It’s almost time to wake your dahlia bulbs from their hibernation and prepare to put them into action, advises Monty Don.
No garden would be complete without these fabulous flowers, and by mid-March, the BBC says Gardening world Moderator, be sure to check out dahlia bulbs that are ready to be planted.
He shared his advice on how to keep dahlia bulbs on one Gardening world Video from last March, so now is the perfect time to remind us of his top tips.
See: How to grow dahlias – a step-by-step guide on how to grow dahlias from tubers
March is the time to check the condition of the dahlia bulbs that you dug up last winter and stored in a dry, frost-free shed or greenhouse.
To inspect each tuber, “First remove all of the loose compost around them and see that each dahlia is in good condition,” explained Monty Don.
The reputable gardening broadcaster advised looking for the following to check that the dahlia tuber is good:
- A nice, plump dahlia bulb;
- Check that the tuber is firm;
- If the dahlia bulbs are too shrunk, they are too dry;
- If they’re lazy, they’re probably too wet;
- Check the dahlia tuber for snail damage;
- A bit of mold on a tuber is not a problem;
- Cut out bad or damaged tubers
See: Monty Don’s Secrets to Getting Rid of Garden Weeds
After checking the condition of the dahlia bulbs and cutting out any bad spots, you can plant them in pots, advised the gardening guru.
“At this point, use a plastic pot just big enough for them to grow. We want them to start developing a root system, ”advised the moderator.
Use good quality fresh compost as “dahlias are greedy plants,” he added.
Water the potted dahlias, put them in a sheltered and warm place to stimulate growth, e.g. In a cold frame, greenhouse or conservatory, and keep them moist by watering them weekly.
“Don’t let them dry out. You will see new shoots very quickly, ”encouraged Monty.
Keep an eye on the mercury levels outside, but like another cold snap, you may need to cover them with a protective fleece.
See: Tour Monty Don’s beautiful long meadow garden in Herefordshire
See: Sarah Raven’s favorite dahlias, and their care tips
The dahlias planted under a roof can be planted in the garden around mid-May, when the top is around 30 cm high.
“Dahlias are something I will be growing strongly here at Longmeadow because I love them,” added Monty.