Sunday, April 15, 2012

Springing dahlias?

It's mid-April. and I'm embarrassed to confess that only this weekend have I made my first spring foray into the garden.  The last few weeks have been busy with travel and family activities--I'm not complaining, mind you--so my time hasn't allowed digging around in the dirt.

This weekend was perfect gardening weather--breezy, sunny, and just warm enough to ease these old bones. Pruning, clipping, and weeding commenced.  In the weeks ahead, it will be all about compost spreading and fertilizing.  The days are light longer, so at last my after-work routine can incorporate some evening shovel time.

Anyway, as I was picking up the evergreen boughs that I'd spread over the dahlia tubers planted along the back of the house, I was amazed to see a row of tender green sprouts. I guess that I have my answer about outside over-wintering dahlias in Zone 6! Yes, it can most definitely be done. The tallest of these is about 6 inches.

I usually plant dahlia tubers on Memorial Day weekend--a good six weeks from now.  But as long as we don't have any final frosts and the rabbits don't develop a craving for these lovely green sprouts, this spring jump start could have dahlias blooming in June. Now if only I could catch up with my seasonal chores!

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