Garden Bloggers Bloom Day April 2013
Magnolias in all their magnificence

Lots of Dahlias for full vases of late summer colour

Dahliavase-1
So the boy finally went back to School after the Easter Holidays today. - Not that either have us have been idle while he's been off, as we've had Dahlias to sort over the holidays.

Dahlias can be planted as Seeds, Cuttings or Tubers.

Last year I just did Tubers, and they were badly munched by slugs, although as you can see from the picture above, I did get some rather good blooms. This year, i'm trying all 3.

Last week though was the turn of the Tubers. I've ordered some in from JP Parkers, and then i've Split and potted up mine from last year.

Dahlia tubers potting up-2
I stored mine overwinter in wood shavings, in my greenhouse. - They all seem to have come through very nicely, although there is evidence that they were sharing the bedding with something (mouse?) at some point during the winter.

I'm potting them all up and letting them shoot in the Polytunnel for the next few weeks until the danger of Frost is past, - you can see that the Tubers already have lovely fat buds on them. If they produce more than a couple of stems, then i'll take cuttings, and root them as well, - however with 110 pots of Dahlias already in the Polytunnel I won't need too many more. I've also grown from seeds, and the seedlings are coming up nicely in my greenhouse. - My previous experiences of seed grown Dahlias is that they are usually single flowers, - great for the bees, but not so good at lasting when cut, So we'll see.

We've finished making 46 planting beds and the perennial border now, a massive boost by a big team of family and friends on Saturday, and a finishing off session with my boys on Sunday means the bulk of the hard labouring is done, - so the beds just need a good topping of Organic compost to be able to plant into.

Lastturfbeingcut-3
and a big shout out to Brandon Hire in Guildford who have been so helpful to me with the kit that i've hired over the last couple of months. - Great Service, and keen prices, which really help when you're doing a big project.

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