LIFT AND STORE DAHLIAS
Remember to wait until the first frosts have struck, says Ruth
OUR dahlias have been tremendous this year, flowering profusely for what seems like months on end. Now it is time to pack them away for the winter, storing them somewhere frost-free undercover until next spring.
If you are lucky to live somewhere sheltered and mild, you may be lucky enough to get away with leaving your dahlias in the ground, with their crown and roots protected by a 4in (10cm) layer on mulch. However, to be on the safe side, in most areas the best advice is to lift them or, if they are growing in pots, cut back the top growth and move the containers into a greenhouse, garage or shed.
Dahlias are lifted once the first frosts have blackened their leaves. Cut away the foliage to within 2in (5cm) of the base of the plant and compost it. You can also trim thin roots. Brush off any excess soil before storing and leave them upside down for a few days to dry. Make sure you store them somewhere dry and well ventilated to reduce the risk of rotting. Also, keep them away from hungry pests.
Lift after frosts have blackened the foliage Cutting back my container dahlia before moving it into the greenhouse for winter
Remove foliage before lifting