It’s time for a quick update on my dahlias. Sadly, they are unimpressive. Some are doing better than others, and may improve before the summer’s out, but I still haven’t had a single, perfect flower. Although I have high hopes for the flower pictured above that is just opening up.
A couple of plants have been well and truly devoured by the slugs, despite my efforts. The plants that have survived well enough to flower seem healthy, if a bit small. And the few flowers they have produced have had the ends of their petals nibbled. Damn those slimy critters!
However, I’m not going to let this experience put me off growing dahlias. This year’s slugs have been biblically prolific. Things may be better next year, if we have a proper, cold winter. I might try a nematode treatment for slugs next spring. Or I may move the tubers into a raised bed, to grow for cut flowers. It would be easier to protect them from slugs there. And they would definitely do better in a bed filled with a rich growing medium of top soil, garden compost and manure.
My mum’s dahlias, on the other hand, have thrived. She kept them in the greenhouse until they would no longer fit, and then put them outside in big pots, on a sunny patio. It’s clearly a recipe for success, as you can see from the photo below! And another reason why I really want a greenhouse. I’m looking forward to seeing more of these lovely flowers when I visit my parents this weekend.
I hope that everyone else growing dahlias this year is having better luck then me. I’m going to give my plants a good feed with liquid tomato food tomorrow, and hope this spurs them on to produce more flowers.