Hope the vendor comes through and that it was a one-time mistake, not business as usual. I'm a relative dahlia newbie and even I know those are dead lol. As a matter of fact, they look like a lot of my overwintering attempts, haha.

    I've been getting better at storage, but unfortunately this year I'm expecting a lot of similar results to your photos. I was so good about lifting, cleaning and dividing, and after all that work waited too long to actually get them in the medium for storage. Could kick myself. Oh well, I consoled myself with a few new tubers that are on their way now!

    Mazerolm, I used to buy only a few, then bought 90 two summer ago for my daughter's wedding. You can only imagine how many tubers I had at the end of the season lol. I gripe to anyone who will listen to me about what a pain in the neck they are to lift, etc., but they are well worth it. Which is why I was so good about doing all that work this past fall. And then went and ruined it by being forgetful....

    :)

    Dee

  • mazerolm_3a
    21 days ago

    FrozeBudd: oh no, they do look aweful, hope the seller will do something about it :(


    Diggerdee: what do you mean that you ruined everything by being forgetful?

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    21 days ago

    Mazerolm, I lifted my dahlias, cleaned them, separated them (the hardest and the worst part, to me) and then left them to dry for a day or two before putting into the boxes of peat moss. And then forgot them! They sat out for a week and a half before I put them away, and most of them were dried out. I'm hoping to salvage a half dozen or so out of 100 tubers. I wouldn't be half so mad at myself if I forgot about them BEFORE I separated them lol.


    :)

    Dee

  • mazerolm_3a
    21 days ago

    Diggerdee: 6 out of 100, I would be mad and disappointed too!

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    DiggerDee, ... WOW, a 100 dahlias, you sure had been a busy DeeBee with all that work! Sounds like you certainly had done things correct with the brief curing and then boxing up, though I guess conditions had remained on the warm side where boxes had been placed? But, yes, life is busy and we get distracted with other things, it's just plants, though highly disappointing! Mine had gone into the garage and sat on the cool cement floor and it wasn't long before temperatures had really begun to cool off in there.

    I wanted to build up my collect and the above order containing some real beauties, now waiting on a small number of tubers from other places, I'll post comparison photos, they honestly can't be worse! Can you imagine that vendor even attempting to claim these highly deteriorated tubers to have been good condition when shipped! That's like the mirror telling me that I'm 39 years old, 6'4" and of my several GQ covers! ... LOL!

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    21 days ago

    LOL FB, I wish I had a mirror like that! Wouldn't it be nice?


    Yeah, I'm disappointed about my tubers - had some beautiful ones and a few expensive ones as well, and due to job loss I'm on a tight budget. So of course the decision was, do I *replace* my favorites or do I buy *new* varieties and hope my faves survive? I decided to go the wait-and-see-and-hope route for the faves, and bought another three new varieties.


    So, we'll see. I guess on the bright side I won't have to be lifting, cleaning, and separating 200+ tubers this year (I was at the point where I hated the fact that they multiplied lol!)


    :)

    Dee

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    21 days ago

    I'll withhold the name for now,


    Might it have come from TGB?

    (I ask as I have many perennials on order from them :( )



  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    Dee, yes, ironing out storage issues is foremost before again taking on too many tubers, will be interesting if I can repeat the success of this past winter, kinda also depends on the growing season and the quality of tubers dug.

    Rouge, I have yet to receive my TGB order, will be interesting of the quality and state of plants upon arrival, shipping says "Priority", I guess that's Canada Post, they can be a bit pokey at times! The awful dahlia tubers received are from a place I believe exclusively grows dahlias.


    Edit, says they ship UPS/Purolator

  • mazerolm_3a
    21 days ago

    Phew, glad to know they’re not from TBG, as I have a huge order with them.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    My order to TGB is a bit more sizable than I'd care to admit, though am receiving a LOT of plants for the price! Now, if the product and service is also good, the company should carve out a nice market share for themselves. We'll all have to compare our plants when received.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    I am doing an internal SCREAM !!

    I just received a small order from another place and although of better results, one tuber in rather poor condition, though the company kind enough to note it as being refunded ... BUT, heck, I stand shaking my head that 2 tubers of the 5 to be contained within the order are missing in action! I just can't win! Soooo, now I must write the company, sigh, this gets tiring!, lol. I'm stumped, I now know that dahlias not only have eyes, but they also have legs as well! LOL.


    And to think I was concerned to be overwhelming myself with too many dahlias and what I'll actually end up adding is a mere five to last years count, LOL!

  • diggerdee zone 6 CT
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    FB hope you got your tuber situation straightened out with the second vendor.

    I decided to spend this afternoon opening my boxes of stored dahlia tubers and facing the consequences of my forgetfulness of last fall lol. It was pretty bad, but not quite as bad as I expected. Out of the 100 or so tubers, I had a good 15 with eyes, so that was exciting. Five of them were the same dahlia, but it is either Fleurel or White Perfection so I am thrilled that that one survived! Of the remaining, a good half are unidentified or identified by color only. Most everything else was shriveled, dry little tuber skeletons! I am disappointed that my Cafe au Lait tubers all seemed to have bitten the dust, but I picked two that seemed to maybe kinda sorta have a hint of a whisper of life to them and potted them up and will hope for the best.

    I also potted up (or, should I say laid shallowly in seed trays with potting mix) about 30 tubers that, again, kinda sorta maybe have a chance at sprouting. Some of them seem to have a pretty good chance, others, well I may be fooling myself lol, but what do I have to lose? The skeletons went in the compost pile.

    I also got in some new Thomas Edison tubers (common but such a gorgeous purple!) and one called, IIRC, Great Silence. Those were my two new purchases - or so I thought. Yesterday I got an email from Swan Island saying that my order had shipped. LOL I don't remember placing an order with them! I must have splurged and just had to have more dahlias lol! So I have another six tubers coming in. So all in all, should be a decent dahlia year!

    :)

    Dee

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked diggerdee zone 6 CT
  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    Diggerdee, the bad tuber guy, he refuses to give a refund and insists on sending replacement tubers next spring, mmmm I have little confidence in his quality to begin with and I just might again contact the credit card company if something can be done! Yes, just a big headache my two orders have been, out of the 14 or so tubers ordered, I'll end up with 2 or 3 viable ones! Next year, I'm switching back to a place that I've always received solid viable tubers from, though one or two had been virused, the place acknowledges such and has been working to correct the problem, just too bad their selection is on the lean side ... but, at least I'm sure to receive plants that are ALIVE on arrival.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    7 days ago

    DiggerDee, well you might just do better than thought, I have had some very badly shriveled up tubers that have later sprouted forth, even a few I had zero hope for! My tubers from last year are doing excellent with strong new growth and very many sprouts on each that I'll have to do some thinning of them. The other dahlia vendor is suppose to have credited me and I guess will have to check my statement. Walmart still might have some, so should check them out, though I really don't need any more plants of any kind, a bad addiction now with spring upon us and the nurseries open!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I was unhappy with the look of three of six tubers that I ordered this year. I went back and forth by email with the company. I am told that they are heirloom tubers which look different than modern dahlia tubers. I sent them photos that clearly show damage to two of the six and 3 that were a single, undersized tubers. I was told they were fine and would produce flowers this season and I would be happy with them. I agreed to accept them and plant them with the caveat that I would take photos and ask for a refund if they didn't perform as promised. I was surprised, because I expected a refund or replacement. But I never grow dahlias and I do know someone who has been very happy with this company for other bulbs, not dahlias. So, I will give it a shot.

    I didn't pot them up when they came a week ago, thinking I would just plant them direct in the soil. I read wait for the soil to be 60F and I checked and it was 50F. Now it looks like rain/cloud cover for a week and I'm wondering if it will help at all to pot them up now. I thought I was ahead of the game at some point, now I seem to be zigging when I should be zagging and getting off to a slow start this year. I'm trying to be okay with that. I was overly ambitious this year, which I should know by now, never works out well for me. [g]

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked prairiemoon2 z6b MA
  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Prairiemoon, because I am well north of you, I always give dahlias a head start, also depending on their condition, some can take weeks to wake up. I do go light with the moisture until tubers have produced a bit of sturdy new growth. With a prolonged cool wet forecast, now tucking them into the ground can very easily lead to failure ... but, also further deterioration occur if not soon being potted up, so that's what I'd go with. When it comes to being overly ambitious, I insist I'll be making cutbacks, mmmm I'm embarrassed of all I have on the go and now that it's time to head to the greenhouses, the last thing I want is to be bringing yet more plants home, but I really gotta go and get a few things, lol.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Thanks FrozeBudd, I just noticed you are in z3/4. So, you would pot them up in my situation? I tested the soil temp that was 50F a week ago and I can't see that the weather since would have raised that yet. So I won't put them in the ground until the soil is 60F. I've certainly learned that lesson with other plants and seeds. And I don't think it's going to be that temperature for probably 2 weeks. I could be wrong but that's my best guess. So it's worth the trouble to start them in pots now? That means they should go in the ground about mid May. I was also wondering if I should put down some black plastic where they are going to warm the soil, like I do for tomatoes?

    I got really carried away this winter thinking about all the seasons that I never get around to doing certain projects or catching up with my to do list even. And I just started ordering. I hadn't spent any money last year and I felt free to order a little more generously than I normally do. I ordered some native plants that I keep wanting to add to the garden, and they arrived and I'm already overwhelmed and now I have 10 bare root plants to get in the ground and I just couldn't get to it the day they arrived. And I thought, what was I thinking. I don't even enjoy planting bare root plants and I'm too unfamiliar with these type of plants to feel comfortable with siting them, which I should have already done before they came. So, that's just one example of how your plans can go off track. If I had ordered native plants in pots, I would have been okay. I could have unpacked them, watered them and sat them in the yard until I could get to planting them.

    But I am also still looking at some of my other plans for the season and seeing other plants I haven't bought yet and I need new pots for outside too. lol Potatoes should be showing up any day now. If I can get as much as I want to get done before it starts getting hot, I'll be happy.

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Hello prairiemoon2. You and FBudd and others are dahlia gurus! I have taken baby steps ie this past Fall I decided for the first time to try to "re"use our single dahlia. As it had been purchased already potted in the spring of 2020 I decided it seemed less risky to just cut it back and leave it in the original pot undisturbed, set aside in our cold cellar.

    Being bored, I brought it up to the warmth March 9; I easily pulled out the entire ball of soil, and still not disturbing the dahlia I trimmed away some of last years soil and then repotted it with new stuff and then beside a sunny window it went. Then almost 3 weeks later I saw life! So exciting.

    And here it is today, 5 weeks after showing 1" of growth:

    (32" tall)



    With many flower buds:


    Clearly I took it up from the cold cellar way too early!

    Even so it has been lots of fun :)

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Rouge, that does really sound like fun. Look at the buds even getting ready to open!! You must have an unobstructed South facing window, yes?

    I am a novice with Dahlias. I've only bought a handful of bulbs on a 50% off sale late in June from Brent & Becky's about 10 years ago and grew them just that once. They were dwarfs and went into pots not the ground. And my basement is warmer than the rest of the house [g] so I have nowhere to winter over plants or tubers etc. So this is like my first year with Dahlias too.

    You are off to a great start and you already know you can winter over Dahlias. Did you order more tubers for this year?

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Thanks pm2. FBudd was my unpaid consultant for part of the process :). I don't have much garden space for dahlias and this is why I bought this one already potted. And so I think this might be my only dahlia for the foreseeable future. Keep us up to date on how it goes with yours this season.

    FrozeBudd_z3/4 thanked rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I don't have room for Dahlias either. [g] That's why I haven't grown them except that one year in a pot. I have one 20x15 bed for anything that needs full sun and that's it and I already have a ton of plants in that bed, including tomatoes, lilies and 4 roses. lol I bought 6 Dahlia tubers, this year, all over 5ft tall and had to restrain myself from buying more. I can see 3 spots that I can add them and have no idea what I will do with the other 3. I usually try to be sensible but this year, I don't know what happened. 😃

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    If the Weather Network is correct, they're forecasting May to be dominated by cool especially in eastern parts of North America. Because my growing season is on the shorter side, I tend to select early to mid season varieties, late ones are often just coming into bloom when zapped by frost. I've always started them early, again for getting a jump on the season and also ensuring they receive extra care as well, all too easy to lose small tubers otherwise! Here's some of the mine as of today, these being of the large tubers I had kept over, they'll probably be about 10 inches tall or so when set out. If I were you, I'd choose to pot them up now than risking setting out in the garden at this time, this way the weather is sure to be warmer in early June and you wouldn't need to bother with the black plastic either.




    No sunshine yet again today and so much to do, I have roses that have been sitting in a pail of water for a good number of days that must be tended, I wish they'd just go plant themselves! I find the long boring winters lend themselves to all too much online plant shopping, wishing and dreaming, I should instead set the money aside for a nice winter vacation!

  • rouge21_gw (CDN Z6a)
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I usually try to be sensible but this year, I don't know what happened.

    So funny PM2!


    Heck, if one is going to be "un"sensible then I choose it to do with gardening!

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    FrozeBudd - I hear you. I know that was part of what happened to me this winter. I am blaming it on Covid that altered our lives way too much for the past year.

    Your Dahlias look great! I am going to try to pot up the tubers this week. I'm indoors anyway with rain today and tomorrow. You're right, better to even wait for June to put them in the ground and by that time, the garden bed will have filled in more and I'm more likely to plant them in the best spot. Now if I would just get some of my vegetable seedlings in the ground I'd have more room under the lights for the Dahlias. But come to think of it, most days I could leave them outdoors and just bring them in at night, if the sun would come out enough.

    You should pat yourself on the back for buying roses bare root! It's a lot more trouble to plant them bare root, but in my experience, it's a much healthier way to get a really good rose, and a great selection. I always dread the bare root rose delivery in the spring too. Never comes when you can plant them or you're not ready any way. Last time I ordered bare root roses, It snowed the week they came and I ended up having to put them in the refrigerator for 10 days before they went in the ground, but they did fine. You have time.

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    We're not getting any stretches of stable settled weather, just a roller coaster of warm, cold and frosty, makes it uninspiring to accomplished garden chores that are mounting by the day! I hate gloomy overcast skies, windy days and chilly temps, forget the garden work and leave it for another day! Yes, I also must sow more things in the house, I always give the cucumbers a head start along with a few other things and of course all the annual bedding plants. I think I'll force myself to heel in those roses, rather than letting them sit another day in the pail of water.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    FB - I agree with that assessment and I just love coming back to this thread, because I just keep getting handed all these really good excuses for why I'm not getting everything done! lol

    I think heeling in the roses sounds like the best thing to do. Which begs the question, which roses did you buy and how many?

  • FrozeBudd_z3/4
    Original Author
    4 days ago
    last modified: 4 days ago

    The last few days have been very nice and am busy moving some shrubs around and finally getting others out of pots, nice to see the number of container plants now being reduced ... well, before the restock continues as always!

    Prairemoon, the roses STILL remain in water, though that must change later today! There's only about five bushes, a few floribundas and hybrids teas and a Pink Grootendorst. Tomorrow is also to be a good weather day, though then the roller coaster swing begins yet again. I guess, they've having quite the struggle in the UK as well with frosts still lingering in many regions.

  • prairiemoon2 z6b MA
    3 days ago
    last modified: 3 days ago

    Froze Budd, I just planted another bag of bare root natives, so I have 7 out of 10 in the ground and the last 3 are going to have to wait for tomorrow. But potatoes and shallots came in the mail yesterday, and I walked my the Clematis on a trellis that I managed to prune back at just the right time, but now the vines have gotten tall enough to fall over onto the ground because I haven't tied it into the trellis yet. And I missed sowing pea seeds all together. [g] It's a really busy spring.

    It was gorgeous out there today! May only comes once a year and the mosquitoes are not out yet, so I'm trying to spend as much time outside as I can. I haven't looked at the forecast yet.

  • peachlilymimo
    yesterday

    DiggerDee- I had to laugh when I read about your experience forgetting to put the tubers in storage medium - I did the exact same thing (except I knew they were there, and kept telling myself I’d get to it, but never did LOL) I too am in Zone 6 in CT. I had my tubers in an unheated porch attached to the house laying exposed on newspaper). I had a thermometer in there all winter, was constant in the mid to low 40’s. April 16th (later than usual for me) I decided I better check the damage. The weaker skinnier tubers were obviously gone, but I had a good number of prospects to pot up, shriveled as they were but with some questionable substance. They really did look pathetic, so I also scrounged around with online companies to find some new dahlias just in case. To my surprise, 3 weeks later, many are sprouting. I did not soak them, just planted in some damp potting mix and compost. I read somewhere you should give dahlias 5 weeks to sprout, so I’m doing pretty well. So Dee, you’ve got nothing to lose by potting them shallowly to see if they sprout for you! I do have a question for all of you, though. When I dig up my tubers in autumn, they all get shriveled in one day’s time. I don’t lay them on concrete, but on newspaper on cardboard, so they can dry before storing them. I guess it’s really dry here in CT and it’s not my home heat because we don’t turn it on til November. How can I maintain the necessary moisture before storing them? Do I just give them 3 or 4 hours before putting them away? There is no way my tubers can ever look like newly dug potatoes. How is it that others can maintain that moisture? Two years ago I wrapped half of my tubers in saran wrap, and I had better success with that than using misted pine shavings or damp peat moss. So the shriveling is not killing the tubers necessarily, but I’d like to aim for moist firmer tubers! Any ideas?