Soil and Bed Preparation for Growing Dahlias


Page 15

Dahlias prefer soil that is uniform in texture and mix throughout the root zone.

The root zone for dahlias is 10 to 12 inches -- the depth to which tubers will reach in good soil.

  • Hand tilling for dahlia beds is hard work. Hand tilling to a depth of 10 inches involves double digging. Breaking up clods and thoroughly mixing in the amendments, pesticides, and fertilizers by hand will substitute for a very rigorous exercise routine.

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  • Walk behind rototillers (above) are the machine of choice for small plots. For narrow raised or physically demarcated beds a small machine such as the Mantis shown on the far right does an extremely fine job. Note the depth to which it can and does till -- 10 inches.

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Achieving Uniform Texture and Mix

Achieving uniform texture and mix is not just a matter of thoroughly stirring the soil. It is the time for amending the soil, applying fertilizer to bring the nutrient levels to the desired state, and adding soil based herbicides and insecticides if desired.

  • Soil amendments -- compost, sphagnum peat moss, etc. should be distributed uniformly over the soil prior to tilling. Avoid unequal distribution.

Continued on next page.


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