Getting A Jump Start
We dug, divided, and stored more Dahlia tubers than ever last fall, remember? It is a task for the determined and partially insane depending on how many plants you grew and intend to grow each year. In Maine our growing season is certainly not in our favor, so in order for us to enjoy the amazing blooms of the Dahlias sooner, we will pot up individual tubers indoors and place them in a sunny spot.
We start by bringing all of our stored tubers up from the chilly temps of our cellar on the 1st of March. Each tuber will be checked thoroughly for signs of rot, and if so we will discard them. This year has proven to be nearly 100% successful. The tubers are in the same form as when we stored them. No rot or shriveling.
Plastic Wrapped Dahlia Tubers
Inspecting For Rot
We will come back to inspect them within 2 weeks to see if any have “eyed up” (signs of life). This example of Dahlia tuber Ken’s Rarity (below), the tuber has advanced beyond the “eye” stage and a shute is ready to burst out of its wrapping (3 weeks later). Some cultivars eye up quicker than others therefore we will inspect them more regularly.
A Tuber Ready To Pot
Sunny window space is limited so we pot up our tubers in small containers to get as many cultivars started as possible. After each pot is filled half way with potting soil the tubers are placed with the “eyes” facing up and topped off with additional soil.
Preparing The Potting Medium
Plant Tuber With Eyes Facing Up
Large tubers are cut prior to potting so they will fit in the containers.
Covering The Tuber
All plants are labeled identifying the variety.
Identifying Each Variety
Potted plants are placed wherever there is sun and left untouched, meaning no water, until we see growth popping up from the soil. Premature watering can promote tuber rot. Not good!
A Matter Of Time And Patience
We have potted 260 dahlias to date and will keep a close eye on their progress, stayed tuned.