Decorate the autumn garden will help dahlias. However, these flowers are as whimsical as they are beautiful. They need close care throughout the year, including proper preparation for the winter.
Digging dahlias and their preparation for storage is a matter of responsibility, because the flowering of plants in the new season depends on how the planting materials overwinter.
When to start digging?
Dahlia should be prepared for wintering after the first frost. This is usually done in October. But in conditions of changeable weather in the middle zone, frosts can happen in September, and then again be replaced by warmth. Therefore, digging up so early the tubers are not worth it. Yes, and hardly any of the florists will raise a hand to do it, because in September dahlias are still in full bloom. During this period, they can simply peat a little peat (10-20 cm). Then, by October, they will paint already fading garden with bright colors.
Digging and storage preparation
When the dahlias finally bloom, the tubers can dig. It is best to do this with forks, not shovels. Next, the tubers should be carefully cleaned from the ground and Rinse in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. After this, the plants should take 2-3 hours. dry out on the street.
Now the dahlias are ready for pruning. Carrying out this procedure, it is important to remember that cutting the dahlia stalks is necessary to the very root collar. Otherwise, the remaining part can pick up root rot, which will very quickly hit the entire tuber.
To the tubers well wintered, do not immediately take them to the room where they will be stored. After pruning, they need to “recover” a little and prepare for the winter: dry out and coarsen a little. Therefore, for some time (2-3 weeks) they can be held in boxes in the summer kitchen or on a covered veranda.
Dahlia tuber storage conditions
In order for their favorite flowers to winter well, they need to create favorable conditions for this. They are mainly reduced to creating a temperature comfortable for dahlias in the room, which should be from 2 to 6 ° C. This is important because when kept at a lower temperature, the tubers will simply freeze. If the room is warm, the planting material will germinate.
Usually dahlia tubers are stored in the cellar or basement. At the same time, they should be placed in such a way that in winter the mice would not get to them. In the city to store dahlia tubers can be in the refrigerator.
Ways to preserve tubers until spring
Waxing. This procedure prevents the evaporation of moisture from the tubers. For its implementation, you can use paraffin candles or buy paraffin in a pharmacy. Paraffin must be melted to a liquid state and put each tuber in it, holding the stump, and immediately get it. Then a thin protective layer is formed on the tuber which will protect it from winter. Attention! Paraffin is flammable, so it is not recommended to melt it on a gas stove. It is best to do this on an electric plate with a closed spiral.
Clay mash Another way to save the tubers - "bathing" in the clay mash. For its preparation, you need to add a little copper sulphate or potassium permanganate to the clay solution (according to its density, it should be brought to the state of sour cream). Further, the principle is the same as when waxing: the tuber must be lowered into a mash, get and dry. Then it can be removed for storage.
Vermiculite. Tubers of dahlias for storage can be put in large fraction vermiculite. However, with this method, the temperature at the storage location should be closely monitored. Vermiculite tends to retain moisture, so when the temperature rises, the tubers can germinate.
Dahlia tubers can be stored in vermiculite
Moss. Some flower growers, before sending the dahlia tubers to storage, wrap them in moss and put them in a plastic bag. This method also works well. The main thing is to find a suitable cold place to hold such convolutions.