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Pests Dahlia Club Information Month By Month Notes Cultivation Guide National Dahlia Society Links Miscellaneous

Digging & Storing tubers


In New Zealand dahlia tubers are dug during June and July, and stored over the Winter.In the diagrams below, we follow step-by-step through the process beginning when the plant has died back sufficiently in Autumn
1.
step1
2.
step2
3.
step3
4.
step4
5.
step5
6.
trimmed clump
7.
split clump
8.
ends treated
9.
labeling
10.
Cutting planted in sand and vermiculite mix

(1) Plant which has died back ready for digging up
(2) Preparing to dig
(3) Lifting clump out of ground
(4) Hosing off the soil
(5) Clump left to dry out for 24 hours or so


(6) Full clump after trimming stem and rat tails
(7) Clump slit in half for easy storage
(8) Cut surfaces dusted with Flowers of Sulphur powder
(9) Labelled tubers
(10) Stored in damp untreated sawdust in carton


tubers in storage

                 This picture shows how we store our tubers each Winter. The stacking
boxes are tiered and labelled for easy reference. Several times during the Winter the
boxes are checked through for any tubers which may have rotted.
Any showing signs of rot should be separated from the healthy ones
and discarded.A rotting tuber releases a gas
that hastens the development of eyes and shoots and while this may
be useful later in the season to help late developers,
it will spread into healthy tubers during the Winter storage time if not removed


Taking Cuttings


Cuttings are taken in mid to late September in New Zealand.
This first example shows a pot tuber (pot root) which has sprouted
into growth, enabling the taking of cuttings to increase stock numbers.
1.
pot root sprouting
2.
selecting cutting
3.
cutting
4.
dipping in hormone liquid
5.
Cutting planted in sand and vermiculite mix

(1) Clump of a pot tuber sprouting cuttings
(2) Selecting a suitable cutting
(3) Prepared cutting
(4) Dipping in hormone solution
(5) Cutting planted in sand and vermiculite mix



The other method of obtaining cuttings to increase or strengthen your stock, is to take the tubers
out of their Winter storage towards the end of August and to put them on a hot bed or other suitable warm place
to start them shooting. Cuttings are best taken
when about two and a half to three inches long, and should be severed from the mother tuber just below a node.
The "eye" will then produce another cutting in due course. Most growers only take a maximum
of three to four cuttings from each eye to ensure they get the best out of the tubers.
The eyes are clearly visible in the picture below, and if the clump is planted like that,
each eye would produce an individual growing stem. Clumps are usually split into "chicken legs"
(single tubers), or smaller clumps of two or three tubers with strong eyes visible.

clump of tubers with eyes



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