Dahlias - Winter care

Hi Everyone

My uncle lives in Northeast England, in a town that is by the sea, but his home is a 10 minute drive from the sea itself, so he doesn’t get the full effects of the North Sea.

He’s late to gardening and has discovered a love of dahlias.
This year I grew some from seed for the first time for him and it brings me so much joy to see how much enjoyment he gets from his garden.

He usually leaves the tubers in the ground, but this year he lost a couple because of the weather.
He’s considering lifting the tubers, but isn’t very confident about it. I’m also thinking about the physical tasks of all that digging and lifting which might prove difficult for him.

I’ve suggested applying mulch instead and I thought bark chippings would be a good insulator and not retain too much water that could rot the tubers.
However, the dahlias do so well in his garden because he doesn’t seem to have a problem with slugs and snails.
So I’m wondering if applying bark chippings might actually encourage slug and snails.
I don’t grow dahlias. In fact the ones I’ve grown or picked up for him have to be handed over pretty quickly or they’re quickly munched by the slugs and snails in my garden!

Does anyone have any thought/suggestions on options for keeping them in the ground please?

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Personally, if most survive, I would do as you say and see any losses as a chance to try some new varieties.

Any mulch like spent compost or bark chips will certainly help. Perhaps go half way and use composted bark. Or simply cover them with upturned pots until spring. Anything to help the water run off and away from the tuber.

Lifting them is easy, you just lift them and let dry out a fair bit, then leave somewhere cool and dark in compost that is ever so slightly damp until spring. I always lost more digging them up than leaving, so I don’t do it anymore.

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Thank you Jack

This is very helpful.
My uncle particularly likes the idea of using plant pots. Especially as it’ll perplex his neighbour-friend for a little while :sweat_smile:

Much appreciated

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haha sounds great, good luck and keep us updated!

I left in Dahlia Bishop of York last two years.

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I love the Bishop range of Dahlias!

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Yes so good! I love them all too

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