Dahlia’s are known as one of the gifts of the gods, or the Queens of the crop, in the flower cutting world because they make such stunning bouquets. This is my first year getting into cut flower farming so this is the first year I have invested in “tubers”. Up until now I have just been a hobby home gardener and landscaper. So you seek out perennials that come back year after year without needing to be dug up and stored for the winter like you do a Dahlia.
This year I decided to launch into the world of cut flowers and begin farming them. Dahlia’s are a necessary product for cut flower farming because they have such great yields as far as blooms, you can keep dividing them into more plants and are easy to grow. However in the past I have tried to grow a few Dahlias just for fun and never managed to get them to sprout. I now know why after reading and learning about these beauties. They are a tiny bit counter intuitive to a gardener; if you plant something you water it right? Well not with Dahlia’s because that will increase your chance of getting rot in the tuber and the last thing you want is for them to rot and mold. Which I think is exactly why I was never able to sprout a Dahlia in the past, I watered them and then the tubers just rotted beneath the surface unknown to me at the time.
However this year because I actually took the time to invest and order specific Dahlia’s grown for cutting flowers I have learned a lot about these Beauties cause I really want to have a successful yield. I can’t wait to make some bouquets. Plus multiply my initial investment in these plants by being able to divide them once I dig them up in the fall is another reason for great care. I have been holding off on planting and waiting for our late spring rains to stop and the ground to be up to temp. so that chances increase for having a successful crop. I have found the sunniest location in our yard that will help the eyes on the tubers want to find their way to the surface and reach for the sun. Then I can start watering them and know that I will not cause rot in the tuber. I am worried we are getting a bit of a late start since it is mid June however we live in a high dessert and so the temps are very unpredictable and you could get a late frost in spring. I was not willing to take that gamble with my new crop so I decided to wait and plant them now in hopes that I will get a crop before the fall frost.
Today was the big day, got out the tubers I ordered from Swan Island https://www.dahlias.com/ a local Oregon company who is known for their acres and acres of Dahlia’s and festivals in the fall. I made sure to get my soil ready and loosened up with the hoe. Then took the time to pre-place and space them out based on a mixing of color and so I knew they would all fit and have enough space in between each other. I chose to do 2 rows off setting each other to help create more room between each other. They have been planted and put to sleep. My fingers are crossed that they will begin to sprout within the next week because our late spring early summer heat is here!