To lift or not to lift……

To lift or not to lift……

That is the question!

We are of course talking about Dahlias, not Hamlet! When the first frosts hit our gardens it’s time to think about what to do with any Dahlias in your garden. As they are not frost hardy, when frosts arrive the leaves and any late blooms tend to rot down. However, the great thing about Dahlias is that the tubers that grow beneath the ground are unharmed and can live to bring colour and joy year after year – if you treat them right!

Some people lift dahlia tubers and store them over winter, then replant the following spring. Others gardeners, usually those in milder areas, leave them in the ground. So what is best! If your soil is well drained and frosts do not penetrate too deeply, then Dahlia tubers can usually be left in the ground without any problem. You can help this by mulching the surface after any faded growth has been cut back to the ground. However, in wet ground, heavy clay soils, and in cold areas dahlias are less likely to survive in the ground and it is probably best to lift them and store them in a frost free place until next spring.

If you decide to dig them up and store them, the start by cutting back the stems to a few centimetres above ground level. Lift carefully with a fork, so as not to damage the delicate tubers. Knock away as much of the soil as possible, allow them to dry out completely (this can take a couple of weeks) and then store wrapped in newspaper, in a frost free environment – sheds work pretty well. Replant in the Spring of the following year.

Whichever method you choose we hope you agree with us that Dahlias are one the garden’s most beautiful flowers and come in a fantastic range of varieties and colours. Good luck with your Tubers this Winter!