We are great fans of those queens of the late summer cutting patch – dahlias. Available in rich, jewel hues or elegant pastel shades they are reliable and prolific plants which keep on giving for minimal input.
Staking is important – to ensure that they are not battered by the August and September breezes, which have been quite strong this year. Other than that, deadhead regularly and pop a few upturned flowerpots stuffed with straw onto canes in amongst them to catch the earwigs and they’ll provide you with bucketfuls of lovely blooms right through the late summer, into the autumn and up to the first frosts.
We chopped down and lifted last year’s tubers after they had been blackened by the frosts, packed them in newspaper and stored them in a cool, frost-free environment. Then we planted them straight into the ground at the end of April. They are just coming into their own now.
We’re particularly fond of cafe au lat and any of the deep burgundy varieties but any dahlia is a lovely dahlia.
Grower’s tip – Cut the stems of the first flowers short and you’ll ensure that subsequent blooms grow on longer stems and don’t forget to shake off any earwigs before bringing them indoors.
Our dahlias will be finding their way into bouquets and arrangements over the next few weeks but there will be some for sale in our new shop at Hartley Farm.
Why not pop in and say hello?