Dahlias in the Front Yard

We just removed some huge trees from our front yard, which now makes it the biggest, sunniest spot on our small suburban property. I've always wanted to grow an assortment of dahlias, and now I have the room. However, I know that dahlias need to be supported, and I'm afraid the supports (tomato cages or bailing wire supports, for example) would be too unsightly for a front yard in suburbia. Any advice on how to grow dahlias in the front yard and not annoy the neighbors?
-Fleemo
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Annoy the neighbors?
Your neighbors apparently need to get a life of their own.
Why not preempt the problem and ask your nosy neighbors for advice?

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> Your neighbors apparently need to get a life of their own.<
Indeed. But here in Northern California, four homes are shoved onto the space that holds one in other parts of the country, so the neighbors are a bit more "in your face" here than in some regions.
Doug, those hoops do look pretty pleasing to the eye, but at $12.95 per hoop, I think I wouldn't have any dough left to buy tubers! :{

Good advice, Bill. So do you find that the tomato cages are sufficient to support the dahlias without them tumbling over? I usually find that the tomato cages aren't even sufficient for tomatoes! :P
So Vox, Presely, how do you use the fence posts/rebar with the dahlias? Do you use one per plant and tie the dahlias to them as they grow? Or do you use a couple to surround the plant, using string or baling wire every few inches as supports?
Thanks for the input!
-Fleemo
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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

The support rings that I use are the larger (taller) ones, not the "cheap" ones sold by places like Wal-Mart. They work well for most Dahlias but on the really tall ones I use a ring and a wood stake (6 foot tomato stake pounded about 15 inches into the ground). I tie the main Dahlia stalk to the stake and the ring supports the rest of the plant. That has worked well for me and I have been growing Dahlias for many, many years.
--
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> Your neighbors apparently need to get a life of their own.<
Indeed. But here in Northern California, four homes are shoved onto the space that holds one in other parts of the country, so the neighbors are a bit more "in your face" here than in some regions.
Doug, those hoops do look pretty pleasing to the eye, but at $12.95 per hoop, I think I wouldn't have any dough left to buy tubers! :{

Good advice, Bill. So do you find that the tomato cages are sufficient to support the dahlias without them tumbling over? I usually find that the tomato cages aren't even sufficient for tomatoes! :P
So Vox, Presely, how do you use the fence posts/rebar with the dahlias? Do you use one per plant and tie the dahlias to them as they grow? Or do you use a couple to surround the plant, using string or baling wire every few inches as supports?
Thanks for the input!
-Fleemo
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> Your neighbors apparently need to get a life of their own.<
Indeed. But here in Northern California, four homes are shoved onto the space that holds one in other parts of the country, so the neighbors are a bit more "in your face" here than in some regions.
Doug, those hoops do look pretty pleasing to the eye, but at $12.95 per hoop, I think I wouldn't have any dough left to buy tubers! :{

Good advice, Bill. So do you find that the tomato cages are sufficient to support the dahlias without them tumbling over? I usually find that the tomato cages aren't even sufficient for tomatoes! :P
So Vox, Presely, how do you use the fence posts/rebar with the dahlias? Do you use one per plant and tie the dahlias to them as they grow? Or do you use a couple to surround the plant, using string or baling wire every few inches as supports?
Thanks for the input!
-Fleemo
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I put one in per plant and tie them to it as they grow. The posts cost about $4 as I recall.
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One per plant, and tied up as it grows.

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snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

Wow! You must have some really snooty neighbors if you think that they will be offended by supports for your Dahlias. You could always spray the supports green to make them less noticeable.
As you can see from the pictures of my Dahlias, http://members.iglou.com/brosen/dahlias1.htm I use (unpainted) tomato support rings and I have never had a complaint. I receive lots of compliments about my Dahlias and always ask the person if they would like to take a few home for a cut flower arrangement. Try that (giving some to your neighbors); you will find that it soothes even the snootiest of neighbors.
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Issues of the neighbors aside, I can tell you from experience that tomato cages are inadequate for supporting dahlias. This year I got metal fence posts from the farm supply (you can get them at HD or Lowe's) and used them. They come painted green with a white top. I sprayed the top green and they blended into the landscape fairly well. You need something that is strong and about 6 feet high for dahlias. Here are some pictures: http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/summer2005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDq3
http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/summer2005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDq7
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Members of the dahlia society here generally use a 7 or 8 foot length of rebar - some kinds are painted green. They don't need to be set until the sprouting tubers go into the ground, and if you want to be a little daring, you can even wait until the sprouts are above the ground, and hope not to spear the tuber with the end of the rebar. Of course, the rebar needs to be pounded strongly into the ground. Well-grown dahlias have "trunks" not stems, and they carry a tremendous amount of water weight - besides the weight of the blooms when they finally come.

http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/summer2005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDq3
http://groups.msn.com/laurelridgegardens/summer2005.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoIDq7
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I know of a user on the Dahlia-net who grows AA sized Dahlias and they are supported by the upside down tomato cages, and they are show winning Dahlias too.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Dahlia-net the Oldest and biggest E-mail list for and About Dahlias.
--

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Dahlias
I tried that and it didn't work for me. First of all, the cages weren't tall enough and they also pulled out of the ground.
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You totaly MISSED what I said, Note the "UPSIDEDOWN" as in Big hoop sitting on ground held down with U shaped stakes and his grows to 5 to 6ft tall. And they don't show up as the plant hides them.
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sitting
And
No I didn't miss what you said. I found the technique while doing an internet search. If you google this group you will see that I posted a message over a year ago describing what I used and that it didn't work. The cages were inadequate when I used them. They probably work for some people, but I just added my personal experience. That's why I switch to the metal fence posts. I used the upside-down tomato cages for my peonies this year and they did work well for that application.
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