Yay! my 24 New dahlia Cuttings arrived!
You may remember I got a tad excited on a wet grey miserable gloomy November day last year and ordered 24 new Dahlias from the National Dahlia Collection…when I wasn’t even sure I had room for them in the new garden!:
Well they arrived and I unpacked them with eager anticipation! I’m not sure why as I knew they would look like 24 identical green cuttings and there would be no inkling of their future colour….but for some reason I still got excited at the prospect of new Dahlia flowers!
They arrived in small flat cardboard boxes each individually labelled with a number on a white label.
The cuttings are all different sizes so I identified the smallest 10 cuttings and placed these in smaller pots in prime position on the kitchen window sill where I could monitor these and the other 14 I placed near my patio doors in trays.
Firstly I printed off colour labels for each plant and geekily laminated these labels for the garden. I bought some white label holders from B&Q and these come in packs of 10 for around £2.50 I think? These are OK, but the labels do fall out….I think they are good whilst the plants are in pots, but once they have been moved outside its better to tie the laminated labels onto the actual plant supports to stop them going missing! So hole-punched the labels as well so these could be tied onto the plant supports.
I also purchased 2 new trays and 1 pack of capillary matting sheets from B&Q which contained 5 sheets. I used 2.5 sheets per tray which fitted perfectly and used these to place the individual pots into whilst they are growing indoors. I wanted to maintain some moisture and stop the cuttings drying out, whilst preventing the pots leaking all over my floor!
I think this system worked quite well on a small scale, but its certainly not perfect as the pots do move around when you pick up or move the trays, so there is room to experiment again next year!
I have been growing dahlias for a few years now, but this is only the second summer of having a proper garden as before I was constrained to a concrete yard with pots. Now I have 2 fairly large flowers beds that I have created especially for Dahlia heaven! So every year my techniques evolve and change as I experiment with different methodologies. So my way of doing things isn’t necessarily right, its just me trying to improve my success with growing dahlias. In previous years I’ve been guilty of starting dahlias off inside too soon and they become tall and spindly and leggy, so this year I didn’t start my dahlias until late April and it seems to have worked much better.
After a month or more inside, I planted the cuttings outside at the end of May, beginning of June, when all risk of frost in the Northwest of England, UK had passed. These have all been outside for 2 weeks now, so I will write you an update of their progress very soon!
If you have any hints or tips for growing dahlias please let me know 🙂