Winter is around the corner and every gardener knows that it brings its own challenges. Here's a comprehensive guide to navigate the cold weather and keep your tubers healthy all year long.
Preparing for Winter
As the season changes, so does your watering routine. To initiate the dormancy period, it's advisable to stop watering by late fall. This step is not only important to trigger dormancy but also acts as a preventative measure against tuber damage.
Digging up the Tubers
Once the first frost arrives and the foliage darkens, it's time to dig up the tubers. When doing this, it's imperative to use a garden fork gently to avoid any damage. Remember, the best weather for this process is dry to minimize the risk of harming the tubers.
Cleaning and Drying the Tubers
You should thoroughly clean the tubers to eliminate all traces of dirt and moisture. Once clean, the tubers should be left to air-dry for a few days. This process is vital for proper preservation.
Storing the Tubers
After the tubers have adequately dried, they are ready for storage. You can either wrap each tuber individually in newspaper or place them in a box filled with dry sand. Your storage area should be cool, with a temperature range of 2°C to 10°C.
Checking the Tubers During Winter
Throughout the winter, regular checks on the tubers are necessary. This exercise helps detect any potential health problems early. If you notice any unhealthy tubers during these checks, remove them immediately to prevent spread of the disease.
Replanting in the Spring
When the risk of frost has passed, it's time to reintroduce the tubers to the soil. For the best flowering, select a sunny location with well-drained, rich soil.
Leaving Dahlias in Soil Over Winter
Some may choose to leave dahlias in the ground over winter. If you choose this path, remember that continued care is necessary. With consistent attention and diligence, your dahlias will reward you with beautiful summer flowers.