Preparation, germination and planting of dahlias tubers
In the middle lane, dahlia planting dates only occur when the slightest threat of return frosts disappears. But preparation for their landing begins long before May-June. The start of work with rhizomes of dahlias wintering in storages coincides with the beginning of active spring work. Proper preparation of planting material for successful flowering and maintaining plant health is as important as preparing a planting site. In order for the dahlias to bloom, their rhizomes need to be awakened in advance, and the planting process itself requires some features, accuracy and care.
- Spring planting with dahlias
- Transitional period before germination dahlia
- Sprouting Dahlia
- Secrets of Planting a Dahlia
Spring planting with dahlias
Dahlias are among the most beloved tuber plants and one of the brightest major autumn accents in garden design. But low frost resistance allows you to grow luxurious stars only with their digging for the winter. The need to keep plants indoors and to plant and dig out rhizomes annually is such a small price for their luxurious flowering. But only to planting or digging these plants growing dahlias is not reduced.
Continuous monitoring is the most important point of care for dahlias. Even when the rhizomes hibernate, they need to be looked after: regular inspections, rejection, the fight against lesions, timely correction of conditions of detention - these are the measures thanks to which dahlias can wait for the new season.
In winter, they are checked as often as the stored crop. A particular danger is the period of the beginning of the calendar spring, when changes in temperature, humidity level, fluctuations in conditions often lead to an increased risk of damage to rhizomes by fungal diseases or their premature germination.
The main stages of preparing a dahlia for planting
Preliminary preparation of a dahlia for planting is a set of measures that allow plants to adapt to a warm content and activate the growth and development processes. In regions with mild winters, there is no need to germinate rhizomes, but in the middle lane you can not do without it.
Thanks to spring preparation and germination, the dahlia growing season does not begin at the time of planting, but several weeks earlier. Accordingly, the waiting time for flowering is reduced and the period increases when it can be enjoyed until the arrival of autumn cold.
Spring preparation of tubers involves several stages:
- Adaptation of the dahlia to the conditions in which they will germinate;
- Inspection and processing of rhizomes;
- Germination of dahlia rhizomes before planting;
- Preparing for landing.
Optimal time for germination
Germination in dahlias takes a fairly short period. To reach the stage of development at which plants need to be transplanted into the soil, 10-15 days are enough. In accordance with this, they select the start time of spring preparation - 14-20 days before the expected date of planting.
In the middle lane, germination is considered optimal in late April, early or mid-May (if gardeners are not ready to shelter dahlias for an earlier planting). The milder the climate, the sooner the dahlia rhizomes begin to awaken.
In the south, the start of preparing dahlias for planting can be delayed up to 6-8 days before planting, and the third point - germination - is removed from the plan, leaving only clearing, disinfection and preliminary adaptation.
It is necessary to navigate the choice of germination dates based on the state of the rhizomes: when the buds begin to swell, you can not hesitate and continue to keep dahlias in the dark and cold, because the shoots will be very fragile and it will be very difficult to keep them until planting.
If signs of awakening are visible on the rhizomes in March or April, they should be prepared for planting at least in boxes or containers.
Features of the awakening of purchased dahlias
Timing is easier to control when using your own dahlias, which are checked during the winter. If you buy new varieties, then rhizomes should be sought only from the second or third decade of April, so that you can carry out full-fledged preparation for planting.
Buying dahlias earlier, there is a higher risk of not keeping plants until the right time. When choosing planting material, it is worthwhile to ensure that the tubers are at a dormant stage: any signals about the start of growth, loss of tissue density or the appearance of sprouts are undesirable. The purchase of awakened root tubers will lead to the fact that the plants may not survive the planting, will be unviable due to their weakness.
Transitional period before germination dahlia
As with any garden plant wintering not in the soil, but indoors, with dahlias, any sudden changes in conditions and differences should be avoided. Like cadre exotics, dahlias will require a small “quarantine” - a period of adaptation to a changing environment, before spring germination begins. True, a few weeks are out of the question: a few days are enough for slow adaptation.
When transferring rhizomes of dahlias to heat and light, plants should be left for 2-3 days at an intermediate temperature. This is quite enough to prevent a sharp temperature drop and reduce risks.
Adaptation to changing conditions is necessary only when the difference between storage temperatures and for spring awakening is equal to or exceeds 10 degrees.
Inspection after wintering and preventative treatment
After the period of complete rest ends, before the removal of rhizomes and stimulation of awakening, it is necessary to take care of hygiene measures, carefully examine the plants and prevent the spread of rot or disease. This is a kind of final monitoring of planting material - a more thorough inspection, similar to those that had to be carried out throughout the wintering period.
The main thing in the treatment of dahlia rhizomes after winter is a thorough examination and removal of all damaged, dead, dry parts, suspicious spots and unproductive roots (separated, connecting to the main rhizome only with thin tuber roots without growth buds). Cleaning should be done as thoroughly as possible.
If hygiene procedures were not carried out in the fall, then in order to assess the condition of the dahlia's roots, to see the slightest lesions, it is better to rinse all the planting material.
Use sharp tools to trim dry or damaged tissue. As for bulbs, pruning is carried out not to healthy tissues, but partially capturing part of the normal layers.
Complete the cleaning and preparation procedure by prophylactic etching in a fungicide solution. For dahlias, a simple solution of potassium permanganate with a concentration of 1% is perfect. Rhizomes soak everything completely (for half an hour).
If you want to propagate dahlias, renew them, increase flowering in old bushes, then after disinfection, rhizomes are separated. Hands or with a knife separate areas with 1-2 kidneys, from which strong stems will develop. All sections are treated with wood ash and dried.
Those who grow dahlias in regions with mild winters do not need to germinate or awaken plants (rhizomes) before planting. After processing, the plants are placed in spacious “breathing” boxes and kept in the garden until planting during the day, allowing them to get used to the temperatures and protecting them from cold snap overnight by simply carrying them into the room. Periodic moisturizing, which prevents the plants from drying out, is all that rhizomes need.
Awakening dahlia rhizomes for regions with harsh winters is not the most difficult process, but it takes some time and patience. Pre-germination allows dahlias to start growing faster, harden and strengthen, without spending time on the initial adaptation. But the main thing is that it shortens the growing season by “transferring” its first phase (preliminary germination) for a time even before planting in the soil.
The easiest option for germination is to fill the boxes or containers with a low layer of universal light substrate, moisten it and spread the dahlia rhizomes on top so that there is sufficient clearance between them, and then sprinkle the tubers on top with dry sawdust, peat or any other light substrate, protecting it from drying out.
You can act easier - first lay the dahlia rhizomes in containers with the neck of the neck up, and then fill the soil between them. Peat, sawdust, sand or a light substrate moisten after the filling procedure. The covering layer should leave on top of the substrate or sawdust and the root neck, and growth buds, and part of the rhizome.
Shriveled, dried dahlia tubers are sprinkled almost completely and maintain a stable humidity in order to achieve both plant awakening and restoration of tuber turgor in a more humid environment. The dried tubers are best planted in sand or sawdust. Strongly dried root tubers can be soaked in water for 10-12 hours before planting them for germination.
Dahlias packed in boxes are kept warm at a temperature of about 20 degrees. Good lighting will be needed for dahlias on germination only when sprouts begin to appear. All the time before planting in the soil, light moisture is maintained by regular, accurate spraying. On good days, it is advisable to harden the root tubs in the garden by moving boxes or containers to fresh air.
If there is no possibility to place boxes with rhizomes, then germination is carried out in trenches, greenhouses and hotbeds, in separate transparent bags, pouring with sawdust or sand.
Germination of dahlias needs to be carefully monitored. On plants, you need to immediately break off the extra stems, leaving no more than 3 strong shoots for each plant. Before planting, shoots should grow 4-5 cm in length. The maximum height of the sprouts is 10 cm.
If at the stage of germination they outgrow, then it is better to take a chance by landing early with shelter than to lose fragile plants. It is possible to slow down the growth of shoots by moving containers with rhizomes in cooler conditions (the permissible minimum is 12 degrees Celsius).
Hardening is a must for all germination dahlias. At least a few days before planting, plants should begin to take out to fresh air.
Secrets of Planting a Dahlia
The selection of comfortable conditions is no less important than meeting the landing dates. Dahlias are grown in sheltered, warm, sunny areas, in places where there is no stagnation of air, but also there are no strong winds. They are afraid of waterlogging of the soil and stagnation of water, do not tolerate shading. The soil should be nutritious, high-quality, neutral, loamy or sandy loam with a high content of organic matter.
Dahlias have not been planted in the same place for two years in a row.
A place for planting a dahlia must be prepared in advance. Dig the soil twice - in the fall and spring. Organic fertilizers, full mineral fertilizers, and, if necessary, loosening additives are added to the soil either before planting, or in advance.
The latter option is preferable, especially if the soil is depleted. Usually it is recommended for dahlias to use rotted manure or compost, superphosphate, potassium sulfate and full mineral fertilizers. The addition of wood ash increases the resistance of plants to uncomfortable conditions.
In the autumn digging, organic matter, potash and phosphorus fertilizers are added, in the spring, complex or nitrogen and wood ash. Dosage of fertilizers - 10-15 kg of organic matter and 1 tablespoon of each of the mineral fertilizers for each square meter of plantings.
The timing of planting a dahlia is directly dependent on the weather. They can be planted in the soil only after stable warm weather is established and return frosts leave. The air temperature during the day at the time of planting the dahlia should be kept at a stable mark of 14-16 degrees, and the soil should warm up at a depth of 25-30 cm.
In regions with severe winters, in particular in the middle lane, landing is carried out in early June. Dahlias can be planted in May, but for short return frosts, plants will need to provide temporary shelters. It is advisable to finish planting during the first decade of May, because the later the dahlias are planted, the shorter the flowering period will be. In regions with mild winters, dahlia planting starts from the last decade of April and lasts all May.
The main rule of planting a dahlia is accuracy. The root neck and sprouts on root tubers are easy to damage, plants require careful installation and control of the level of penetration. It is necessary to monitor how exactly the rhizomes will be established and not cause them unnecessary injuries, not to rush anywhere and not to show negligence.
There is nothing complicated about planting a dahlia:
- For plants, they dig individual landing pits, holes of such depth that a rhizome with easy deepening stares into them without injury. Usually, for planting a dahlia, they dig out planting holes with a depth of about 40 cm. The distance to neighboring plants and between the bushes is calculated based on the estimated height of the bush. The average distance is from 30 to 80 cm.
- If the soil has not been improved in advance, organic and mineral fertilizers mixed with soil are applied to the bottom of the wells (1 tablespoon of full mineral fertilizers, a small handful of ash, about a third of a compost bucket). They are mixed with soil and placed in a landing hole.
- If tall and spreading varieties are grown, supports for garter dahlias are reliably installed in the pit. The support can be installed only before landing, so even if in doubt of its necessity, it is better to install the peg in advance.
- Landing holes are abundantly watered.
- Sprouted tubers are carefully removed from the boxes and carefully placed in the pit, trying to maintain an even arrangement of the root neck. The soil is filled up, gently squeezing around the rhizome, but not falling asleep on the root neck. The distance from the root neck to the soil plane should be from 2-3 cm to 5-6 cm. Dahlias are always planted with a slight deepening, allowing them to tolerate autumn cooling and stabilizing temperature differences.
- After planting, the plants are tied to a support and carry out abundant watering. For convenience and effective distribution of moisture around the landing pit create a watering hole (side).
For planted dahlias, it is important to maintain a stable, light soil moisture. Plants should be watered regularly to compensate for periods of drought. As the soil is compacted, it is carefully loosened. From the first weeks after planting, you should immediately monitor the development of weeds and prevent their growth.
Fertilizing begins after the plants begin to actively develop - not earlier than a week after planting. Breaking out extra shoots, pinching, controlling the number of stems will allow you to get more abundant flowering. Dahlias are tied up as they grow, with a free loop of soft materials.
Do you grow dahlias in your garden? How do you prepare them to land? Share your dahlia growing experience in the article comments.