Finding Inspiration in Every Turn
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What goes on to get our dahlias ready to be sent out to you.
We thoroughly check each individual tuber before we plant it in the ground on our property, with all our new varieties they are planted into pots.
We do tend to keep the not so good looking tubers for ourselves and send out the better ones for our orders. I personally prefer single smaller tuners over larger ones, I find the plants to be more vigorous and send out more shoots to grow tubers therefore drawing in more nutrients to the plant rather than taking in the nutrients from the large tuber. These are also easier to divide as there are less mother tubers amongst the newly formed tubers in each clump.
Over the flowering season we also grow our dahlias for cut flowers, these are regularly fertilised to encourage new blooms and also healthy vigorous growth not just above the soil but underneath also. We are vigilant about sterilising between plants as a precaution to avoid cross contamination of any possible diseases. This does make the process a lot slower but lessens the risk damaging our precious plants.
After the growing season has finished, (this is normally very abrupt for us here in Central Otago) we have a hard killing frost and this blackens all the plants. We generally leave the tubers in the ground a couple of weeks for the outer skin to harden off before digging. Then comes the BIG DIG. This is one of the bigger jobs on our farm and takes quite some time. Once everything is dug we have washed and divided as well as stored at the same time, this is due to storage space. Unfortunately over the last couple of seasons we have had very cold and damp winters which has caused a lot of rot issues. We have experimented this year with leaving some in their clumps with the dirt on, this has proven really effective so this will be the method we will use in the coming season. We would prefer to leave everything in the ground and dig in spring to divide but with our harsh winters this is just not possible.
The division of the tubers is the biggest job when dealing with dahlias for sale. Being careful to make sure each kept tuber has eyes and is correctly labeled along with the continual use of snips and secateurs makes it quite a tedious job. After they have been divided we store in numbered bins which is coated onto a spreadsheet of what variety is in each bin.
We then stock take prior to shipping and pack up each tuber individually, each order is then packed and shipped away to the customer for them to enjoy these amazing and beautiful plants.