Dahlias, distinguished by their brightness and variety of colors, abundance and duration of flowering, unpretentiousness, are loved by many gardeners. But the bushes will not survive the harsh Russian winters, so the rhizomes have to be dug out annually.
There is no exact date for digging dahlias. It is determined by the peculiarities of the local climate. It is necessary to wait for the first frost, after which the stems and leaves darken and begin to rot. After that, you need to act quickly, within 2-3 days, so that the rot does not have time to spread to the rhizomes.
Dahlia rhizomes are dug up quite late, only after the first frost
In the south of Russia, you will have to wait the longest: until the end of November or even until December. In the middle lane, dahlias are dug out at the junction of October and November. In the Urals and Siberia, the temperature can drop to zero and lower already at the end of September or in the first decade of October.
You can't rush to dig out the rhizomes. They will not have enough time to accumulate enough nutrients for growth, development and flowering next year.
The procedure for extracting dahlias from the soil is extremely simple:
Cut the dahlia just before digging up so that the nutrients have time to pass from the aerial part of the plant to the rhizome
To extract a dahlia from the soil, it is hooked from below, and not pulled by the stem.
In appearance, the rhizomes of dahlias do not differ, so it is better to immediately sign the dug specimens somehow
Competent preparation reduces the risk of damage to dahlias during winter storage to almost zero. You will need the following actions:
The dug out rhizomes must be washed so that you can examine them.
If you plan to divide the dahlia, the rhizome is cut immediately, in the fall, without putting it off until the spring
Dahlias often suffer from fungal diseases, so disinfection of rhizomes is mandatory
In order for the rhizomes to survive the winter safely, they need to be placed in a dark place, providing high (80–85%) humidity, a temperature of 3–6 ° C and an influx of fresh air. Based on this, the most suitable place in an apartment is a glazed balcony or refrigerator, in a private house - a closed veranda. However, it is possible to deviate significantly from the optimal conditions if you apply special storage methods.
Methods for storing dahlia rhizomes:
Sand for storing dahlias is good for everyone, except that it quickly sucks moisture from both the air and rhizomes
Dahlia rhizomes covered with perlite can only be stored in a cool place.
The sawdust used to cover the rhizomes of dahlias must be fresh and dry.
Wet sphagnum moss can provoke rotting of dahlia rhizomes
The cling film allows you to "preserve" the rhizomes of the dahlia
Dahlia rhizomes embedded in paraffin cannot be kept, for example, near a radiator
Clay shell for dahlia rhizomes is more reliable than paraffin
Considering the optimal conditions for storing dahlias, basements and cellars, where a stable low, but still positive temperature is established in winter and high humidity is constantly kept, it is an ideal place for dahlias. The tubers left there will not dry out until they lose their viability, but they will not germinate earlier than necessary.
If you grow a lot of dahlias, the cellar is the most suitable place for them.
Underfloor is also acceptable. But keep in mind that it is a little warmer there than in the basement, and the air is drier, ventilation is often absent. Here you will have to turn on the fan a couple of times a week, providing fresh air.
Additionally, you will need to protect dahlias from rodents. To do this, use mousetraps, sticky traps, poisons, special ultrasonic scarers. The most effective folk remedy is peppermint essential oil. Paper or linen napkins are laid out on glass or plastic jars, dripping a couple of drops of ether on them, and placed around the room. The smell disappears in 7-10 days, then it will need to be "refreshed".
Mice in the cellar are frequent guests; rhizomes of dahlias, they will also find it quite edible
Digging up the rhizomes of dahlias in the fall is easy. The main tasks facing the gardener are to properly prepare them for storage and provide optimal conditions in winter. Nothing supernatural is required from you, but knowledge of certain nuances is necessary.
Dahlias are flowers of extraordinary beauty. They delight us with their lush flowering from mid-summer until the first frost. So that next year they continue to delight us with their flowering, there are certain rules for their cultivation. And an especially important point is their cleaning for the winter and further storage. In this article, you can learn how and when to harvest perennial dahlias, as well as how to properly store them until spring.
Unlike other perennial flowers, which include dahlias, the tubers (root system) of these flowers cannot hibernate in frozen ground, since it is a thermophilic plant. They must be dug up every fall after vegetative growth and flowering have ceased. Low temperatures have a detrimental effect on flowers and the planting material will simply freeze and rot.
Only correctly and on time dug out bushes will guarantee that next year in your garden they will again decorate your garden with a bright variety of colors.
To ensure the safety of the plant, it is necessary to ensure the correct storage of dahlias at home, to observe the timing of digging.
Before digging dahlias, it is worth noting the varieties - the varieties have similar rhizomes, and if there is a large variety in the garden, it will be difficult to distinguish them during spring planting. It is convenient to attach the label to the bottom of the stem (just above the ground). The name of the dahlia variety, information about the height of the plant, the color of the flowers and the type of inflorescence (for example: dahlia pompom, height 100 cm, red flowers) are written on the label.
The optimal time to dig up dahlias in autumn comes when the first frosts are noted - the leaves and flowers have withered. Digging should not be done too early, because in autumn the plants accumulate in the thickened roots the reserve substances necessary for good storage and better growth in spring.
It is very important not to delay the processing of tubers for a long time, it is advisable to do this during the day, as they dry out and deteriorate very quickly. There are different ways to help preserve the tubers until the next planting. Let's take a look at a few of them.
The easiest way is to store the dug out well-dried tubers in specially prepared wooden boxes covered with newspaper. Filled boxes are placed in a cool place, such as a barn or garage for a week, and then covered with newspaper and tucked away in the basement or any other place designed to store vegetables.
If you do not have a basement, you can use a method that allows you to store dahlias in your apartment. To prepare dahlia tubers in this way, you need the following:
This method allows you to protect the dahlia tubers from drying out and rotting.
If you do not have many roots, then the following method is quite suitable for you, which allows you to store dahlias for the whole winter:
A more economical and convenient way is the method of storing tubers in winter in plastic wrap or in bags. For this method, the tubers must be treated with colloidal sulfur or any other solution intended for these cases. After that, peat is poured into the bags and the processed dahlia tuber is placed there. Then the plastic bag must be tied tightly. Packaged tubers are folded into a container and placed in a dry, not hot place. The advantages of this method are that the tubers will not have unwanted contact with each other, and their condition can be checked quite easily, thanks to being in a transparent package.
To increase the chances of saving more dahlia tubers, you also need to know a few little secrets:
How to store dahlias at home, each grower must decide, taking into account his capabilities. But there are general storage rules:
Dahlia tubers are usually stored in garages or outbuildings, provided that they do not freeze. But then you will often need to air them.
It is advisable to store dahlias in an apartment in a wooden or cardboard container (boxes, boxes) on an insulated loggia.
The first frost is a signal that it's time to get down to business.
It is not difficult to understand from the bush, the green leaves will wither, turn black from the night cold.
It is better to dig up tubers in dry, sunny weather.
The stems of the plant are cut 10-15 cm from the surface of the soil and carefully dug out.
Remove them carefully so as not to damage the fragile root collar.
The remaining soil is removed from the tubers and examined.
With damage, stains, as well as thin specimens, they are ruthlessly discarded, cut out and thrown away.
Damaged tubers can provoke the development of rot, and thin tubers will dry out during storage.
Then the stems are reduced to 3 cm. Cutting out unnecessary parts is carried out with a clean tool, all cuts are sprinkled with wood ash.
Selected tubers are washed with water - this helps to wash off pathogenic microorganisms and prevent the occurrence of putrefactive diseases during further storage.
And you can also play it safe and immerse them in a strong solution of potassium permanganate or other fungicide for 20 minutes for disinfection.
Then be sure to dry them well, placing the tubers with the stem down.
This is done so that moisture in the hollow stem does not stagnate and leave.
Before harvesting root tubers for a permanent storage place, they are kept in a cool room.
During this time, the wounds will dry out, the tubers will harden, unreliable specimens will have time to show themselves (rot develops on them, an unpleasant odor appears).
You can also save root tubers in the refrigerator. The dried planting material is kept in bags with sawdust, in which it is recommended to make holes for ventilation. The bags are additionally wrapped in paper and stored in the lower compartment of the refrigerator. If there are few root tubers, they are simply wrapped in paper and stored in the lower vegetable compartment.
With any storage method, the planting material is checked approximately every 4 weeks.
Damaged tubers are thrown away immediately so that they do not infect healthy cuttings. In the spring, boxes or bags with dahlias are transferred to a warmer place so that the root tubers wake up faster.
Knowing how to properly store dahlias, you can admire these beautiful flowers in your garden from year to year, keeping your favorite varieties and not worrying about decorating the site every year.