Cleaning Up and Digging In

  • Post published:10/26/2009
  • Post comments:2 Comments
Old House Gardens delivery
Old House Gardens delivery

When I called Old House Gardens to order some bulbs last week I feared I might have missed their shipping season, but they reassured me  and on this perfect morning I found my order in the mailbox. It took only a few minutes before I  was out in the garden. I knew just where to plant the ivory Beersheba daffodils – right under the Miss Willmott, a white flowered lilac Jerry Sternstein gave me last year. To say under the bush is a slight mis-statement. The bush has come through one winter, but it is still so small that is hardly any under there. It will come in time, though.

Miss Willmott lilac underplanted with daffodils
Miss Willmott lilac underplanted with daffodils

I had already planted some bulbs under Miss Willmott and I think this whole area will be quite lovely in the spring. You can see there is a mammoth clump of purple Siberian irises (they could definitley use some dividing) and on the other side of the irises is a pink Miss Canada lilac that blooms later than my other lilacs.

Foxy Lady Dahlias
Foxy Lady Dahlias

The dahlias gave a good show this year. Since I had such good luck overwintering them last year I went out to dig them up to keep for next spring.

The main trick to digging dahlias is to avoid cutting the tubers. With just a little luck the one tuber planted will have turned into a substantial bunch. I dug a least a foot away from the stem and loosened the soil and dug around with my hand to  get a sense of where the tubers were before actually lifting them.

After lifting the tubers and shaking off what dirt I can, I do clip off the stems. According to my Wyman’s Encyclopedia you can divide the tubers in fall or spring. I opted for spring and I will store these in a clump. I left the trimmed clumps of tubers outside to dry off, but brought them in before evening. I’ll let them dry out in the house for just a day or two before  storing them in barely damp peat moss in our basement, which  worked well last winter.

I am so grateful for these few mild days. We needed last week’s rain, more than 2 inches, but I also needed some mild days to try and catch up on the fall cleaning. There is less time than you might think because I have other delightful chores to do, like helping to make a gingerbread house for Holiday Village at the Charlemont Federated Church on November 14. There will be many other beautiful gifts, gift certificates, Treasures, crafts and food on offer – along with the gingerbread house, and kits to make your own.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Carol

    Pat… thank you for the intro to Old House Gardens … I have not planted any bulbs yet! I also do not grow dahlias any longer … kudos to you for all that effort… though so worth it from the looks of your lovely clump. I do hope our mild days linger. Carol

  2. admin

    Carol, Old House Gardens is a wonderful outfit. Excellent quality bulbs, and good service. And that was just one clump of dahlias. I can use a few more nice days myself.

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