Friday, December 5

In from the cold

We made the decision not to grow any dahlias this year and then we went to the garden centre and saw some lovely single varieties that we liked and changed our minds. For some reason we have both become drawn to single flowers. Maybe the bees have been indulging in a bit of telepathy as they seem to prefer them too.
We came away from the garden centre with a selection of tubers which we potted up to start then into growth. 

We had started a new flower border in the plot in the place previously occupied by dead raspberries. Earlier in the season campanulas and primrose provided some subtle colour.
The gaps in between the existing plants were filled with the dahlias which were anything but subtle.
Previously when we have grown dahlias we have left them in the ground over winter under a covering of straw and black polythene. Planted in a mixed bed this isn't an option and so once the tops had been killed off and the tubers would not put on any more growth, (just like their potato cousins), the plants were dug up.
  
 The blackened tops were cut back and the tubers labelled with a number in an attempt to identify them next spring.

I must say the plants had produced impressive tubers. According to James Wong, these are edible but I think I'll pass on that meal.

As much soil as possible was rubbed off the tubers which were them placed stems pointing down in a tray in the greenhouse to dry off.

Before we start to get really keen frost these will be given additional protection in a box lightly covered with compost and fleece or bubblewrap.

The fruit trees and shrubs planted in pots will have to tough it out outside but their roots have been given a bubblewrap overcoat as a bit if extra protection.
Let's hope winter isn't too unkind maybe just harsh enough to kill off some of our garden pests.


26 comments:

  1. Just done our Dahlias. My absolute fave is The Bishop of Llandaff I dot it around my veg garden, being a single the bees love them. They are bedded down under the spent tomato compost in the greenhouse with a cosy bubble wrap duvet on top.
    I couldn't bring myself to eat the tubers either!
    Gill

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    1. We have the Bishop Gill but this year kept it in a pot in the garden and now in the greenhouse. It;' a lovely variety

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  2. That James Wong'll eat anything. I really like the single flower dahlias as well. The year I lifted mine I lost a lot of them though, the tubers were empty and dry when I came back to them. I just have a couple in pots now and I leave them as they're against the back wall of the house and it doesn't get too cold there. (Fingers crossed!) As you say, we need just enough cold to finish off some of the pests.

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    1. I think they need to not be kept too dry CJ so I'll have to keep an eye on them

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  3. I've grown dahlias from seed in the past and it's amazing how big the tubers grow in just a year. I didn't bother with them this year but I might grow some again next year.

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    1. I've been disappointed by dahlias grown from seed, Jo. They've never turned out as they show in the catalogues or on the packet.

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  4. Sue, you are absolutely right there on needing some harsh conditions for controlling pests which have to be a bigger deal when you grow as much as you do in your greenhouse, at the plot – and a garden!

    I've never grown dahlias yet (never say never) but if I did the bees have been working on me too as I would grow singles also. Great to see the bubble wrap out – I've been using it too but in a same but different way ;-)

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    1. I'm not intrigues as to how you used your bubblewrap, Shirley.

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  5. My neighbour keeps his in the garden all year. He has a lovely display of Dahlias & they were spare plants given to him by me from seed sown varieties a few years ago! The ones I left in the ground all died! I have some pots in the greenhouse so hopefully they will be fine, you had a lovely display off them. I hope they survive for you. I want a small Dahlia bed next year.

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    1. It's always a boy of a gamble overwintering dahlias, Jo more a case of fingers crossed.

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  6. Of course, down here in the South the Winters are balmy and practically sub-tropical you know...! (Not). Seriously, I have an Olive tree that has successfully survived some very cold seasons, and I have never given it any bubblewrap or anything. I did once try using some purpose-made fleece covers for my two Bay trees, but that was not a success - it kept the trees too humid and they developed fungal moulds.

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    1. Strangely, Mark we have been in the Lincoln area today and the temperature went up as we headed home northwards. To be honest I think I am probably being over cautious with the bubblewrap but for the s,all effort I would be really cross with ,myself if I didn't and things died.

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  7. I love these beautiful flowers ! Your photos are wonderful !
    Have a happy weekend :)

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    1. I hope that the rest of your weekend is good too Ela,

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  8. Your dahlias look very healthy Sue.

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    1. Let's hope that they stay that way, Jessica

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  9. Love the Bishop and all his progeny. Like you Sue I think I have always had a sneaking preference for the singles rather than the more artificial looking flowers and these are the only ones I would consider growing now.

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    1. I'm definitely coming round to being a fan of single flowers< Rick. I've never warmed to thise double primroses and double daffodils.

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  10. My grandfather was a very keen Dahlia grower and unfortunately I did not inherit his love for them. I like the blooms, singles in particular, but the time he had to devote to them has always put me off.
    I was told by a local nurseryman that they are easily dried out if you grow them in terracotta pots and leave them dry until the following spring. I will get round to giving them a go at some point.
    I hope all yours make it through winter Sue.

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    1. Must admit we don't lavish attention on ours, Angie, The ones in pots have just been lifted into the greenhouse. Those tubers now have all been put in a large tin and covered with used grow bag compost and will now have to take their chances,

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  11. I must say I much prefer the single ones and you do have some absolute beauties there! Roll on spring.xxx

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    1. Let's hope that we still have them next year' Dina

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  12. I liked how you protect your potted plants Sue. This year I decided to use the special cloth - spunbond- to cover the pots outside as well. My dried dahlias tubers mixed with moss were placed in a box. I hope they winter well. Love your species, very bright!

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    1. Let's keep[ fingers crossed that the dahlias survvie for both of us, Nadezda

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  13. Good planning for winter! All the plants shall survive the winder and bounce back next season! ;)

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