Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fall is here -- FROST!!

Date line: October 16 & 17, 2010
Frost has finally come to my neighborhood. The tops of the plants are "toast." Now is the time to begin tuber harvesting.

For those who grow dahlias for fun or show (not commercial growers), the dahlia society to which I belong suggests that the dead stocks should be cut off about 12"-16" above the ground. Be sure to mark which varieties are which -- many people use surveyor's flagging, write on it with permanent marker and tie it the stalk. Wait for about a week and then dig up the tubers. This will allow the growth eyes of the plant to grow in size and makes dividing the tuber clump much easier.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It’s March!!! What should I be doing concerning dahlias?

There is always something that a dahlia enthusiast can be doing that is dahlia related. March is the time to begin gearing up for dahlia season.

Things to do:
• Check the dahlia tubers that you have stored over the winter: Now is the time to take a peek at those stored dahlia tubers. Did those tubers make it through the winter in good condition? Some friends of mine are introducing a new dahlia this year. They were so excited when it scored so well in the Washington State Dahlia Society show. They recently looked at their store tubers and were shocked!! Almost all of the tubers had rotted! It is time to make sure that your tubers did not rot or get too dried out. Please note, tubers that are slightly withered and wrinkled will probably still grow. Replace those tubers that did not store well. Get rid of those tubers that are rotten—they will spread the rot to other tubers that they come in contact with.
• Order or purchase new dahlia tubers for your garden. Online dahlia retail businesses (like mine at are selling out and beginning to stop taking orders. Get those orders in ASAP.
• Support your local dahlia society. Many dahlia societies are having tuber sales to help fund their annual shows and other events. The Washington State Dahlia Society (the club I belong to) has several upcoming sales. The first sale is this coming weekend (March 20-21) at the University of Puget Sound field house. The annual Women’s League hosts the Flea Market. The hours are from 10 am to 5 pm.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What the dahlia grower can do in January…

There is always something that can keep the dahlia grower busy through the year. Here are some things that I will be doing:
• Check on your stored tubers—Tubers that are stored in peat moss, cedar shaving, sawdust and vermiculite can get too dry. A quick check of the tubers will reveal any issues in this area. In years gone by, I stored tubers in peat moss. In January I would put a damp towel at the top of the peat moss in each box. This increases the humidity in the box. Tubers stored in plastic wrap do not usually get too dry.
• Order new dahlia varieties—Now is the time to dream! A few of the larger dahlia growers have beautiful catalogs. Most growers cannot afford to print such catalogs and opt for an online presence. The dahlia Big List Locator ( is a great source to locate dahlia growers that sell online. Check out my site at: Recognizing that the families are still having a difficult time in making ends meet, we are still selling all of our dahlias at $2.50 per tuber!
• Get those seeds ready—Some dahlia growers wanting to produce new varieties harvest seeds from selected plants during the growing season. Now is the time to remove the seeds from the seed pods, if you have not already done so. Yesterday I removed seeds from the seed pods while “watching” (I should probably say listening) to the NFL playoff game.
• Check out the home and garden shows—The Seattle Home and Garden Show is at the end of January. We went to the Puyallup Home and Garden Show yesterday. Disappointment! Only two exhibits had anything to do with the garden!
• Get garden machines working properly—Now is the time to take the rototiller to the shop for maintenance. I need to do that this week!
• Get ready to take cuttings—Thrifty gardeners may want to try taking cuttings to increase their quantities of select dahlias. Many sources are available to describe how to take cuttings. (Note: We will be making videos of how to harvest seeds and take cuttings this year)

Get orders in now!!

In the hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving and Christmas I have failed in my keeping this blog updated. The web site is up and open for business. We are beginning to sell out of many varieties. So, get your order in ASAP!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Our online store is opening for 2010 orders.

I am sorry that our online store (Dahlia Guy web site) has not been up and running. A family illness and death have necessitated my being out of state many times. Thankfully, things are getting back to normal and our inventory process is almost complete.

Check out our online store and place an order. A few of our offerings have limited quantities.


Friday, June 19, 2009

YouTube videos.

I have three videos on YouTube dealing with growing dahlias. These videos ARE NOT professional quality. These videos try to help the beginning or average dahlia grower as they grow their dahlias.

The first video is on how to divide the tubers in the fall. We made this video last October. Check out the video here: dividing tubers.

The second video is on how to plant tubers. Check out the video here: planting tubers.

The third video is on how to "top" or "stop" dahlias. Topping dahlias make the plant have more branches, stronger branches and more flowers. Check out the video here: topping dahlias.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keep those tubers from freezing!!

Attention!! Keep your dahlia tuber from freezing. Freezing = dead!

I live in Washington State, near Tacoma. Winter has hit.

If you have your dahlia tubers stored in a garage:
1. Keep the storage boxes away from an uninsulated wall.
2. Cover the storage boxes with blankets for insulation.
3.Be careful about using heat sources in the garage--don't burn your house down. If the garage temperature drops to 32 degrees (yes, I have my outdoor remote for my thermometer in the garage for my dahlias) I use an electric heater for an hour (only if I am home and can monitor it).
4. I have my heating pad (used for my cuttings in the winter) on top of my storage boxes (and under the blankets) and run it from 4am to 5am.

If your tubers are still in the ground:
1. Put mulch over the tubers. The temperature is to drop to single digits in the coming days. Mulch can be straw, compost, etc.

Check out my web site: The Dahlia Guy.