I admit that I have a bit of a dahlia obsession, along with many other I suspect, my current passion is for the colourful, geometric, little pom pom types.
They’re looking beautiful at the moment, so I thought you’d like some tips about how to grow Dahlias.
The National Dahlia Society have a wonderful show as part of The Wisley Flower Show, where you can see perfect specimens of all the different flower shapes and colours, should you need any extra encouragement to grow these beauties.
How to grow dahlias:
They grow each year from tubers, originating from Mexico, our winters can be a bit too cold for them so I dig mine up, dry them off and store them in dry, sandy compost in my cold greenhouse over winter. I plant them up in fresh compost the following spring and plant them in the garden in late May.
Many gardeners leave them in the ground permanently, covering them with a thick layer of straw, compost or similar to insulate them over winter.
Looking after dahlias:
This bit is so easy and you get fabulous flowers for months on end, starting end of June right up to the first frosts.
- Water the plants in dry weather.
- Tie them to stout stakes as they grow or they’ll flop everywhere, avoid bamboo canes which make a nice hiding place for ear-wigs, the flowers biggest pest.
- Keep picking the flowers to encourage them to keep making flowers.
- Include a liquid tomato fertiliser each week to keep the flowers coming too.
This is sustainable gardening at it’s best, no more supermarket flowers.
More information about the Wisley Flower Show here
all images; Jill Anderson