Dahlias

hi there, have planted some dahlia bulbs this year and they hav
sprouted and come up and ive been told i need to lift them for th winter but i dont really want to if i dont what are the repercussion of this? and if i have to what is the best way of over-wintering the
-- jellyfish
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If you're in a climate where the ground freezes, it's likely your dahlia tubers will turn to pudding under the ground if you don't lift them. If they're planted near a foundation or other structure where you notice snow melting due to the retained heat of that structure, you MIGHT get lucky and the plants will survive.
It's easy to think "Oh well, they were cheap. No big deal if they die. I'll buy more." But, it IS a big deal. If they're the dahlias that grow 4-5 feet high and make really big flowers, those tubers improve over the years and produce even better. And, you can divide them and have an endless supply of new tubers to foist upon unsuspecting gardener friends, or total strangers. It's worth taking good care of them.
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JoeSpareBedroom Wrote:

-- jellyfish
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Get some shredded peat moss from a real garden center. Get some Hefty jumbo size freezer bags. Hose the soil off the dahlia roots with a hard spray. Let them dry for a couple of days. Put the dahlia roots in the bag, fill with peat moss. Add a tablespoon of water, or a few shots from a mist bottle. If the peat moss was already damp when you bought it, you can ignore the water step. Close the zipper MOST of the way, and store in a cool place, like a corner of the basement.
Mark your calendar so you remember to check them every month until spring. If they seem to be getting soft, add just a little water - a couple of tablespoons, and zip up the bag.
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JoeSpareBedroom wrote:

Yup. Yup. Yup. And you might never find the variety you loved again. It happened to me. I had a fabulous hot pink cactus dahia, which inadvertently got frozen and turned to mush. I have never seen another one like it. Odd thing is, I got it at Home Depot about 10 years ago. You'd think it would still be around somewhere ... but nooooooo.

I had a huge compound tuber of another Dahlia. It put out flowers that ranged all the way from lavender to dark violet/purple with white. It was prolific and a very strong grower. It was bigger than a football. I stored it in one piece each winter because I found that if I broke up the tubers to store them, the smaller ones dried out completely. I'm in zone 6, but the effective winter can last as long as 9 months as far as Dahlias are concerned. Unfortunately this one got inadvertently frozen also, and I haven't been able to find it either.

That's how I store my smaller bulbs and tubers, except that I use those perforated ziplock vegetable bags, which I then place inside large paper bags, and fold shut. For years I've stored the huge tubers in peat moss in doubled paper bags. That works too. This year I'm trying vermiculite and large paper bags. I nested the biggies in the vermiculite, dusted them with garden sulfur, and then covered them with more vermiculite. I think it'll work too.

I've never done this. It's too much of a chore to get to where I stash them for the winter. You are more vigilant in this regard than I am.
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You don't say what zone your in. If you get any freezing temps at all, cut the plants down to just above the ground level and dig up those tubers and store them for winter.
ou can learn about storage of dahlias on the biggest dahlia e-mail list:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Dahlia-net
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FamilyNet International Newsgate
JE>hi there, have planted some dahlia bulbs this year and they have JE>sprouted and JE>come up and ive been told i need to lift them for the JE>winter but i dont really JE>want to if i dont what are the repercussions JE>of this? and if i have to what is JE>the best way of over-wintering them Here in eastern New England, after our first froast (last wendesday 8-( that drives the sap down into the tuber; on the first sunny day there after we dig the tubers up, wash them off (to eliminate any worms, bugs, etc.) with saved clean rain water and after they have dried out in the sun we cut off the stalks and "put them down for the winter" (Damn Yankee slang for put the tubers in damp sphangum peat moss in tubs in the coolest spot in our basement 8-)
Did mine last friday and then ground up fallen leaves for the compost before the rains came again.
Ciao, OldAck
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On the Dahlia-net they have been talking about a very easy way to store dahlia tubers, the man that started this way just passed away, but he's been storing them this way for a long LONG time and has gotten other people to do it and they've been doing very well this way.
Dig up dahlia tuber. clean, let dry, wrap in suran wrap and store in cardboard box.
he was storing up to 300+ dahlias that way.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dahlia-net
all most 500 members from all over the world.
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I store mine in a cool place in dry sand in a plastic box - keep out of centrally-heated areas! Malcolm
Starlord wrote:

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