Discussion of Colors, Forms or Varieties forum: List of AMAZING tuber varieties

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Apr 7, 2017 8:38 AM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Mingus Nicole would never make any list of easy storing varieties. It still gets high bids at our tuber auction after all these years. One club member used to brag that he could get it to store and lost nearly all his stock the next year. The tubers look good when dug but they just want to rot. Since there are always some around that look good and do not rot, it is my theory that it is susceptible to a common fungus that does not usually affect most dahlia varieties.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Apr 7, 2017 4:24 PM CST
Name: Cynthia
BG, KY USDA Zone 6b
Sanity = Dirt under your nails...
Much better picture of HS Flame, from my archives...gazania in background.

Thumb of 2017-04-07/DahliaGardener/f07fba

All gardening is landscape painting.
- William Kent

Dec 14, 2020 11:28 PM CST
Name: Julia Frisbie
Anacortes, WA
My best tuber producers of 2020 were:

Irish D. Porter (averaged 12 tubers per clump)
A la Mode (averaged 9 tubers per clump)
Chimacum Nadjae (averaged 15 tubers per clump)
Glenplace (averaged 9 tubers per clump)

These four, along with Peaches n' Cream, are also the varieties prone to sprout from the mother tubers and broken-necked tubers and seemingly blind tubers that I throw in the compost pile. Un-killable. Irish D. Porter is a special favorite of mine. The Boleys sent it to me several years back as a substitute for Camano Zoe, and it's absolutely prolific and adorable.

But the record of most tubers per clump in 2020 is held by Jomanda, which was new in my garden this year. I dug up my one clump and got a whopping 19 divisions from it. I'm sure it's a statistical outlier, but... still! We'll see how it keeps.

Dec 14, 2020 11:48 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
My best producer of 2020 was Caitlin's Joy. 16 plants made 164 tubers. I don't know much about its history but I would guess it is either closely related or even another sport of Cornel. The tubers have very similar shape and size.
Update: there is a UK seller that lists it as a sport of Ivanetti (which is a sport of Cornel). So...another in the family.
[Last edited Dec 15, 2020 12:31 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1361446 (4)
Dec 15, 2020 10:55 AM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
I know that many people appreciate tuber making abilities but there is always "When is too much of a good thing a bad thing?" I remember acquiring a variety that had OK flowers but in some rare colors. The plants were rather husky for their height . And then, when it came time to dig the plants, the clumps were as big as any I have ever grown. The reason for the humongous clumps was that it had huge tubers that were round and fat, wrapped around each other as they had outgrown the space allotted for tubers on the stem. I inserted the shovel from all 4 sides and wrestled the huge clumps out of the ground. My crates usually hold about 20 clumps and just 4 clumps fit into the crate and yet the crate was heavier than the 20 clump crate. Washing the clumps was another exercise in absurdity. First, the clump was so heavy that it took great effort to place it on the washing table and of course it was full of dirt stuck between the massive tubers. I have 100 pound water pressure and use a very nice hose end sprayer but the dirt was jammed between those bowling ball tubers. Yes, I was able to wash the clump and expected the weight to be much less but it was still very heavy but at least it was "clean" heavy now. We now go on to the dividing table where I placed the huge mass of tubers and instead of sitting as I worked, I was forced to stand as I assaulted the clump with my large pruning loppers. Where were the eyes? Those huge tubers came off the stalk with eyes only on one or two tubers. And what do you do with softball sized tubers? They certainly cost more to ship and it has been my experience that big tubers are more inclined to rot from damage during the digging process. Usually, when I have several tubers with no visible eyes, I store them anyway hoping that they will miraculously sprout in the Spring. These were blind in the spring. And do I still grow this variety? Not a chance.

But on the serious side, some varieties like Cornel and it's sports are wonderful tuber produces and clumps are not so big as to be burdensome. As I getting older, I tend to like varieties that make about 5-10 smaller tubers. When breeding new varieties, you do pay attention to tuber production but if a perfect flower appears and has below average tubers you tend to keep it. I have seen seedlings improve in tuber making once they are grown for a few years. Something that makes only 3 or so tubers but they store well is acceptable to me.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Dec 15, 2020 12:32 PM CST
Name: LeeAnn
Zone 6b, Pennsylvania
I agree tuber clumps can be too big. Snoho Les is another mega clump maker but definitely makes tons of viable eyed tubers.

Smaller tubers are also much faster to process. I can spend 30 min or more dividing a monster.
Dec 15, 2020 6:37 PM CST
St. Paul, MN
Too big of tubers is a different issue than too big of clump. I'm going to grow less of Woodlands Wildthing and Carmen Fiesta as the tubers are huge. I would do the same thing with Nick Sr but I don't think I've ever sold tubers as I want more of it every year. Big tubers are costly to ship and more labor and supplies to store (I wrap).

Too many tubers? Probably Blizzard is guilty. So many little tubers and everyone already has it so there isnt much to do with them.

Cornel varieties are great as they are easy to dig. They can almost be pulled out. I can have an inexperienced staff have at it and they won't ruin a thing. They are more work to wash as the clumps are compact. They are somewhat hard to divide, but eyes and necks are clear so it's not too bad.
Dec 16, 2020 11:02 AM CST
Name: Tina
NY Zone 5b/6a
Flower Power!
I tend to get impressed with clumps that have lots of tubers. Yet, some of those clumps have tubers packed in so tightly that I end up cutting the clump in half or quarters. When it comes to tuber production, I have become more focused on how many tubers in a clump will actually produce viable eyes. I find that lots of tubers do not always equal lots of eyes.
“Early to bed, early to rise, plant like hell...and fertilize!” P Allen Smith
Dec 16, 2020 11:46 AM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
My record for tubers from one clump(a first year clump not one of those multi year monsters) was an Amy K plant that produced 42 tubers. There are two things that should be said about this: (1) Amy K makes lots of SMALL tubers (2) I used tis plant as an experiment for using 20-20-20 greenhouse fertilizer weekly to the point the plant turned blue from the blue dye in the liquid fertilizer. The fertilizer caused numerous side shoot to appear from under the soil and they had small tubers attached to them at harvest time. The size of many of the tubers was comparable to a man's pinky finger.

Amy K is a bit late blooming and first flowers are a bit too large for cut flowers but later flushes are very good. Originated by Les Connell. Oldie but goodie.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Dec 16, 2020 11:54 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
Chilson's Pride was my record tuber maker, especially after I spilled the Osmocote fertilizer around it. I had over 100 tubers after leaving her set for 3 years..and it several years more to get rid of it when I got bored with her because she was so common no one wanted to buy the flowers. (they all had her in their gardens already).
Salish Dahlias
Dec 16, 2020 12:25 PM CST
Name: Ted
We enjoy breeding new dahlias!
Chilsons Pride should be be awarded the Medal of Honor for Dahlias and then be retired.
We like to place a sign on our porch that says: We are in the garden. Really, we are always in the garden.
Dec 16, 2020 12:56 PM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
I retired mine Big Grin
Salish Dahlias
Dec 16, 2020 9:21 PM CST
Name: CC
Isn't that funny... I had Chilsons Pride for years before tiring of it, and just reordered it for 2021! Guess I've been away from it long enough that its attractive again. Definitely belongs on this list, as I remember insane numbers of tubers from it in the past.
Dec 17, 2020 12:03 AM CST
Name: Noni Morrison
Warren, Oregon
retired flower farmer
One of the problems of Chilson's Pride is that if your climate does not have hot enough days it doesn't fimbriate. When I first saw one grown with more heat I was amazed at how much prettier it was with all those fringes. In Western Washington's maritime climate it was just a pale pink flower I couldn't sell because everyone would look at it and go "Oh yeh, Chilson's...yawn.. It can be much prettier where it gets more heat.

Salish Dahlias
[Last edited Sep 22, 2021 8:15 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1361615 (14)
Sep 22, 2021 7:20 PM CST
Name: Eric DeWitt
Mountainair, NM
Not to sidetrack the conversation and hopefully I didn't miss it but do any of you store the very iffy tubers in a pulp pot of dirt for the winter? It seems to be the best method for me with those types.

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