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Thanks for the reply, Verdun. I went out tonight and the head that flowered a few days ago had all the ends of its petals chewed off, and there was a veevil sat right on it. So, caught red handed I squashed it.
I was also overrun with snails and slugs this year, and they were steadily chewing away at the dahlia when it first appeared. Some of them were massive, especially the slugs. I took to going out every couple of nights and rounding up as many as I could. This worled quite well, and I had less of a problem after a couple of weeks. I also tried a beer trap, and that seemed to have worked very well too. However I think I need to put a beer trap every few feet for it to work properly. One morning I went out after not checking it for a couple of days and there was a thick 'layer' of small slugs floating on the top above the beer. I put them all in the compost bin.
I've cut off the dead heads I've noticed. Do these go in the compost bin, or could they be used to grow new dahlias as easily as buying new tubers? I don't have a greenhouse.
Hiya Tomsk, no these won't make cuttimgs so put on compost heap. You are doing well now...the torch patrol will sort out your voracious critters. I do the same. -at this time of the year slugs n snails are back in force and, yes, they will be bigger.
Re cuttings.......not until the spring when new growth starts again
Love dahlias, my cuttings rooted easily this spring, i managed to pot on 357 self collected seed for my parents and they have an incredible mixed show. Def a must for next Year. Do cheap when you save tubers or set your own seed. I hope I keep my mini dahlia and we bought a new red one this year I am in love with, I hope I keep it through the winter. See pictures...
large ball red one http://twitter.com/Inky_Trace/status/373213818567917568/photo/1
small red one(hence my name) http://twitter.com/Inky_Trace/status/373214056976375808/photo/1
Is there an easy way of telling if your dahlia seed from bought plants will be fertile??
Hi Red Dahlia, I think seeds from any type of dahlia are potentially fertile but as they cross-pollinate like crazy there is no guarantee that the offspring will be like the parent, although they are often similar in form if not colour. As for collecting seed, the thicker ones are more likely to be viable - to select those, I put the dried collected seeds into the palm of my hand and gently blow - the papery bits and non-viable seeds are blown away. I leave the seed heads on the plants I want to collect seeds from. Although this means fewer flowers from the selected plant, there will be far more viable seeds per head.
I only ask as my tiny dahlia had tiny tiny seeds and I sowed 2 trays and nothing at all,nothing!!!
my new red ones I so hope are fertile but normally they close into a cone shape, these remain looking like pineapple tops?? Heard this before??