Now that the dahlias are planted, the ritual begins. Some plants you can walk away from for a week or more after they go into the ground. But dahlias demand more from me. I gladly make a daily visit to the lower lawn just to see what they are offering right from the start.Many months will pass before this sight greets me, so what is so fascinating that the dahlias become part of my daily ritual in the garden? That would take a book to answer. But let me tell you one of the things I will be watching this year. My stored dahilia tubers looked like this when I pulled them out of the garage from Winter storage:
(The plastic bag on the top was a gift from a gardener in my Winter group of plant crazy people.) I stored the tubers in a peat mix individually wrapped in paper bags with their i.d. tags. Two of the dahlia suppliers that I ordered from sent their tubers packed for shipping quite differently from each other.The one on the top is an order from Swan Island Dahlias who produce a beautiful catalog, fully illustrated, and beautiful dahlias I must say. But there are NINE dahlia tubers in that one bag! The bag on the bottom is from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and contains the one tuber, Striped Vulcan. Are you getting the picture? I will be fascinated to know if there is any difference in the rate of growth, the size of the plant, the bloom, etc. between my old tubers’ results, and the two growers’ tubers’ results. Of course I will have to take into account the type of dahlia each is and what the expectations are for that variety. The tomato adage is, “Big pot, big tomato.” Is the dahlia adage, “Big bag, big dahlia?” I think not, but I will be watching!
We have had four straight days of rain. I like the rain for the garden, but every grower of dahlias says, “DO not water after planting tubers! Wait until the first growth shows.” Well guess what? Mother Nature doesn’t hear us! The dahlias are in, and they are getting very watered! Good news, some new growth is appearing – I found that out on my daily ritual of visiting the dahlia beds!