Dahlia care in the fall (preparation for winter)
Dahlias are flowers that are unpretentious in the summer, and in late autumn require increased attention from the gardener. A large amount of work is associated with the fact that the dahlia, being a thermophilic crop, cannot remain in the open ground in winter. In anticipation of frost, the plant is dug up and stored until spring in the basement or apartment - to whom it is more convenient. Proper care of dahlias in the fall, preparation for the winter of one of the crops most beloved flower growers is the guarantee that the plant will surprise with its rare decorative effect next year.
What care does the plant need in autumn
In autumn, dahlia care efforts are designed to ensure that the tubers successfully wintered
In the fall, they require soil on which dahlias grow (it is necessary to remove fallen leaves, garbage - possible breeding grounds for infections), and the flower itself. It needs to be prepared for the coming cold weather - to hob, crop, change the order of watering and top dressing, properly dig up tubers.
Preparing for the winter period involves a series of events, each of which requires some effort from the gardener, but allows you to save valuable planting material until spring.
Soil cleaning will help eliminate the possibility of transferring various diseases to healthy plants
Not everyone attaches great importance to this work, but in vain: the ground near the bushes must be thoroughly cleaned of fallen leaves, petals, branches, any other debris, since it is in them that various pests, as well as pathogens of dangerous fungal infections, that can destroy as planting material, and plants planted in flower beds.
Harvesting is carried out 2 weeks before digging dahlias, bearing in mind that when the temperature of the air and soil decreases, the tubers become especially susceptible to infections. Autumn rains contribute to the fact that pests settled in plant debris can easily penetrate deep into the soil.
Sampling of affected plants should be carried out with special care.
It has to go through all the plants. If a gardener finds dahlias affected by a particular disease, dried up in the vine, he will have to dig them out with a lump of earth and burn them to stop the spread of infection to neighboring crops. Characteristic signs of infection are white plaque caused by the fungus, brown spots, rot, as well as the suspiciously quick drying of the stem and leaves of the dahlia.
Nonviable plants are also subject to rejection, which have never picked up buds all summer long, whose stems are too long and fragile. Unfortunately, it is not necessary to expect that the result will be different in the next season.
Hilling and pruning
Some gardeners believe that if you cut all the stems with one cutting tool, you can spread the virus infections to a significant part of the collection
Autumn hilling will protect the root system of the flower from possible night frosts. You can spud the bush in the first week of September or at the end of August. The height of the mound at the base of the stem should be from 8 to 12 cm.
Pruning of the stem at a height of about 15 cm from the ground is carried out after flowering is completed, and each “stump” must be equipped with a tag with the name of the dahlia variety.
Watering and feeding
After each watering or feeding, the earth under dahlias needs to be loosened and weeds removed.
In matters of watering, the gardener has to act contrary to nature. The plant, preparing for winter, tends to stock up on moisture, accumulating it in internodes located in close proximity to the roots. Thanks to this, the tubers will not dry out and in spring there will be an opportunity for active growth. However, if there is too much water, this will cause the root neck to become waterlogged and the tubers to rot. To prevent this from happening, watering is stopped two, at least one week before digging up the plants.
If it rains more often, the flower bed with dahlias is covered with a moisture-proof film so that the plant itself and the soil get as little water as possible.
As for feeding, then there are restrictions. Preparing plants for dormancy, the last time fertilizers (potash and phosphorus) are applied no later than August 20. In 10 liters of water, 1 tsp. potassium sulfate and superphosphate and spend on each bush an average of 2-3 liters of solution.
How to dig dahlias
It is not recommended to start this work if the dahlia leaves remain green and flowering continues. However, one should not wait for severe frosts, because they can cause decay of the root neck.
It is best to do this work on a dry, warm day without fog and drizzle. And if possible, in the morning, so that the tubers dry out before evening.
Here's what you need:
Disinfectants will also be needed: charcoal in the form of a powder, manganese for the preparation of a solution, the Fitosporin preparation (optional).
Procedure step by step:
- If the dahlia has preserved stems and leaves, they are cut off with a pruner so that they do not interfere with work.
- Having departed from the center of the plant by 30 cm, the bush is dug up around the circumference with the help of a pitchfork. For particularly large specimens of flowers, the diameter of the circle should be larger so as not to touch the root system of the plant.
- Tubers are carefully removed from the soil, not pulling the tops, so as not to tear them from it.
At this moment, it is especially important to preserve not even the roots, but the buds of a new generation laid near the base of the stem - from them in the spring and the growth of a new flower will begin
- Hands or with the help of a small scoop, the tubers are cleaned from the ground.
If the earth is moist or clay, you can try to flush it with a stream of water from a hose
- When the roots are cleaned, it becomes possible to meticulously inspect the tubers for rot or any other disease or damage. If they are insignificant, the rotted area is cleaned with a knife. In addition, weak roots are cut with a pruner.
- A tag with the name of a flower variety is attached to each dug plant. Those who plan to deal with cuttings in the new season should mark with some icon the strongest tubers suitable for this purpose.
Dahlias are labeled to know in the spring where the variety is located.
- Tubers are laid out to dry.
- Planting material is subjected to disinfection. The potassium permanganate solution will effectively protect the tubers from fungal infections (lower for 40 minutes). You can also use ready-made disinfectants such as Hom and Maxim. Slices on the roots are treated with charcoal.
- Dried and sanitized tubers are sent "for the winter". It can be organized in a box with sand or sawdust, many gardeners consider the most rational storage of planting material in several layers of the newspaper. Whichever option is chosen, it is necessary to provide a "wintering" range of conditions: the optimum temperature is from +4 to + 9 ° C, the highest is + 10 ° C, and air humidity is around 60%.
Well-dried tubers should be put in storage so that rot does not appear on them
Video: preparing dahlias for winter
Video: how to save dahlias in winter
The main purpose of separation is to obtain root tubers of optimal size, when the number of growth points, and, accordingly, shoots on them will allow you to achieve the most magnificent flowering and proper development of plants
Experienced gardeners carry out the division of tubers shortly after digging - it makes no sense to leave this work until spring, because the tubers will become rough and the procedure will become more complicated. In the process of dividing, planting material is marked so that in the spring you can create the most interesting floral arrangements on the site.Recent entries In April, I process roses so that no pests encroach on my beauties
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If the tubers are small, dividing them into parts is not recommended.
For 1 second, immerse the tuber in molten paraffin, take it out, wait a few seconds and dip it again in the resulting liquid
This procedure protects planting material from spoilage during the winter. Dried tubers are dipped in molten paraffin. Then drying follows again for at least 2 days. In such a reliable shell rhizomes are placed in cardboard boxes. And they can be stored even in the room. When sprouts begin to hatch in the spring, they will easily overcome the paraffin layer.
You can also use the method of processing protein chicken eggs. Beat it, and then brush it with a brush to rhizome. To achieve a better result, the treatment is carried out 3-4 times, ensuring that each layer is completely dry.
Autumn care for dahlias, taking into account regional characteristics
In the apartment, planting material should be stored in the coldest place, as a rule, they are placed in a drawer and placed next to the balcony
In the southern regions of Russia, there is a practice of leaving dahlias winter in the ground. Permissible low temperatures in this case are from -5 to -7 ° C. Planting for wintering is prepared as follows: stalks and leaves of dahlias are cut and removed from the flower garden, and the soil is covered with mulch from the bark or branches of conifers. The protective layer should be 5–10 cm. Neither peat nor compost can be used as mulch: if air temperatures are positive, decay of the cervical part of the roots can begin under the layer of these materials.
However, no matter how carefully the pre-winter planting preparations were carried out, there is still a risk of losing flowers. Therefore, many gardeners, even in the south of the country, fearing unpleasant weather surprises, dig dahlia tubers. This happens in late October - early November.
In the Urals, these works usually fall at the end of September - the first days of October, in Siberia - are limited to September. In the middle lane (including in the suburbs), dahlia tubers are usually dug up in early October.
I already dug up all the dahlias and sent them to the store. I store all tubers in plastic bags by varieties, cover them with dry earth from the greenhouse, tie them up so that there is no exchange of air with the environment. I have 2–5 ° С in my storage, safety - 98%. When I quote in early April, not all tubers have awakened yet. Previously, when there were few tubers, it was also stored under the window in the refrigerator. They were also well preserved, but warmer there, in February they began to wake up.
It is necessary to divide the root into divisions. Divide so that they are small and each has 1-3 kidneys. Everything broken off without kidneys - boldly into compost and without regret. The process of division - in the center you stick a strong knife (or peg) IIIiiiii and slowly begin to break the nest. And so on - do not be afraid, everything will turn out. When the dividers are ready, then sprinkle all the slices with crushed coal, well, or grease with greens. Put in the light, but not in the sun, so as not to disappoint. Kidneys will hatch gradually ... well, then you know. ;-) Boldly !!!! You will succeed - this is only the first time scary. :-)
After the first season, the nodules were not large; after digging, the earth was shaken off, slightly dried, folded into boxes, sprinkled with dry shavings and underground, not all, but most of them, were preserved. The following tubers increased and stored better the next season, but there are still lunges.
I dig dahlias after the bushes die out after the first frost. I wash the tubers well, cut the tops (leaving 5 cm), process them with a solution of baseazole and lay them on the veranda to dry. After they dry well, I take crates or basins, pour dry sawdust, put tubers, sawdust on top again, and take it out to the cellar, where they are stored until April. During storage, the air temperature must not drop below + 3 ° C!
In our family, the third generation is already “suffering” in dahlias. I’ll tell you about the methods of storing tubers in the winter, my grandfather kept part in the cellar, took part to the city and stored in a sandbox. Losses during the winter were minimal. Everything is more deplorable for me: they dried up in the sand, they rotted in the cellar, they doused it with paraffin - they didn’t save it, they cleaned it in the refrigerator - they didn’t. Good people shared their experience in floriculture courses: at the end of September, the bushes should be bored like potatoes and dug up after the first frost, when the leaves turn black, wash the tubers in a potassium permanganate solution, cover the damaged places with ash (crushed coal) and let dry. The surface of the tubers must be completely dry. Then put the tuber in a dense plastic bag, pour half a glass of sifted ash there and tie it tightly and tightly. Then put in the second package and also tightly knotted on a knot. Thus I have been keeping dahlia tubers for many years, they are in my city in the hallway in the closet. During the winter, I open, check, remove bad ones two or three times. By spring, there is a rapid awakening of the buds, sometimes I break out the cuttings to the first lower bud, and if the spring is already close, I pour the earth into the bag and begin to water it. I take it out onto the loggia for a day and bring it to my apartment for the night. With this storage method, losses are minimal. Yes, here's another thing - old domestic varieties are stored much better than the new selection of dahlias.
Experts do not recommend saving time on preparing planting material for dahlias for winter. If you strictly follow all the recommendations, then by the beginning of spring the gardener will have at his disposal excellent, viable tubers, and in summer elegant flower beds delighting with bright colors.