LIFT AND STORE DAHLIAS

Re­mem­ber to wait un­til the first frosts have struck, says Ruth

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

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

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