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I left mine to their own devices last year and didnt even dead head at the end. This year I have had loads of new plants even different colours.
I grow all my dahlias in large pots. I lift them before they are frosted - usually when they start to look straggly (October time). I dry them off upside down in the greenhouse for a couple of days. I then wrap them in newspaper and store them in cardboard boxes in my loft. I have not had any failures. This year (and the tubers are a few years old now) they reached 6 ft. and gave a truly wonderful display.
DO NOT cut them back, enjoy the flowers, they will be fine until the first frost. It is a recommended task but obviously depends where you are in the country, if you have a sheltered garden you could get another 6 weeks of pleasure whereas someone in Scotland may already have had to dig theirs up.
You should not lift dahlias until the frost has blackened the tops-they longer they are in the ground the better- this builds up the food reserves in the tuber making it bigger for flowering power next year
Some don't even lift them but leave them with a thick mulch too see them through the winter.
I have had some disasters with dahlias over the years. When we lived in Reading, Berks, I dug up the tubers and stored them in the loft. It was too dry and I lost the lot. We moved to central Scotland. I lifted the dahlias and stored them in the shed. Temperatures fell to -17 degrees that winter, again I lost the lot. Next year, stored them in the shed carefully insulated I thought, again very low temperatures caused me to lose them all. Last year I lifted them, dried them, packed each tuber in a plastic bag with holes in and put them in crates under the stairs. Al most all survived! I started them in pots in the greenhouse (remember that fine weather in March?) We went away for a week. There was snow. I got back to find the tops blackened but luckily got away with it and have had a fine display. I've just lifted them and am drying off. Will store under the stairs again as it is neither too hot nor too cold there. Fingers crossed.