to dig or not to dig

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Any time there’s a how-to on dahlias, the advice is to dig them up after the first hard frost. It was more from laziness than from obstinacy that I failed to do so. Lo and behold: the dahlias came back bigger, better and stronger the next year, and an approach was born. Every once in a while, I will lose one from this approach, which might more accurately be called neglect. Take a look at the two pictures here. Obviously, they are not to scale, or the first one would be almost too small to register: it is the one planted in April of 2007. The whole plant is about six inches tall. The other plant tops out at seven feet or so, and has been smothered in blossoms since late July. It has been left undisturbed for three years running. If you do dig up dahlias after a few years, there will be a clump of tubers as big as a bushel basket, some of which might have gone mushy. Best to pry apart the mass, save a few (wrapped in newspaper) to overwinter, throw out any not up to snuff, give some away, and replant some. All your bases will be covered, and what works for you will reveal itself soon enough.

4 thoughts on “to dig or not to dig

  1. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Chrome. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Thanks

  2. Such a wonderful written report! No idea how you wrote this’d take me weeks. Well worth it though, I’d assume. Have you considered selling advertising space on your blog?

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