Planting Dahlias:
Tubers and Pot Started Plants

Page 1

Prior to planting, consideration should be given to the amount of space wanted between plants. The amount of space between plants may vary dramatically from a one plant situation in a bed with other flowers to a bed with nothing but dahlias. This topic is not discussed here.

Proceed to the place where the dahlia is to be planted and dig a hole at least six inches in diameter and twelve inches deep. There are lots of ways to dig a hole ranging from using one's hands to a gasoline powered post hole digger. The hand powered post hole digger works very well and eases the task if there are many dahlias to be planted.

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With the exception of bonemeal I fertilize my dahlia beds at the time the soil is prepared. When planting I add a good handful (roughly 1/4 cup of bonemeal to the dirt removed from the hole.

Bonemeal does not leave a salt residue in the soil. Additionally, it is slow acting and lasts until shortly before bloom time. About a month before bloom, all plants receive a normal dose of water soluble 10-60-10 (Schult's Bloom).

When planting dahlias in beds with other flowers and the soil was not fertilized when it was tilled, I mix in fertilizer at the time of planting. Typically, I use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 granular or 14-14-14 Osmocote timed release. How much, depends on the soil test that I do just before planting. Unless the soil test specifically indicates that one or more micro nutrients is needed, I do not concern myself with them. Typically micro nutrients are available through the water, soil, or humus material.

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Whatever is added, should be mixed in thoroughly while the soil is removed from the hole. That way the plants roots or the tuber has immediate access to some of the fertilizer and as moisture seeps downward through the soil some is available later. This only works, of course, with non-water soluble fertilizers.

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Fill the hole with the mixture of soil and fertilizer until the hole is about six inches deep. Then the tuber is placed in the bottom of the hole flat (on its side) with the eye pointing upward.

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