How to Remove Dahlias

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Removing dahlias may be necessary as summer starts to move into fall. Find out how to properly remove dahlias with help from an experienced gardener in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Fall Gardening
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Video Transcript

I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of sustainable vegetable gardening. And I'm here in my fall garden in Belmont, Massachusetts with my buddy Skippy and his friend and I am going to show you how to remove dahlias. Okay. So, this dahlia was a beautiful plant this summer with bright pink flowers. Two weeks ago, we had a hard frost and it's died back and this is the perfect time to remove it now. You want to wait until the frost has killed the plant and then wait a week or two until the energy has time to go into the tubers. So, what we're going to do here to remove it is first cut off the stems, so they're six inches tall and then we're going to use a shovel and pull out the tubers. Okay. So, now, I'm going to cut the stems, giving them about six inches from the ground. Remove all the stems here and this make great material to go on the compost pile. Okay. So, now, that I've cut off the stems, the next thing is to loosen up the, the tubers and I'm going to use a, I'm using a garden fork here, loosening the edges. I'm going a couple of inches from the plant base so that I don't accidentally stab one of the, the tubers. And now that it's pretty loose, I'm going to go right down underneath and pry up the plant. And now we can see the, the dahlia tubers starting to show. I'm going to go ahead and grab hold of the top, lift it out and shake off the dirt. Some of the plant is falling apart of it, this is a good time to separate the plant if you want to have multiple plants in different areas next year. The important thing is just to shake as much of the dirt out as, as you can. So, I'm going to put it down on the hay here so you can see what we have. I've got three pieces of this plant. What is important that we do with these tubers is to have them dry before we store them. Some people like to wash off the dirt and that's an option; you can wash it. If you do, you have to make sure that it's thoroughly dried by letting it sit in the sun or a ventilated place for a couple of days. With the dirt on here and not wash. it dries much faster and that's the way I usually store them. So, I let this sit here about a few hours and then, they're ready to store for the winter. So, I've showed you how to remove dahlia tubers. I'm Kathy Martin, Author of the blog, Skippy's Vegetable Garden, a journal of my sustainable gardening. Enjoy your sustainable garden and grow some great healthy food for your family.


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