Posted in : In the field
Damn these buggers grow fast! Less than a week after we put the tubers on the benches and they'd already started to throw off new shoots so it was time for Barry to get his scalpel out. Different people grow dahlias in different ways. Some, like The Mighty V, just leave the tubers in the ground and let them regrow ( if they survive ) the next year, but the plants start looking crap by the third year, so I'm always replacing them with fresh ones. Others, mainly the yanks I believe, split the tubers into individual "chicken legs" and then plant each of them up, which allows them to get about 1/2 dozen or so off each parent plant. We just throw the whole tuber into a tray, water it and then take cuttings .... lots of cuttings ... from the first flush off about a dozen Trelyn tubers we've already taken 70+ cuttings, which is about all we need for this year, but we could easily get a couple of hundred more if we needed them.
When you take cuttings it's really important to to make the cut directly below a leaf joint as this is where next years cuttings will come from, assuming you want to take cuttings next year of course but we always do. They're easy enough to root up, if you have some rooting powder then just dip them in that and them slap them in some seed compost. If you haven't got any rooting powder then just slap them in some seed compost. If you haven't got any seed compost then just slap them in some compost ... as I said, it's real easy ... then stand welllllllllllllll back, because these buggers grow like there's no tomorrow.
The large greenhouse is now cleared, so during this week I'll be rotovating it ready for sterilising the beds next week. Then I'll be doing the same in the small greenhouse which means that I need to get all my seedlings hardened off ready to move into the top end of the large greenhouse so that they don't get killed as well. It's taking me a fair tad longer this year than normal as I've been a smidge ill for the last few weeks and haven't really had the energy needed, but we seem to be winning so far. I'll also be dropping the sides on the large greenhouse to help keep the warmth in and the wind out as the sterilising agent needs the soil to be over 10°C before it's active ... cool, I'll be in my shorts in no time
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It's a hard life having to bimble around all summer in my shorts looking after dahlias