Dahlias P H N
Asteraceae:  Dahlia
Park Princess, 2007
April: I watered the Harlequin root that I saved from last year but left it in its bag.
May 12: I bought 2 packages of tubers, both brand "tasc". One pack is of 5 dinnerplate assorteds, from Home Depot for $16.98; the other is 2 of Musette, $9.95 from Walmart. I planted them in the southwest bed. There were also tubers that had broken off from the clumps, and I planted those too. The Harlequin root was sitting in water. Almost all its tubers have become spongy and mouldy, and I discarded them.
May 28: First shoot has come through some grass mulch.
June 5: Four shoots have come through.
8: Six now.
24: Seven now.

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Other Years

April 1: I planted one root of Harlequin that I saved from last year. The tuber on the other root I saved was too mushy.
12: New shoots.
April 5: I put the clump of tubers in soil and the one single tuber in its own pot.
19: One sprout from the clump.
June 19: The plant is in the garden and coming along slowly.
July 31: Medium size with a first bud growing big.
May 2: I started the tubers of my single clump.
25: I planted it. Only one thin shoot was visible.
June 23: Coming along. Many short shoots.
September 23: Many flowers but not large ones or long-lasting.
March 31: I started the tubers of my single clump.
September 15: A good plant, but not many flowers. Probably not enough water.
May 28: I set out my 2 clumps that I had started sprouting in a bucket. One went into the raised bed, where it may do quite well because of the warmer soil. The other went near the rhubarb, in a spot that was lawn last year.
June 5:I may have moved the clump from the raised bed to the regular garden. There are no dahlias in the raised bed now.
September 27:They did poorly, probably too dry. One clump has died and disappeared. On the other clump I have one flower and that's the first this year.
March 31: I put the 2 clumps of roots into buckets with peat moss around them.
April 17: Well up, but the stalks are thin. I put them out in the sun to strengthen them.
May 30: I set out the second (and last) plant.
July 2: A few flowers from both plants. The leaves have some paly yellow areas. I guess they need nitrogen.
April 2: The over-wintered tubers look fine. One Figaro clump has a leaf.
3: I put both clumps of Park Princess, still wrapped in their winter newspaper, into the same bucket and watered them.
18: There are several shoots from each clump.
May 3: I started the Figaro clumps the same way.
24: I set out one Park Princess. I am hardening off the Figaros. Only 2 of them produced leaves; the others were rotten.
31: I set out the Figaros.
June 6: Frost last night killed all the Figaro leaves and many of the Park Princess ones. I will see if the Figaros come back from the roots, and how the Park Princess does. I set out the other Park Princess.
July 4: The frost-damaged plants have recovered. The later Park Princess has opened 2 flowers.
August 3: The Park Princesses are flowering well, but the Figaros have yet to flower.
18: One of the Figaros is covered in blossoms.
September 16: Both Figaros are covered with flowers now. The flowers are a brownish orange.
November 3: I brought in the Park Princess tubers.
April 1: I potted my tubers and watered them. There are 2 clumps and one single "potato".
14: Shoots from the largest clump.
24: All doing well.
May 15: I planted the medium-sized one.
22: I planted the large one.
31: First flower.
June 1: I bought 6 Figaro seedlings from Rona and planted them.
24: First Figaro flower.
August 13: There are many flowers on the Park Princesses, but there are aphids too.
December 31: The Park Princesses did well. I sprayed with Safer's Soap against the aphids. The Figaros were not very remarkable. I saved 2 clumps of tubers from the Princesses and several clumps from the Figaros.
April 15:  I bought a tuber of Windmill's Park Princess at Walmart for $4.28, which is described as everblooming of height 45-60 cm. The shortest of the dahlias, the dwarf froms are very compact and produce several small flowers. I hope it does better that dahlias have for me because of my new irrigation system.
18:  I started it in a pot.
August 4  The main plant has been flowering nicely, and a small plant from a bit of bulb has also produced some flowers.
March 30:  I started tubers from 4 plants in a peaty mix today.   I could not identify a 5th variety in the storage bag.   They shrunk very much over the winter, and I am not hopeful of them all growing.
April 26:  None of them shows any sign of growth.   However I discovered tubers from 3 more plants and planted them.   They seem to be in better condition.   I think the first ones I planted are all of the same variety.
May 27:  No growth from the others either, so I discarded them all.
Dinnerplate Dahlia, 2003
March 22: I started 6 bulb clusters of dinnerplate dahlias today (Asteraceae:  Dahlia pinnata).   I bought them at Schriemer's yesterday for $11.99.   They are from Van Bloem Gardens.   I put 4 of them in tall plastic cups, and 2 in margarine containers, and added a very peaty mix to them.
Planting Directions:   Dahlias are easy to grow; they prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade.   Plant in spring after danger of frost has passed.   Loosen the soil and add slow release fertilizer.   Plant the bulbs 6" deep, 8" apart pointed end up.   Cover bulbs with soil, water well.   Add mulch in cold climates.   As shoots grow, gradually cover with additional soil until the soil surface is reached.   Water well and keep soil moist all season.   Tall varieties may need staking.   For bushier plants pinch out center shoot.   Remove faded flowers to promote continuous blooming.   In warm climates dahlias may be left in the ground permanently.   In cold climates dig the tubers in the fall before the first frost.   Cut off foliage and shake the soil off tubers.   Allow to dry for several hours, then pack in dry peat in a cool dry place that does not freeze.   Divide large clumps and replant in spring.
April 2: 4 of the 6 bulbs have new shoots.
20: All 6 bulbs have shoots about 15 cm high.
22:  I put the plants outside for the day.   I did that once about a week ago too.
May 14:  I sunk the pots into their prepared garden spots.   This lets me bring them in if there is a late frost, but gives them sun and breezes.   One, unfortunately, has limp leaves.
May 22:  I set out my 5 healthy plants.
May 23:  I put the 6th plant in the bed outside the fence.
June 13:  The sick plant seems to have died.   The others are doing fine.
July 21:  I have had one huge yellow flower, now fading, and a pink one is partly open.
August 26:  We have had a dry spell and most of the flowers go brown before or as they open.
September 21:  The pink flowering plant is flowering nicely.
October 5:  I dug the tubers.   5 plants have good tubers, about the same size as I started with, but one plant seems to have only a mass of roots.
March 18: I started my seeds today. I planted 21 seeds of Figaro original dahlias (Asteraceae:  Dahlia variabilis Figaro-series) in 9 cells, and put them into the temperature controlled box for warm days and cool nights.
21: Two sprouts in the morning.
22: Five sprouts today. I removed the pack from the box, and put it under the lights.
23: I started some more seeds today in starter mix.
29: One more sprout.
30: Still just the one new sprout.
31: Two sprouts this morning.
April 3: I transplanted the 3 new sprouts into cells.
19: I have 5 plants now.
May 22: I set out my 5 plants.
June 30: Flourishing.
July 5: First flower.
August 3: Flowering nicely.
31: A few flowers. Many of the flowers turn brown, it seems to me, without opening. The plants have been barren much of the time.
September 11: Cleared away, without saving any of the tubers.
March 14: Started 1 9-pak of Figaro originals, in the warming box days, and in the unplugged box nights, with 2 seeds per cell.
17: 1 shoot.
22: Only 3 shoots.
24: Tried 12 seeds on paper towel in warmth.
April 8: No more sprouts. Trying 12 more seeds, 27°C day, 18° nights.
14: 10/12 sprouts, now 9 more in cells.
June 1: Fine in garden.
~April 24: Started 2 plants in buckets indoors, one Huygen's Carnival, and one with orange flowers.
May 27: Set out. Both plants had multiple shoots, which I reduced to one. They were doing well in the buckets.
June 11: No taller, but much sturdier.
~July 1: Huygen's Carnival in flower.
August 7: Orange flowers doing well, but Carnival not impressive.
December 18: Left to freeze. Disappointing for the space they take.
~February 1: One tuber is dead (Gay Princess), but the others are sprouting in storage. I removed the old stalks today.
~April 1: I started the two others in bags in large buckets.
May 27: Transplanted to the garden, 1 yesterday, 1 today, with manure. One is about 3 feet tall with flower buds, and light green foliage. One is about 2 feet tall and dark green.
June 3: One flower today on Foxy Lady. Both plants have transplanted well. Foxy Lady has a green stalk; Hulin's Carnival a red one.
September 4: Foxy flowered a little, until wind broke it. Hulin's was dramatically orange in mid-August.
May 11: Planted 3 tubers today, from T&T's coral collection, with bone meal.
June 1: 1 sprout visible.
17: 1 sprout remaining. I planted the bulbs in holes, to be filled in later. I believe I damaged two sprouts from filling the holes too soon. This is supposed to be something from which dahlias recover slowly.