I am determined to grow dahlias!
Why: because it is a They are stunning and I find the product I get shipped in for weddings is okay but not exactly what I want, they just don’t ship well. Every year (for 10 years) I plant my growing supply of roots…we get lots of foliage but limited flowers.. not much that is sale-able.
I think this is the definition of “insanity”. Though a do get a little improvement every year by trying different techniques. This season, I put them under landscaping fabric. This was not the panacea but it helped.
After I did a farm tour with the Association of Cut Flower Growers on my farm I found out my 2 major problems: timing and insects. To get those dahlia tubers in the ground asap ..no later then May 1, and if the growth freezes it will grow back. Then spray with a pesticide to get rid of those tarnish plant bugs.
A few weeks ago there were finally tall buds on my plants for the first time in years. But we had a few cold nights.. I was sure my dahlias were going to be black a shrived in the am. But they somehow survived. The cold did kill the tarnish plant bugs. A week later I had a few buckets of dahlias. I was like a glowing parent.
There is hope.. next season I am going to purchase some tubers from another grower in Massachusetts. My dahlia bed 10 x 250 ft is preped: tilled and covered in black plastic to kill any weeds from growing and to warm the soil asap in the spring.
Hopefully we will have buckets of beautiful dahlias.. to sell to local florist and customers.