RIP Dahlias

I know it’s only 15 sleeps until Christmas, but I have dahlias on my mind because I did this really cool thing and I never wrote about it! So, take a break from your regularly scheduled holiday garbage online and let’s rewind to the time to when it was only Halloween…..

dahlia-digging-bloomadore

Dahlias are awesome. If you’ve never grown them before, I highly suggest it! I plant mine in very early summer when I pull my tulip bulbs. They take a while to come in and bloom, but when they do, I get flowers well past Halloween! I’ve never saved my dahlia bulbs, but I was inspired to do so this year in the spirit of conservation, nurturing what I have and out of a genuine sense of curiosity…..yeah, I wanted to see if I could do it. In past years I’ve tried and failed miserably so I really had nothing to lose! So I put the Halloween decorations away and got my garden shears and shovel out to dig up some dahlias. I found a new method and hopefully it will work!

dahlia

This is Gallery Bellini. I love this dahlia. I love the depth of colors and I love that she’s named after a cocktail you drink with brunch. I love this dahlia so much I want to grow her again next year! So I’m going to store my Bellini tubers using this really simple method.

trim-stem-lift-tuber

  1. Trim stem down to about there (I’m pointing to photo on the left).
  2. Dig around and lift the tuber, careful not to damage the bulb (I’m pointing to the photo on the right).
  3. Place tuber with whatever dirt comes out around it in a plastic garbage bag and store in a cool place (I’m pointing to the bottom photo). You don’t have to clean the dirt off the tuber. Close the garbage back and store in a cool place that’s not too warm and not freezing cold (now I sound like the garden version of Goldilocks). I’m storing mine in my attached garage.

Pretty simple, right?!

dahlia-digging-2bloomadore

I’m going to check on them occasionally to make sure they aren’t getting too moist or freezing (who am I am kidding….I don’t have time to babysit tubers). Next June one of two things will happen….. 1) RIP Dahlias for real, or 2) the dahlias will go back in the ground and bloom beautifully for me. I’m hoping for the latter.

Before I go into planting tulip bulbs, here’s your complimentary cute dog photo. He’s glad Halloween is over because the whole holiday scared the shit out of him (as if he could possibly shit anymore than he already does). I caught him trying to kill Halloween before it killed him. I think he won.

miles

Bloom on!

Dahlias and Tomatoes

If you gather sunshine, the smell of dirt and the essence of summer into a mixing bowl and tap it with a magic wand, I am positive a tomato would be the outcome. A fresh grown tomato cannot be imitated and proof of that is found in grocery stores in the dead of winter. Forget sub-zero temperatures, blizzards and ice storms..tasteless strawberries and tomatoes are the worst thing about winter.

I often imagine the reaction of the first person in history who discovered the tomato.  A big high five to them for picking a red ball off a plant and daring to take a bite!  I think tomatoes are especially tasty when  they are still warm, fresh from the vine in the sun and summer air. If you can’t tell, I love tomatoes almost as much as I love red wine….although I’m not sure I’ve ever mentioned on my blog that I love red wine.

This year I planted Dahlia Boom Boom Red and tomatoes in my raised beds with the intention of the reds playing off each other visually. I know which one tastes better, but I’m not sure which is more delicious looking! Dahlias look great in the garden and they make pretty cut flowers in vases. I’ve never grown dahlias from tubers, so when I first planted them I thought to myself “This is never going to work.” But it did, and I’m pleased with the results!

Tomatoes and Dahlias

I will be enjoying my dahlias inside soon enough, unfortunately, I have not been able to enjoy my tomatoes much this year. Last year I planted too many tomatoes and in order to make room for my dahlias, I opted to only grow 2 plants. It was not enough.

I am always on the look out for critters eating my tomatoes because I think a skunk or raccoon took off with a few last year. This year I have another tomato stealer in my garden….. this super cute little sprite!

Ayla and tomato

I’ve seen her get out of bed on these lazy summer mornings, walk out in the back yard in her pajamas and help herself to breakfast. She is on constant tomato watch….looking for that red siren announcing ripeness from her bedroom window. She pulls them off the plant and eats them like an apple before I can harvest them! Next  year she will plant her own tomato plant(s) so that mommy can have some too! I’m awfully smitten with her and with a face like that (she told me this is her ‘sneaky tomato stealing face)….she can have them all. 🙂  I will miss summer and the tomato plants because then I will have to go back to cooking for her. Motherhood is a sacrifice!