Handsome dahlias are the dream of any master. A tall plant by the end of summer or autumn is covered with magnificent inflorescences of white, purple, scarlet and pink flowers. But in order to preserve the dahlia for the next summer, it must be supported in the autumn, before winter colds come. So, we are talking about preparing dahlias for the winter.
How to prepare dahlias for the winter?
These flowers in regions with a warm climate calmly survive the winter in conditions of minimal shelter. At the same time, the soil is covered with humus or peat over the rhizome or simply by humming.
It is quite another matter if your site is located in rather severe conditions of the middle belt, where winters are characterized by severe frosts. The latter are extremely dangerous for the dahlia. Therefore, the plant requires special preparation, namely:
- trimming of the stem;
- digging out tubers;
- preparation of tubers for storage.
Each stage will be described in more detail below.
How to cut dahlias for the winter?
To inexperienced horticulturists pruning plants often seems unnecessary procedure. In fact, pruning is a pledge of kidney formation for the next year, from which later beautiful buds will appear. Thus, by removing a part of the stem, you stimulate the dahlia on a fast bookmark of the kidneys.
To have time to ripen, pruning is performed in the beginning or in the middle of October, a few weeks before the appearance of permanent frosts. If in your locality the frosts come earlier, be guided by this time.
Cut the stem with a sharp knife or pruner. The cut must occur at an altitude of 10-12 cm from the surface of the earth.
How to dig a dahlia tuber?
In regions where there are severe frosts in winter, dahlias left in the ground may die. Even the shelter can not protect the rhizomes. It is if you want to keep your favorite flowers, doubt, whether to dig dahlias for the winter or not, should not be.
However, it is not necessary to hurry with the extraction of tubers. The fact is that buds of growth are located on the top of the tubers, on which the flowering directly depends next year. In the autumn they must ripen, and then it will be possible to dig it out. The optimal time is the appearance of the first serious frosts. Usually this time is in October.
The process of digging is not easy, because you need to act carefully so as not to damage the tubers. First, the bush is dug with forks or shovel from all sides at a distance of 25 cm from the stem. Then the rhizome is carefully seized. Long roots are cut off, and the tubers themselves are turned over for washing from microorganisms and dried for several hours.
How to prepare a tub of dahlia for storage?
After excavation, the tubers are carefully separated. Do not forget to mark on the tuber a variety of dahlias. The knife is disinfected before use, holding it over the flame. Cut the rotten or damaged parts of tubers, various spots, as well as the remaining stem. Cut off also the roots.
After this, the preparation of dahlia tubers for winter involves soaking in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. If the tuber emerges, it can safely be sent to the garbage. There is a great chance that over the winter it will dry up and be unable to start germs.
To ensure that the roots do not dry out during storage, some gardeners practice covering the tubers with clay chatter. After the procedure, the tubers should dry completely.
Store tubers in conditions from 2 to 10 degrees. A higher temperature can lead to wrinkling and death of the planting material. Some gardeners put the tubers in several plastic bags with vermiculite.
Another option is to place in a container with dry sand, peat or moss. Capacity can be used any - wooden or plastic, the main thing is that it is dry.