Soil and Bed Preparation for Growing Dahlias

Your dahlias will smile on you if you provide them with good soil and beds.

It is not feasible to provide a single recipe for soil preparation. Soils vary from region to region and locale to locale. There are already a number of documents available that give prescriptive advice about soil preparation * to prospective dahlia growers that will not be improved by our repeating or embellishing them. Later we hope to provide prescriptive advice on soil preparation. In this case, however, our approach is not prescriptive --rather it is educational. It is intended to help the user determine what must be done to his or her soil to make it more like the kind of soil dahlias prefer.

A "Table of Contents" follows. Part I deals with determining the kind of soil available in the garden plot. Part II is concerned with modifying the soil based on an outline of the kind of soil dahlias prefer. The final page, Page 19, provides a sequential check list for preparing the soil and beds for growing dahlias.

Click here for reference to an excellent and thorough presentation on "Improving Your Garden Soil"


Table of Contents




2 - 3

Part I - Determining the Kind and Condition of the Soil

Part II - Modifying Soil and Making Beds To Grow Dahlias.

Dahlias prefer soil that:


is located in partial shade to full sunlight,

5 - 6

contains a good amount of humus,


drains well while holding sufficient moisture to sustain vigorous plant growth,


is well aerated,

9 - 11

has a pH around 6.5,


is not contaminated,

13 - 14

has a balanced supply of nutrients -- nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, and micro elements,

15 - 16

is uniform in texture and mix throughout the root zone, and

17 - 18

has a regular source of fresh water.


Check list for preparing soil and beds for growing dahlias.

Improving Your Garden Soil, Ortho Books, Box 5047 San Ramon, CA 94583

* Prescriptive Guides to Growing Dahlias

Dahlias: A Monthly Guide, Puget Sound Dahlia Association, 1978
Guide to Growing and Caring for Dahlias, The American Dahlia Society
Dahlias pp. 275 - 282, Illustrated Guide to Gardening, Readers Digest, Pleasantville, New York 1991 ed.

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