Dahlia Season: Plant, Support, Irrigate & Groom forum: Planting out the Dahlias 2019

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Imageteddahlia
May 3, 2019 9:32 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Weather for Oregon City is dry and sunny for another week or more. Ground is dry enough to till. Tubers can be planted a bit earlier than rooted cuttings as the cuttings are sensitive to night temps and which are a bit too cool(in the high 40s here). I have put cuttings into the ground in similar weather and had them refuse to take off and grow. Some of them change color, to a sickly green and the weaker plants can just die from the stress. In one week the night temps will be in the 50s and they can be planted then. When I was younger, I was so eager to plant that I have started as early as April 18th. Frost on the 22nd killed numerous seedlings. May is the planting month here . I talked to a commercial grower North of us and he is planting tubers starting on May 6th.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imageteddahlia
May 4, 2019 6:18 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Tilled the seedling planting areas. Ground is as they say "just right" for the amount of moisture. First row will be planted very soon.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imageteddahlia
May 6, 2019 8:44 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
The 2018 seedling tubers, that we call "second year seedlings" have been planted. Completely lost two of the selections to rot or no eyes on tubers. Most had 2 or 3 tubers to plant and one had 6 tubers.. The cuttings taken from the best of them are a few days from getting planted. I may plant the first batch of the 2019 seedlings into the ground next and also need to till the main garden.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imagehonnat
May 7, 2019 10:35 AM CST
St. Paul, MN
I started mine in shallow trays this year covered in damp potting soil. Just enough to wake them up for about 10-14 days. I didn’t want them in there too long as I don’t want actual plants starting. My workers for this year were not available the next two weeks, so we ended up planting 700 last Saturday. I went out and did another 50 in a couple hours yesterday. Will finish the last of them this weekend. Pre-starting worked well. Many had 1-2 inch sprouts and lots of hair roots. The soil is too cold and I am taking a risk; but temps look to be pretty consistent in the 70s NEXT week (high of 44 tomorrow!) And we are reasonably dry in sandy loam soil - so, the risk seemed manageable. That’s probably the earliest I have planted since starting to grow commercially. Fingers crossed!Thumb of 2019-05-07/honnat/092af7
[Last edited May 7, 2019 10:44 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1318018 (4)
ImageIslander
May 7, 2019 3:23 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Sounds like a good start, Nathan. My helpers are scheduled next week, and my worry is that the ground will be too dry. Sending out Mr Islander to make sure the drip tape is all funtional this afternoon. Beds are weedy but that is going to have to be remedied as they plant. Its mostly just little annoying weeds that pop up every spring. NO Wwoofersyet this spring to clear the beds for me...My next job will be to lay out the trays of plants in the order I want them planted in.

Zach and I spent the morning in the greenhouse. He is potting up the tubers that didn't sell and are sprouted and I am checking pots that should have sprouted and didn't, and discarding ones without eyes, and repotting my seedlings for this year. I have some interesting seedlings to try. Salish Snow Day made a lot of seedlings so I hope to find some nice colors with Snow Day's good cut flower qualities. I don't think I have had any seedlings from Salish Twilight Girl. I have a gazillion seedlings of the beautiful " sheeny" little orchette so hope I have some nice orchettes in different colors among them.

Also thinning my pots of started seedlings for the cut flower garden..all the other cut flowers besides dahlias...lots of zinnias this year, Good batch of ornamental wheat. So far no sprouts on the old tall blue cutting ageratum. I hope I can get more some where but I don;t think this variety is in the catalog any more. I get so annoyed that the outside world wants me to come to dental appts, etc now when all I want to do is live in the garden and get it going! Hilarious!


Salish Dahlias
ImageIslander
May 9, 2019 3:13 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
So this morning I have an email from the Nursery that supplies the work crew I hired. Oh dear, I was hopping the date I agreed to was not Saturday. Unfortunately It IS this Saturday to plant out my dahlia plants. And of course Saturdays I am at Farmer's Market. And this is the Saturday before Mother's Day when we usually are quite busy. Not only that, we are in a real heat wave...It may be 86 degrees here on Saturday.

Fast thinking on my feet! OK, the boss will come on Friday and let me show him what I want done. He is easy to talk to and I know him well. His workers are fantastic but they are also Mexican and speak only Spanish. They prefer to take their orders from their boss, not the crazy old white lady. They are very good workers once they understand what I want done.

Fast thinking on my feet...first canceled a Dr check up off Island today.. "Work emergency"... Spent the morning filling trays of started plants by colors, and moving any that haven't been out in full sunshine outside..(They have been in the pop up greenhouse and don't usually burn when I transition them, but by doing it today and watering every few hours it should help. Now after lunch it will be moving the seedlings and recently started potted tubers out of the greenhouse and into the pop up (It gets a good breeze though it)..It helps that today is fairly hazy and there is a bit of a breeze.

So crazy a time!

I still have to make out my planting charts and arrange the plants in trays to match... Thanks goodness Zach is taking care of the market section...filling the trays with the plants in coir pots that go to the market with us.

Its a good thing I already had plans to take off Sunday! I bet people stop by wanting to buy plants but I have not put out my signs on the street yet and won't until after this weekend...(We'll padlock the garden gate before we go!)






Salish Dahlias
ImageIslander
May 10, 2019 5:08 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
The job boss came by this afternoon to check out what we need for the job.

HE thinks we can get them in the half size dahlia cutting garden I am growing this year, and he thinks they can do it in one days work... (Some of the other spaces will be for growing out seedlings. )

No, his workers don't read my charts but if I number the tags they can follow that. So I am out making line-ups and setting them out in the 80 degrees sun. I am going to be SO SUNBURNED tomorrow! Fortunately the sun is on its way down.

I just came in to check what Crazy Mary looks like and how tall it grows. I remembered right that it was red but not what it looked like.
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
May 10, 2019 8:18 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
As we were planting in the seedling garden, the cover crop in the main garden continued to grow and grow and grow. Some rye grain seeds heads were over 6 feet tall. The rye averaged almost 5 feet tall. Most amazing was the tremendous crop of vetch this year. It was thicker and taller than ever and much of it was 4 feet tall. I cannot understand why the cover crop that we planted last grew the tallest. The riding mower was at it's capacity mowing it down and it took numerous passes to reduce it to mulch.
Thumb of 2019-05-11/teddahlia/d6b5d3
Where's Margaret?
Thumb of 2019-05-11/teddahlia/b47a72
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
May 11, 2019 7:40 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Results of the "Aging Gardener Plant Out Day." It was crazy but we got done as much as I expected , maybe not as much as I hoped for but it was still well worth it...I had 2 garden crew members here...I got out at 6 Am and picked up where I left off the night before setting out the plants for each row in trays...Many plants had rooted cuttings stuck in with them or tubers that never sprouted but all pots had one or more that were showing definite life. The rows are planted more thickly then I would have but I may thin out to 2 plants each when I see which are thriving. They did line them up with the drip holes in the drip tape and staggered them down each side of the tape...All the beds are cleared of weeds, I still have 4-6 flats of plants to put in but I think I can handle that now that the majority of them are planted.

So I got the plants I most wanted to grow chosen and set out in the flats at the head of each color row, and mixed up my fertilizer mix in my garden cart, then dashed off to Farmer's Market with my "lilac/tree peony/ regular peony, rhododendron and any thing else I could find" bouquets. We were mobbed by customers and I got there just at starting time, so sold them about as fast as I could until things slowed down and the most colorful bouquets were gone. Grabbed a nice gyro sandwich from the Syrian food booth, and dashed home to check on how things were going there. Finished setting out the last rows of plants while the workers were out on break, then the boss came back with them to get them started planting. I finished just before 2 PM and dashed back the 7 miles to town to help clean up and bring things home from market. We sold over $500 worth today which includes dahlia plants and bouquets. That helped make it worth it! This was all done in very unseasonable heat, but fortunately we had a nice breeze blowing.

Came home and collapsed for a while until the workers had left and just went out and checked to see how far they got. All the beds are nicely weeded, and the first 5 are planted up. That leaves me 2 beds about 45 plants each to do on Monday but we got those picked back up on the shelves and watered well.

Tomorrow, NO GARDENING! I'm going to visit my grandmother's grave site (she passed away years before I was born, so my younger cousin and I are meeting to "visit" her, then we are taking a scenic dinner train ride though the historic Chehalis Valley.
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
May 11, 2019 7:43 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Noni: You deserve a day off!!!!!!
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imageteddahlia
May 14, 2019 8:59 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
When we were at Swan Island Dahlias planting the trial garden, one of us talked to Nick of Swan island. He is mostly planted although you would never know it by looking at the fields. They are tilled and very flat and no markers to be seen. They do know where every thing is and they plant in very long rows, some over 700 feet. Of course, the biggest difference between Swan Island Dahlias and almost all of us is that they do not tie up their dahlias. The mow them in July and that is their version of "stopping" the plants In order to keep them from falling over. They also "hill" up the rows by using a small, old tractor with a specialized blade. Since their soil is 75% sand, it is very heavy and the heavy soil holds the dahlias upright.
Thumb of 2019-05-14/teddahlia/232b20
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
[Last edited May 14, 2019 9:04 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1318510 (11)
ImageIslander
May 15, 2019 1:45 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
My efforts to hire out the planting of my prescious tubers/plants didn't work out too good with what must have been a failure to communicate. Tubers planted out like bedding plants all across the 4' by 22 'beds. That doesn't work out well for picking and tending! And long tubers were planted with their growing ends and little tufts of leaves sticking 3" out of the ground. Tall plants were set in front of short ones so they didn't plant them the way I had them... Short plants ended up in the middle of the bed and tall ones on the outsides on the sunny sides. I have the first two beds replanted but I am not happy. Drip tape lines are 18" in from each side so the middle of the beds purposely doesn't have a water source...that is to keep weeds from growing in the middle and leave room for the plants leaves to get sunshine.

I do have to say they weeded they beds really well and that was important. I also get to think through the arrangements of the beds AGAIN as I replant them. Shrug!
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
May 15, 2019 2:34 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
The clearest instructions are never good enough. Margaret and I have been together for a very long time but I am a classic husband that often screws up her instructions. Confused
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
May 15, 2019 6:15 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
At least you both know how to plant tubers! I thought these guys would because when I gave instructions to the boss about planting them I said I wanted the eye part of the tuber at least 4" under the ground. And he said something like "OK that is the same way we plant them" but I guess his "We" did not extend to the work crew!

I get so annoyed at having to do other things during planting time....Tomorrow I have to make up that appt in the city that I canceled a week ago, and ferry lines were an extra hour wait today, as well as waiting until the next scheduled crossing time...if they are "on schedule." I am betting I will have to be away for 4 hours plus for a 15 minute appt. At least I don't have to go "downtown"! If you live on our Island you know the lingo..."uptown", and "downtown" means going to the town on the Island So does "on the rock". "Overtown" means Seattle or Tacoma and you have to take a ferry to get there....Seattle and Tacoma and all other points are "off the rock".
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
May 15, 2019 8:53 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Rainy day activities:: Planting out the dahlias here includes lots of sorting of plants and tubers. Rooted cuttings are not taken in alphabetical order and all on the same day. They are different ages and are all mixed up in the flats. I went through about 450 cuttings today and sorted the seedlings into numerical order so that I know how many are ready to plant. . I may not plant them in numerical order but one has to do this to get them all together. The named varieties were pulled out and they will be sorted one more time into planting order. We have lots of cuttings of many of the seedling favorites and we will plant them in a few different places in the gardens.

Meanwhile, the first year seedlings are growing rapidly in their pots and need to be planted also. We have planted a little more than half of them into the ground.

Also, lots of tubers to be sorted and planted too. May is planting month here.

We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
May 16, 2019 8:46 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I almost have the rows that I hired planted redone...that only took parts of 3 days for 4 double rows. Now to get the last 3 in, then see how many additional rows I need for seedlings, and my "all other types" dahlias. We have a lot of trays of started dahlias ready for market. I hope the rain won't discourage too many customers.
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
May 22, 2019 9:07 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Steve Meggos called yesterday from Chicago lamenting that it is too cold to plant there. The highs there have been comparable to here in Oregon but the Chicago lows have been in the low to mid 40s. We have been right at 50 degrees recently. Of course, the day after he called the temp went to nearly 80 there and the low was about 60. He can plant now and get those 18 inch tall cuttings and seedlings into the ground. He is still talking about his yellow and purple Spartacus sports and says he has many rooted cuttings of both. By the way, the genetics of these sports may be a bit confusing. The yellow sport probably is a sport of the variegated Harvey Koop and would be loss of the red pigment. The purple sport could be a direct sport of Spartacus as the unseen yellow pigment sported to white and when red and white are combined, the color is purple. Actually, the red pigment is purple but is changed to red by yellow pigments.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageDarcyD
May 23, 2019 7:51 AM CST
Name: Darcy D
Green Oaks, Illinois
Yes, finally we can plant in Chicagoland. Though I’m a bit nervous about the rain in the forecast. We have expected rain for the next 6 days straight. Mine are all rooted so I’m going for it today. I got in 80+ seedlings two days ago and most of my LACs yesterday.
ImageIslander
May 23, 2019 9:36 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Yey Darcy! Yes, I am home from my trip south and going out to work on getting more plants in the ground today, Foggy this morning with a high of 75 predicted so good planting out weather. I looked out my window this morning through the fog and saw beautiful flowers among the weeds in my front garden. Suddenly realized it is the coral peony that has struggled there for years and seems to have finally come into its own! I've got landscape help coming in a few weeks but the peony is not going to wait for them!
Salish Dahlias
Imageblown_dry
May 23, 2019 11:20 AM CST
Name: Amanda
CA Redwood Coast - Zone 9b
DahliaAddict.com
Recently we had a day where the high was 56 and the low was 53. Those extreme temps swings! Rolling my eyes. Hopefully will get really close to finishing planting today.

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