STORE DAHLIAS

Garden Answers (UK) - - Easy Gardening -

In mild ar­eas, leave dahlias in the ground un­der a thick mulch of com­post and chipped bark. If your gar­den has heavy clay soil or fre­quent frosts, it’s best to lift and store the tu­bers.

DIG THEM OUT Dig around the clump with a gar­den fork, tak­ing care not to spike the tu­bers. Lever them out care­fully. Shorten the stems down to about 5-10cm (2-4in) from the crown.

CLEAN THEM UP Re­move as much soil as pos­si­ble, us­ing a stick to reach into the nooks and cran­nies. Turn the tu­bers up­side down and leave in a dry, frost-free place for a cou­ple of weeks so they can dry off nat­u­rally.

PACK THEM AWAY Pack tu­bers into crates or large pots and fill around the sides with news­pa­per, saw­dust or com­post. Over­win­ter in a dry, frost-free shed or garage. Check oc­ca­sion­ally and re­move any tu­bers show­ing signs of rot. Re­pot in early spring.

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