Dahlia Season: Plant, Support, Irrigate & Groom forum: Weeding Adventures

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Imageteddahlia
Jul 7, 2020 8:49 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Weeding seems to be the dirty little secret of gardening. We hate to admit that our garden has weeds and that considerable time is spent hand weeding the dahlias. Wayne Lobaugh, ever the clever person, claims that he weeds dahlias once per season. He allows those pesky weeds to reach a couple three inches tall and hand weeds them. Since the dahlias are well over a foot tall by then the leaf canopy inhibits re-growth of the weeds(he says). My experience has been less successful.

I do believe that weeds are best dealt with when they are small and the smaller the better. Weeding my dahlias is more of a three times a season operation. I spent a couple of hours weeding yesterday and also the day before.
Thumb of 2020-07-07/teddahlia/14c919
2018 seedling. Not my favorite color and I did not bother to even identify what one it was in the name of the picture. In my garden, some dahlias are weeds.
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 Jul 7, 2020 8:53 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1350517 (1)
Imagesylviap
Jul 7, 2020 10:12 AM CST
Name: Sylvia
West Sacramento, CA Zone 9b
I don't know if it is the heat or something else, but weeding here is a never-ending activity. I try to do a couple of rows per day, but when I reach the last row, it's usually time to return to the first row. Truthfully I usually enjoy hand weeding. I use an MP3 player and listen to audio books and find it very relaxing - most of the time. When it gets too hot, I take a vacation from it.
Imageteddahlia
Jul 7, 2020 10:25 AM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I was watching a you tube on farming in Iowa. They do "no till " farming and use annual rye as the cover crop weed suppressor for the soy bean crop. The rye is sown in the Fall and then the soy bean seeds are "drilled" into the soil while the rye is a foot or so tall in the spring. The beans sprout in the shade and then the farmer uses a "crimper" machine that rolls over the taller rye stalks and crimps the stems so hard that the rye dies, laying down a nice mulch for the soy beans that grow up through it. I am glad we have some clever farmers and no pesticides needed.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
ImageIslander
Jul 7, 2020 12:28 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
So far so good with my purchased soil. There is one kind of a weed that pops up...it might be vetch or some kind of clover but I have been pulling them as soon as I spot them as baby weeds. I got trained by my first load of purchased soil 20 years ago being full of perennial morning glory roots ....
Salish Dahlias
ImageIslander
Jul 7, 2020 12:30 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
And as to your "weed" dahlia...you KNOW what I am going to say...as in "Well, give it me then!" ITs a lovely pastel peach. Any time you think a color is useless just give me a handful and let me see what I can do with it as a cut flower Thumbs up
Salish Dahlias
Imageteddahlia
Jul 7, 2020 12:38 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
You can name it "Ignored and Abandoned".
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 Jul 7, 2020 1:08 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1350535 (6)
ImageCosey
Jul 7, 2020 1:35 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
teddahlia wrote:You can name it "Ignored and Abandoned".


Ouch! 🤣 Quit teasing us with this gorgeous flowers you destroy without hesitation. (Actually don't stop. I like to see them.) But my nickname for you is now "Destroyer of Awesomeness".
ImageCosey
Jul 7, 2020 1:39 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
I weed 2-3x with intention. I plant 2 rows of dahlias 12-14" apart in an 18" row. I hoe once before sprouts appear getting the newly germinated seeds. Then I have to go back and hand pull the pesky grasses. By mid July (now) the leaf canopy keeps things pretty much handled. I find once I get any grass weeds handled, everything else is easily managed. Thumb of 2020-07-07/Cosey/b21f2e
Imageteddahlia
Jul 7, 2020 2:08 PM CST
Name: Ted
Oregon
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Very nice and reminds me of Clack's Dahlias. The weed block cloth can be very visitor friendly as there is no mud and it is easy walking. Ginger and Ron Clack are getting on in age. It is good that the daughter has taken an interest in the dahlias. They grow some nice hard to find varieties and if you ever visited there, your list of "I want this one" would be very long.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Imagesylviap
Jul 7, 2020 2:18 PM CST
Name: Sylvia
West Sacramento, CA Zone 9b
Ah - you guys are laying landscape fabric between the rows. I don't which is probably why there are more weeds out there.
ImageIslander
Jul 7, 2020 2:22 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I love groundcloth between the rows! It works ever better now with the raised beds spaced 4' apart and the paths completely covered with landscape fabric. No need to ever mow the grass and no broken plants from pushing a mower through. And yes, just weed the beds until the plants grow enough to shade them out. I need to do something to cover the beds from wind-born seeds over the winter ad early spring.

Salish Dahlias
SteveM
Jul 7, 2020 4:22 PM CST
Name: Steve
San Diego
Commercial cut flower grower
teddahlia wrote:
2018 seedling. Not my favorite color and I did not bother to even identify what one it was in the name of the picture. In my garden, some dahlias are weeds.


I agree with Noni and LeeAnn, I really like the color. Reminds me some of Camano Cloud or Anne Hyde.

ImageCosey
Jul 7, 2020 4:25 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
Islander wrote:I love groundcloth between the rows! It works ever better now with the raised beds spaced 4' apart and the paths completely covered with landscape fabric. No need to ever mow the grass and no broken plants from pushing a mower through. And yes, just weed the beds until the plants grow enough to shade them out. I need to do something to cover the beds from wind-born seeds over the winter ad early spring.




I used the same fabric but cut to size for my raised beds. I leave it on all winter. In the spring I remove all the fabric, quickly weed the edges, amend, and till. I can have 12 beds flipped in 2 hours with irrigation installed.

I love my fabric walkways. The keep me and my kids clean. And if I'm racing against temps to get dahlias lifted in the fall, I can quickly pick up a walkway and move it over the dahlias to act as a blanket if temps are getting close. I plant my dahlias deep, so I generally don't need to worry about them freezing right away. I can also leave the fabric in the field until I can get to it on a random warm winter day after the tubers are processed.
SteveM
Jul 7, 2020 4:33 PM CST
Name: Steve
San Diego
Commercial cut flower grower
I was going to experiment with weed block fabric this season but changed my mind after I remembered my experience using black plastic mulch a few years ago. The black plastic did a good job of keeping the weeds down but I had to spend a lot of time pulling up the plastic to trap gophers or repair drip line that the gophers had chewed up. I also found it to be a popular hiding place for black widow spiders and (in the spring) earwigs and snails/slugs. This year I've also had a lot of voles so I decided to pass on the weed fabric and just do the hand weeding.
SteveM
Jul 7, 2020 4:41 PM CST
Name: Steve
San Diego
Commercial cut flower grower
Another plus for the weed fabric would be the dust control it provides. I think it would help slow down the spider mite invasion during the hot weather. I might reconsider my reconsideration.
ImageIslander
Jul 7, 2020 5:29 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Gophers and voles could be a good reason not to use fabric. A friend of mine on the Island had so much trouble with voles hiding under it she couldn't use it. We put wire screen on the bottom of the dahlia beds and hope that will keep the invasion out butI have no idea if they will dig down through the top. As I said, I do not lay the fabric on the bed itself, only on the walkway, and yes, I love that it keeps the walkway usable in all weathers. MY new role of fabric just came and I can finish my walkways between and around the beds now. Now If I could just get my husband to put the wheel of the lawnmower on the tightly nailed down fabric instead of being afraid of it and leaving a fringe!
Salish Dahlias
ImageCosey
Jul 7, 2020 5:29 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
SteveM wrote:Another plus for the weed fabric would be the dust control it provides. I think it would help slow down the spider mite invasion during the hot weather. I might reconsider my reconsideration.


I have lots of toads that moved in and live on the edges under the fabric. Maybe they keep those pests away. I also noticed more wolf spiders but recently read they enjoy earwigs and haven't seen one this season. I don't deal much with tunneling pests, but my drip is above ground and easily accessible for quick fixes.

ImageIslander
Jul 7, 2020 5:30 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Gophers and voles could be a good reason not to use fabric. A friend of mine on the Island had so much trouble with voles hiding under it she couldn't use it. We put wire screen on the bottom of the dahlia beds and hope that will keep the invasion out butI have no idea if they will dig down through the top. As I said, I do not lay the fabric on the bed itself, only on the walkway, and yes, I love that it keeps the walkway usable in all weathers. MY new roll of fabric just came and I can finish my walkways between and around the beds now. Now If I could just get my husband to put the wheel of the lawnmower on the tightly nailed down fabric instead of being afraid of it and leaving a fringe!
Salish Dahlias
Imagesylviap
Jul 7, 2020 6:22 PM CST
Name: Sylvia
West Sacramento, CA Zone 9b
SteveM wrote:Another plus for the weed fabric would be the dust control it provides. I think it would help slow down the spider mite invasion during the hot weather. I might reconsider my reconsideration.


I wonder if it would slow down powdery mildew?
ImageCosey
Jul 7, 2020 6:59 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
sylviap wrote:

I wonder if it would slow down powdery mildew?


I haven't noticed it changing any mildew patterns. Left untreated, plants here in PA will see signs in Sept with or without fabric.

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