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Dahlias. Do I have to wait?

B3B3 Posts: 24,505
My dahlias are still producing flowers but they're looking moth eaten. Frankly, I'm getting fed up with them. Do I have to wait until a frost before I can dig them out? 
In London. Keen but lazy.


  • I was wondering this to and found this which says you can dig them up before the frost.
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,282
    The longer you can leave them, the better the tubers will be for next year.
    There are ashtrays of emulsion,
    for the fag ends of the aristocracy.

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,505
    That's encouraging. I was thinking that drying them out might be a bit easier too. @NannaBoo
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Mine are starting to look a bit tatty so if we get a dry day I'll dig them up and wash the dirt of just in case there are any slag or their eggs. I made some shallow boxes so will will leave them upside down till they are dry then store them in the boxes in dry compost over winter.
  • punkdoc  true but it will depend on time and weather. I'm still gathering in the produce I've grown and there are many other things that will need to be moved in to the green house. Then there are the normal sortings to be down as we go into winter. This year I grew far to many tomatoes so have been cooking so they can be used throughout the winter. I feel it's a job that has to be done and done when I have the time but I get your point re better tubers next year.
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,852
    I left all mine in the ground last year and only 3 came back.    I planted some new ones this spring and will leave those in the ground too but protect them with a deep layer of mulch and manure.   

    For now, last year's still have plenty of buds to come an dthe newer ones are getting going.  A bit late but we had a cold spring so they were late getting gong and then severe heat in July and drought ever since.  It's been a hard year for dahlias but the flowers we've had have been glorious.

    Next year?  More dahlias and a seep hose!
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LG_LG_ Posts: 4,064
    edited September 2019
    @Hexagon, I did that last year - just put the pots in my cold lean-to greenhouse. I did dig them up and replant at the usual time in the spring, to check I didn't have any rotten bits etc. Also, obviously they had increased so some moved to new pots.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • B3B3 Posts: 24,505
    I left mine in pots last year and tipped them out in the spring assuming they'd be rotten. They were all fat and healthy, but it was a dry winter. I'll probably leave potted ones in situ and just dig up the ground ones.
    I cleaned off last year's ones and put them in fresh compost this spring.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    I moved some of mine to a less visible location until they’ve had their fill of the weather.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 6,779
    Could you dig them them up and pot them as they are, putting them somewhere out of sight and keeping them damp to feed the tubers while they still have some leaves?

    If they were cheapo SM tubers tho, you could just buy new ones next year and not bother with all the kerfuffle. I just dug up a scruffy, mildewed one which I haven’t kept on that basis - the pot and compost to store it in would cost more than a replacement next year. 
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
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