After time and effort spent in your garden, it is such a delight to bring your blooms into the house. Nothing can be more true than the glamorous pickings of blousy dahlias. After the last frosts have passed, planting dried up looking, brown dahlia tubers in May, it is hard to believe that anything so delicious can grow from such an ugly looking, knarled form. This is when gardening really comes into it’s own, when the first signs of green shoots pop up through the soil’s surface. This small wonder brings such excitement knowing that there is rich life and wonderful flowers ahead.
Yes they need some encouragement, I feed mine once a week with a liquid Seaweed or Tomato feed and they are thirsty so need regular watering. The central tips should be pinched out to encourage stronger flowers. This filled me with dread the first time I performed such a brutal act, it seemed so wrong to remove the tops when they looked so healthy. But be brave, the confidence of doing this will pay you dividends!
Stake early to keep everything upright and supported, the blooms can be heavy so keep an eye to tie the stems in as they get taller. I use pea sticks and garden twine which is perfect. As the plants start to flower, keep picking to encourage more, the joy of taking them into the house is so rewarding and they make a lovely gift to take to friends. Add some other “bits” from the garden to make a really pretty display. I sometimes float the blooms in a shallow bowl or use a few small vases each filled with dahlias for maximum effect.
Dalia’s will keep flourishing until the first frosts. Then the big question…. once you’ve cut them down… should they stay or should they go? I leave mine in situ with a deep mulch blanket over the top for the cold months ahead, I don’t have the time or space to be digging them up and tuber-sitting over the winter and this seems to work in the South of England. A good tip is to pop a plant label in by each one so you can remember the exact location of where they are next year. It’s easy to get excited in the spring thinking you have an empty space for new plants only to find that space is already home to a dahlia!
Be bold, be brave with your colour combinations and revel in the beauty that will behold.