In this episode Nick Gitts, owner of Swan Island Dahilas, answers all of my burning dahlia care questions. Swan Island Dahlias is a 40 acre dahlia farm located in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and they grow over 360 varieties of dahlias and Nick has been running the farm since 1975.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Choosing the best location to plant your dahlias
- How and when to plant dahlia tubers
- Fertilizing dahlias
- How and when to pinch dahlia sprouts
- Tuber digging, dividing and storage
- Dahlias should be planted when the ground temperature is approx. 60 degrees.
- Plant dahlias in a location that receives full sun and has well draining soil.
- If you have a heavier soil, add in peat moss or bagged steer manure to lighten and loosen the soil texture for better drainage.
- Most areas have enough rain to fill dahlia water needs until the sprouts appear above the ground. After dahlias are established dahlias should receive a deep watering 2-3 times a week.
- Dahlias require a low nitrogen fertilizer.
- Dahlias can overwinter in the ground, but should be divided at least every 3 years
- When digging dahlias in the fall, divide within one week of lifting the bulbs or wait until spring. The "eyes" will start to recess on lifted bulbs, making it harder to know where to divide the tubers.
- Store tubers in crates or cardboard boxes lined with newspaper. Surround tubers with slightly dampened Peat Moss, Sand, or Pet bedding material (sawdust/shavings).
- A few standout varieties that Nick recommends from the Swan Island Catalog:
- Nick Sr.
- Mikayla Miranda
- Lights Out
- Spoiled Rotten
A few of Hilary's favorite varieties:
A few of our favorite books on growing and arranging flowers:
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About the Host:
Hello, I’m Hilary Dahl. Outside of this podcast, my job is to help beginning and experienced growers create beautiful and productive gardens. I have the unique experience of working in on a wide range of projects, from small backyard garden plots to multi-acre vegetable farms. I also work in my own garden every day when I get home. This podcast is an opportunity to discuss seasonal garden topics and share the the joy of growing your own food.