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Camden, Maine Dahlias, Digging and Storing-Photos

It’s that time of year when we are digging up, dividing and preparing our dahlia tubers for winter storage. With over 100 dahlia plants we have our work cut out for us, but we manage to work at it bit by bit. First we trim up a few outer branches on each dahlia so we may easily access and cut the main stem.

Trimming Up Dahlia Branches

Trimming Up Dahlia Branches

We leave a 6-8 inch handle which will come in handy for transporting to the rinsing and cutting station.

Leaving A Handle

Leaving A Handle

Completing The Cut Down Process

Completing The Cut Down Process

After all the dahlias have been cut down, each stem is then properly tagged with the dahlia name. We dig up to 12 inches away around the perimeter of the stem so as not to damage the tubers underground and then they are carted to our rinsing station to rid all excess soil and set aside to dry. Every step is done with care to avoid damaging the tubers.

Rinsed Tubers

Rinsed Tubers

After all the tubers are rinsed we are ready to divide each clump into individual tubers. Some dahlias can be challenging as in this example of Lupin Ben so having patience is a plus.

Lupin Ben

Lupin Ben

We start by looking for “eyes” on individual tubers and in this case the red arrow indicates one of many.

Tuber "eyes"

Tuber "eyes"

In this example A indicates where a tuber has been cut and B is next in line.

Dividing

Dividing

The tuber is then cut, labeled, and treated with a fungicide before storing. We have two methods of storing our tubers. The larger ones are layered in pine shavings in a cardboard box and smaller tubers are wrapped in plastic wrap 5 to a pack without a single tuber touching one another and then stored in a plastic container.

Storing Dahlias

Storing Dahlias

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