Dahlia love

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

On Saturday Hazel and I took a charity shopping trip which I will be sure to mention over the coming weeks. One of the things Hazel mentioned was that she would like to grow dahlias but was concerned it could be tricky. There are so many varieties of dahlia, all of them have something special about them but they're possibly one of the easiest flowers to grow.
Of course, if you want to make a really good job of growing anything then a great deal of attention and effort is required but just to achieve a flowering plant is a doddle.
I grew my first dahlia about nine years ago; granddad was consolidating his garden and gave us plenty of pots, tubers and tufts of root. Not really knowing (or caring) much about flowers I dutifully planted them in the ground and didn't think much more of them. The dahlia tuber looked like an ugly lump of root ginger and I wasn't impressed or hopeful it would grow at all. I dug it in to a hole, watered in and left without another thought. Each year it sends up shoots though the earth and sets about flowering all through summer to the first frosts. Barring the rabbits munching the early shoots it has been a consistent performer with precious little attention. To maximise yield you are best off to feed as appropriate and deadhead when needed but if not then it's not the end of the world.

Best practise is to dig up the tuber when the flowers have finished, dust it off a little and store it somewhere dry where it cannot be affected by the frost over winter, before potting them up/planting in the ground in springtime. So dahlias would be a good recommendation for anyone new to growing flowers who wont have much time to tend (or doesn't fancy it).

Have you got a favourite dahlia?

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