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I have grown about 100-120 dahlias for the last 10 years. I lift mine after the first frost. Soil is fairly light so I don't have to dry them out specifically. I keep them in cardboard boxes, without any peat or anything else. I put the boxes in a stable/shed and cover them with fleece and hessian. I lose a few, but not very many, with this process and i top up with a few choice new ones in the spring. In mid April I pot up individually, water, and keep outside. If risk of frost I pop them in the garage overnight, then back outside again. Plant in mid May, as am in southern England. The bed I use has Daffodils in it also, so I have a continuous display of daffs , then dahlias for months. The dahlias are planted on top of the daffs which I don't lift.
I am gradually changing the colour combinations, recently purchasing in your face colours...mauves, orange, red etc...and more and more single flowers to give the bees a chance to enjoy them too. I have also planted up a few larger pots with say 4 of a single variety for impact. These stay in the pots and can be moved around the garden to good effect.
Hope this helps...a worthy plant well worth the effort.
The wind today has snapped some of my cactus dahlias. They have about 6inches of stems left. As they have not had chance to get frosted and die back yet should i dig them up and try to store them or are they ruined? my other idea was to leave them there and see if any leaves come back before the frosts maybe mulch or put a frost tunnel over them?
Cut the remnants down to 3- 4 inches, dig the tuber up. Store on one side to let moisture drain out of it. Store as usual.
thanks fidgetbones. I am sure i will have more fatalities by the morning, greenhouse door has just smashed in the wind!
Sounds like you're getting the rough end of it. Its dead calm here at the moment. I expect we'll get it at 3 in the morning.
Nature has a way of making up for it though. Plants usually recover, or if a plant has to go,it makes a space for something else.
I hope you have insurance for the greenhouse
Oh dear Triffid. I hope that's the worst of your damage
Gremlins been attacking my posts again. Thanks for your replies. Garden got through the weather without any of the major plants being damaged only the tall dahlias got snapped so they are all in being prepared for storage now. I have had new glass cut for the greenhouse door only £20 in my local double glazing factory so not too bad . Anyway got to get on with it , let see what the snow can do this year!