Viewing post #1361472 by teddahlia

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You are viewing a single post made by teddahlia in the thread called List of AMAZING tuber varieties.
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.

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