Before the onset of cold weather, after the first frost, the dahlia's root crops need to be dug out so that they will not freeze in the winter. Undermining and removing them from the ground should be very careful not to damage. In no case can not pull them, holding the stem. The stalk must then be cut, leaving no more than 5 cm, so that during storage it will not start to rot and will not infect the tubers. Large tubers are stored better, so no need to separate them, it can be done in the spring, just before planting. It is not recommended to plant an overgrown tuber in spring, it must be separated, otherwise the plant may simply not have enough nutrients and the bush will degenerate.
Dug-out tubers should be immersed in lukewarm water, rinsed well and filled with furatsilina solution, diluted at the rate of 40 g of disinfectant per 10 liters of water. Hold the tubers in the solution for at least 30 minutes, then remove, spread out on a newspaper and dry.
Storing dahlia tubers in a city apartment
Ideal storage conditions for tubers: a temperature of 3-6 ° C and a stable humidity of about 75-80%. Of course, in the apartment itself such conditions are quite problematic. However, if you have a glazed balcony or loggia, you can store tubers there. Sometimes for this purpose they use special boxes for storage on the balconies of potatoes and other vegetables, equipped with a heating system. If the balcony is not glazed, the drawers can be kept near the balcony door or put them in the toilet under the sink, where cold water pipes pass. The cool stairwell is also a great place to save tubers until spring. If you have a few tubers, it is easiest to keep them, wrapped in a newspaper and folded in a plastic bag with small holes. The package must be put in the refrigerator, in the compartment for storing vegetables.
For the storage of tubers, boxes and boxes filled with slightly moist sand or peat are used. It is very good for this to use sawdust coniferous trees. Boxes put in large plastic bags. It is suitable for those that are designed to collect garbage. For ventilation in the package you need to make several small holes. Some growers dip tubers in paraffin before laying. Some are limited to immersing in a clay mash or paraffin only the protruding part of the stem. To disinfect the tubers, you can also sprinkle with ashes and add a little to the sand or peat.
During the winter, the tubers from the boxes must be removed and viewed at intervals of 2-3 weeks. If mold or rot has appeared, the damaged area should be cut and processed by the tuber, sprinkled with ash or a mixture of hydrated lime and colloidal sulfur, taken in the same proportions.
Time to dig dahlias
The timing of digging dahlias depends on several factors. Namely:
- maturity of their tubers,
- ambient temperature
- the timing of the rainy season.
So, dahlia should be dug out when the tubers have accumulated enough nutrients and have fully matured. But at the same time you can not pull up to the arrival of heavy autumn rains and even more so you can not wait for stable frosts. Therefore, experienced gardeners recommend:
- When dahlias are widely bred, it is better to dig up their tubers before the onset of the first night frosts in the dry period, while it has not yet begun to rain.
- If only a few specimens grow in your garden, you can dig them up immediately after the frost freezes the above-ground part of the plant, and it will become dark in places. The stems and leaves will start to rot, but the roots that are underground will remain whole. The rot on them does not spread, if in time to separate them from the shoots.
For the south of Russia, these periods usually fall on the beginning or the middle of November, and in mid-latitudes, including the Moscow region, in the middle of October. In the Urals, dahlias need to be dug up for storage at the beginning of October, and in Siberia - in the middle or end of September.
How to dig dahlias for storage
In order to extract dahlia tubers from the ground for the winter, you will need:
- gloves (so as not to get your hands dirty)
- shovel (main working tool),
- garden shears or pruner (to remove the stem),
- box (to collect tubers).
Digging up tubers of flowers step by step:
- Put on gloves and with the help of garden shears or secateurs, cut the stem so that only a high stump remains (up to 15-20 cm).
- Rake off the ground from the base of the bush.
- Depart from it at a distance of 20-25 cm and dig a ditch around it.
- Dig deep under the stem and remove the tubers so that your hands do not touch the stem. To pull the stump can not in any case. This can lead to tearing off of the tubers, which are very weakly attached to the stem and are very fragile.
- Clean the tubers from the ground and cut small roots.
Put the dug tubers into a box and start preparing them for long-term storage until spring.
How to prepare the tubers before winter storage
Regardless of the way in which you are going to store dahlias in the winter, the tubers of plants must be properly prepared. Preparation consists of four mandatory steps:
- Washing. Just dug tubers, rinse in a basin with lukewarm water to remove particles of earth from them. During washing, it is necessary to cut off all processes with a well-sharpened knife or scissors.
- Division. Before you send the rhizomes for storage they need to be separated from each other. To do this, you first need to cut off the stalks from the top of the tubers. Then divide them so that each tuber has several developed buds. If the buds are weak and the rhizomes are very hard, then it is better not to separate them.
- Disinfection. To save dahlias until spring you need to minimize the risk of tuber damage by fungi during storage. To do this, they need to be disinfected in a special solution. For this purpose, it is possible to use both potassium permanganate and preparations from the group of fungicides. If you choose the first option, then dilute 1 g of potassium permanganate in 10 liters of water and soak the tubers in the solution for 20-30 minutes. An alternative - 0.2% solution of Fundazol (fungicidal agent). It can soak the rhizomes up to 2-3 hours, but not less than 30 minutes.
- Drying Only dry tubers can be stored. If they remain wet, they will rot, and no disinfection will interfere with this: it will only delay the inevitable. Therefore, after disinfection leave the rhizomes in a dry and well-ventilated area. It should be cool and dark.
After complete drying, which can take 1.5-2 weeks, the tubers can be removed for storage in a prepared room.
How to store and care for dahlia tubers
Conditions for keeping dahlia rhizomes:
- The optimum air temperature for storing tubers is + 5 ... + 8 o C.
- The humidity of the air in the room should be moderate (not less than 60%, but not more than 80%). Usually, this level of humidity is maintained in the cellar, if vegetable vegetables are stored nearby. If the air in the storage is dry, it can be humidified by placing a large container of water there.
- The room should be dark. Short-term action of artificial light sources is allowed. But it should not be permanent.
Another important storage condition is that the air in the room must be well ventilated. If it is not regularly replaced by a fresh portion, the tubers will get moldy. Therefore, closed rooms must be periodically opened for ventilation.
Where to store dahlias
Now we will list the rooms in which you can create conditions suitable for storing dahlias until spring. To keep the rhizomes healthy you can:
- in the cellar
- in the basement,
- in the pantry,
- in a refrigerator,
- on an unheated but glazed balcony.
Of course, in the absence of suitable storage facilities, the tubers can be stored at home. But then by the spring they will be shriveled and withered. This will be poor quality planting material.
Dahlia storage methods
Experienced gardeners and growers recommend the following methods of storing dahlias:
- In sand. This method is one of the most popular. It allows you to save the mass and strength of tubers until the spring. The only negative is that the sand packaging is very heavy, and the sand itself needs quite a lot to pour all the tubers into it. And if the sand is still not dry enough, then closer to the spring, the tubers will begin to take root, which will dramatically worsen the quality of the planting material.
- In sawdust. This is another popular and budget way to store dahlia tubers. It is necessary to put them in a box and pour in large sawdust and shavings. The advantage of this method is that the container is very light, and the rhizomes just do not germinate. But there is also a minus: the sawdust is too dry, so they can pull water out of the tubers. By the time of landing rhizomes can significantly lose in weight.
- In paraffin. This is the most time-consuming, but the most efficient way to store. It lies in the fact that all tubers are dipped in paraffin. But the procedure must be performed quickly and carefully so as not to damage the roots and not burn them. First, heat the paraffin so that it melts completely. Then the tubers are dipped into it for 2-3 seconds, and after that they are dipped in cold water so that the paraffin will freeze. In this form, dahlias can be stored even without sand and sawdust, and they still do not rot.
Choose the most convenient way to store tubers of flowers, apply it and take the planting material into the prepared room.
Protection of tubers from pests
If you keep dahlias using the paraffin method, then the pests will be fine for you. However, in other cases, they may want to eat tasty and juicy tubers:
- granary mites,
- rodents (mice, rats).
From time to time, visit the store to check the status of flowers. If you notice signs of damage to tubers with thrips or mites, then treat them with any insecticide (Intavir, Aktar, Aktellik). But be sure to use a respirator and gloves, as working with poisons in a closed room is very dangerous. And in any case, do not process the rhizomes in the place where food is stored.
Poisonous baits, traps or special glue will help to cope with mice and rats. Currently, there are ultrasonic rodent repellents, but many gardeners have doubted their effectiveness.
To be able to plant dahlias next year they need to save until spring. But it is not enough to simply remove them from the ground and place them in a basement or cellar. They need to be prepared: the proper preparation of flowers for winter storage will help to maintain the quality of planting material until the very spring.
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Conditions for obtaining quality tubers
To get full-fledged tubers in the fall, they need to be taken care of throughout the growing season — not to allow shading of the plant, drying of the roots or their flooding, two months before digging, stop feeding and let the tubers to mature well.
Their laying occurs at the beginning of the growing season, but development does not stop until the end of the season. The longer the tubers are in the ground, the better they will be stored.
If there are dozens or hundreds of plants in the flower garden, digging begins earlier. If you have to remove a small number of tubers, you can take the time. The first frosts are not terrible, they damage the buds that did not have time to bloom.
Leaves may be affected, but the underground part is intact and continues to accumulate nutrients. Before the onset of severe frosts, there is still one or a few weeks.
Before digging up dahlias for storage, the flower bed should be carefully cleaned. Cleaning refers to the removal of rotted, poorly flowering, diseased plants.
Preparation for digging
As a preparatory measure, some growers practice pruning stems a few days before digging. Having lost the trunk, the plant directs its forces to the formation of apical buds. When they hatch, it is easy for a florist to divide a cluster of tubers into delenki.
This procedure is desirable only in dry weather. If you cut the stems and leave the plant in the ground during a period of prolonged rains, the rest of the trunk can hit rot. To prevent tamping of hemp and tubers, the cut can be wrapped with foil.
Some careful gardeners fear the transmission of viral infections from one plant to another through the blade of one cutting tool. Scientists have not confirmed this theory, but after trimming the trunk, which has obvious signs of damage, it is better to wash the tool.
If the ground part of the dahlia shows signs of illness, the tubers may not have time to become infected. In this case, the best will be digging and dividing immediately after trimming the stem. For the convenience of working with the excavated material, a section of the trunk about 8 cm long remains uncut.
In order to select, exchange, sell, or select the optimal planting site, it is important to know what kind of tubers are stored. While the whole plant is whole, it is easy to determine its variety.
But for the short hemp left it cannot be done. Therefore, marking is performed simultaneously with the trimming of the stem. The rest of the trunk is supplied with a label with a clear designation, not afraid of moisture or burning in the sun.
In addition to the name of the variety, on the label indicate:
- digging date
- assessment of plants for compliance with the best varietal qualities.
It makes sense to indicate the date of digging and identify the best representatives of each variety for a successful own selection.
The tuber's neck is especially fragile. It is most likely to break it immediately after digging, when the underground part of the plant is full of moisture. To protect yourself, it is recommended that the dug up tubers, along with the remnants of the earth, be left for a couple of hours without further processing. During this time, they slightly screwed up and lose their fragility.
- sharp garden knife
- a place for airing the excavated material,
- labeling labels.
To dig up the tubers entirely, you must first dig them in a circle. The radius of an imaginary circle - a distance of 30 cm from the trunk. The digging makes it possible to outline the place of digging and to cut off long, thin roots.
To extract the tubers along with the earthy lump from the ground, the shovel is inserted at an obtuse angle so that the edge of its blade is deep under the stem of the plant. Clicking on the handle, like a lever, you can easily lift to the surface the entire contents of the hole.
A group of dug tubers is immediately freed from the largest lumps of earth and laid down to dry. To speed up the process, the ball is turned down by the stump of the stem. After two or three hours, the whole group is thoroughly washed with running water until all residual soil is removed. It may contain pathogens.
In the spring not to break the hardened tubers, division is better to produce in the fall, when the material is malleable. It is not necessary to separate the smallest fragments, they are left for storage in small groups. To make it easier to label the material, you can leave a small stump of the stem, it is easy to attach a label to it.
In order for the dahlias to sprout in spring and grow, each piece of fragment to be separated must be left with a piece of neck with a bud-eye. The division is made only with a clean sharp instrument.
The larger the tuber, the easier it will transfer the winter. But the optimal size is considered to be medium, such tubers will give a lot of suction roots, the plant will be stronger and more beautiful.
It is important to remove the remains of the stem and roots from the tuber so that they do not provoke rotting.
U sorted tubers cut off the tip. If the cut is brown, it is a sign of damage or illness. It is necessary to cut again and again, to obtain a white cut.
If the tuber is less than one third the size, it is not suitable for storage. Pure tubers are treated with sulfur or a fungicide of systemic action. In a liquid solution they are kept for about a quarter of an hour. After that dried on several layers of paper.
In a city apartment there are two places where the temperature is consistently maintained at 6-10 degrees. This is a vegetable box of the refrigerator and a balcony. You can put the tubers in a sealed container with vermiculite or large sawdust, in a plastic bag with holes, and also fall asleep.
Vermiculite or sawdust should be as much in volume as tubers. The fines material can draw moisture from plants, contributing to their wrinkling and drying.
Once every 7-10 days, the repository is inspected for early detection of rot, if it appears.In case of severe frosts, the tubers stored on the balcony are covered with blankets or they are temporarily brought into the room under the balcony door.