Dahlia tubers are generally grown in one of the two ways. They are either left in the ground throughout the winter months, or are dug up and then stored.
In places where the soil does not freeze during winter, dahlia tubers are often left in the ground.One tuber usually produces several more during the growing season, so in a year or two there will be a clump of tubers around. Tubers dug up during fall should be planted in the garden during April or May. This is because by this time the frost has moved away and spring has set in, making the soil warmer and suitable for planting. Some experts suggest that the dahlias are given a head-start in as early as March. This can be accomplished by planting them in pots during March and putting them in a greenhouse or on a sunny window.
The tubers are dug up and cut apart with the help of a sharp knife. It is important to check for damages from insects, diseases or even the use of a pitchfork or shovel. The healthy tubers with growth buds on top should be replanted, as per specific instructions. These buds look like little pinkish or tan colored warts. Tubers that were dug up during fall and stored through winter need to be taken out in early spring and examined. The ones which look damaged, shriveled or moldy must be discarded. Only the healthy and plump tubers which have at least one growth bud each on top should be used.
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