It's getting cold outside! If you haven't dug up your dahlia tubers, now is the time! Our Summer 2020 Box featured guest, Jesalyn Pettigrew of Mossy Gate Farm, talked us through the ins and outs of dahlias, including how to care for them once the growing season is over. Here's a fresh recap about what to do with those dahlia tubers during the winter, as well as how and when to divide them for next year.
Watch the video below, or if you can't listen right now, scroll down to read her tips for caring for those spent dahlias.
Cutting Back Dahlias
Wait until the first frost to kill your dahlia before cutting it down. You'll look out at your garden and see it turn brown and start falling apart within hours.
Cut it down short so you have a handle at the base. If you leave it in the ground over winter, you do risk losing the plant. In mild climates you can sometimes get away with this. Jesalyn recommended digging it up and storing it for the winter, especially those...
The growing season is ending, and that means you need to get your garden winter ready.
Fall means cooler temperatures and slowed growth. Cutting the last of my garden’s flowers and picking the final few raspberries is always bittersweet for me. I love the joy and love that the upcoming slate of holidays bring, but saying goodbye to the bounty of summer is difficult. What helps me is focusing on the plan ahead. This is a great time to get your garden in top shape for next year.
Here are the things I do at the end of the growing season:
Dry Flowers and Herbs
This is a fantastic time to preserve and dry culinary herbs. Some of you have probably done this before! Did you know you can save some of your blooms, as well? As a florist, I strive to use locally grown flowers, and winter obviously puts a damper on this. One way I get around this is by using dried flowers. Now is the time to snip those fading hydrangeas and sprigs of floral oregano. Remember: you can get a floral drying...
Mulch is seriously the secret hero of garden care.
I just finished adding three cubic yards of mulch to my front yard garden beds. It was quite the project, shoveling and spreading, but it is always worth it in the end thanks to just how beneficial it is to my plants. (Take a peek at my garden here.) Mulch is absolutely amazing! Even just one of its benefits would make the hard work worth it, but it has a whole bundle of advantages. If you’re not using mulch in for your garden care, you should seriously consider it. Here’s why.
Keep Weeds Back
This is one of my top reasons for adding mulch to my yard. Here in the milder Pacific Northwest, plants grow like crazy. It often rains, and it doesn’t get too hot. That means weeds get out of control very quickly. I weed my beds before adding mulch, and while this doesn’t stop the weeds completely, it does stunt their growth and make it much easier to keep up on weeding. Some people will even add...
Oh, goodness. Aphids. What a pain. I don’t know about where you live, but here in the PNW, they are a real pest to my flowers. The very first summer in our new house, I put roses, lupines, and foxglove into the yard to create a beautiful English cottage garden vibe. And within a few weeks, I brushed up against some of the flowers and went inside. I looked down at my pants, and there were little bugs crawling on the fabric. It was disgusting. I brushed them off outside and took a closer look at the flowers. They were totally smothered by aphids, especially the lupines. Of course, I panicked! My gorgeous flowers were being eaten alive!
I have since become a bit of a self-taught expert at getting rid of aphids. They invade my garden every year, and I now have a solid plan to treat my plants. Once I see those early signs, I start treating them before the aphids get too out of control. The best part is that I never use pesticides, which I don’t want around...