Storing Dahlias the Minnesota Way.
Why not try using the method many of us use in Minnesota. Plastic wrap, cling film to non-Americans growers. (Saran wrap is one brand name).
Before I begin to cut up the clumps I do wash them in the laundry tub with plain water and maybe a soft brush to get the dirt off of them. Then I cut them apart - then into the bleach water and sit for 24 hours on newspaper. This is all done in the basement which is about 60 degrees F. While one group is soaking I am cutting up other clumps making a small production line. Then, when the tubers come out of the bath they are easy to mark with an indelible pencil.
Once you have separated the tubers, place one on the sheet of wrap, roll it up a bit, put another down, roll, then another and continue rolling them up. This will keep each tuber separate, and in case one starts to rot it will not spread to the others. I put all the tubers from one clump in one bundle and put the tag near the outside so I can see what each is.
As far as preparing them I use a dilute (maybe one to ten) solution of Clorox, or other chlorine bleach. I let them sit for 5-10 minutes then dry on newspapers for about 24 hours or so. If you check the tuber bundles a day or so after you wrap them you will know if they sat too short a time and are too damp, but 24 hours is usually enough.
I don't remember the name of the man who suggested this method of storage but I first read about it maybe eight years ago and have used it since with very good results. Plus, you will need much less storage space!
The thing I really like about using plain old bleach is that it is cheap, won't hurt you, easy to find at most stores and it works!
How exciting, to be published in Europe!
Sue in Minnesota, where the dahlias have never looked better!
Any further information contact:
This article was bought about by growers all over the Northern hemisphere preparing to lift their dahlias for winter storage. I noticed the interesting method use by Sue of Minnesota, and asked if I could put it on my web site for all to share, she agreed. It didn't stop there however, because a lady from New Zealand called Elaine also saw Sue's helpful email and wanted to put her two penny worth in.
I also use the plastic wrap method and wouldn't store dahlias any other way now.
The only difference in our storing
methods is that I only put about four tubers (depending on size and shape) in
one parcel, then close it with masking tape on which I have written the name of
the cultivar. It is surprising come Spring and when the tubers start to shoot
how strong the new shoots are, often piercing through the plastic wrap. More
growers in New Zealand are now using this method with success.
I think the name of the man who first started this off was "Doc Millar" but I stand corrected on this one. No doubt someone in the group will know, and may also have his article on this storage method.
Elaine Christchurch New Zealand where we are starting to get ready to plant out our tubers.
This is where things got comical
because, not wanting to be left out yet another lady called Linda wanted to join
the act by supplying pictures.................................
No Fuss: Store Your Tubers in Plastic Wrap
Thanks ladies when it comes to putting dahlias to bed you could say "You've just about wrapped it up"
See you at the trials Ken Stock.