Dahlia Instructions

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During the last seven years, Mark Harvey has lived and breathed dahlias. He enjoys sharing growing tips and planting strategies with his neighbors and clients, and encourages you to call with any questions you might have about helping your dahlias thrive.

Dahlia Planting Instructions

All my techniques are done as natural as possible. You will do just fine using natural or organic products like manure, plant rotation or even slug smashing. You can use pesticides on dahlias, but I would personally rather see a bug on my flower vase than have chemicals radiating a hole in my dining room table.

Where to plant:
- Full sun to half of sun / day
- Well-drained soil – if not add 50 percent sand, steer, horse or cow manure that is at least one year old
- Plant so dahlias are not competing with other plants; give plants at least 2 feet of space
- Plant in mid-April to May (soil must be consistent 60 degrees)
- If climate is average 90 to 100 degrees, plant so they get a half day of morning sun

Planting
- Plant dahlias on their side
- If growth has started, cut back so only one inch of growth is connected to tuber (this will help the growth get through the soil)
- Add a handful of bone meal and mix it in the hole
- Plant tuber 4 to 6 inches deep

Fertilizers
- Use a low nitrogen fertilizer
- You can also use natural fertilizers like steer, horse or cow manure
- Place 3 inches of fertilizer around top of soil

Pests
- Slugs are the worst pests for your dahlia; you can use slug bait
- They make organic slug bait, but you can also squash them
- Spider mites can turn your leaves yellow and then brown throughout the plant
- Keep your plant healthy by watering it during the dry part of summer; when plants are stressed by dehydration spider mites will attach
- Treat spider mites with neem oil; warm oil and then spray undersides of leaves
- Don’t worry about other insects or pests – they only do minimal harm, if any
- Mildew will not kill your plants but tends to occur in the fall when dahlias are past their prime; water the dahlia to suffocate the mildew

Do Not:
- Water before your dahlias sprout
- Use grass fertilizer
- Use compost, which can be high in nitrogen
- Spray for weeds around dahlias
- Leave in ground in winter if your soil freezes 6" or deeper

Check out the videos below with Mark explaining how to get the most out of your dahlias:

 

DIGGING DAHLIA CLUMPS ,DIVIDING AND STORAGE OF DAHLIAS TUBERS from Old House Dahlias on Vimeo.

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Planting dahlias from Mark Harvey on Vimeo.

Dahlia cuttings from Mark Harvey on Vimeo.

Chopping the tops on your dahlias makes a nicer plant . from Mark Harvey on Vimeo.

Dead Heading from Old House Dahlias on Vimeo.

Storing dahlia clumps in five gallon buckets works great from Old House Dahlias on Vimeo.

mowing the pretty flowers down before root harvest from Old House Dahlias on Vimeo.

Checking your dahlia tubers for rot from Old House Dahlias on Vimeo.