Every year when picking new dahlias to add to the ones I already have, I carefully choose a colour scheme based on how the flowers will look together in flower arrangements. Then I completely ignore that list, lose my mind & go for more of a colour barf approach.
AND THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM WITH DAHLIAS. There are so many types and varieties - all different while being the same. They're the tomatoes of the flower world.
This year my goal was to not buy any of the peachy or almost black coloured dahlias because I always seem to gravitate towards those two colours. What with them being my favourites.
Which is why, when my local dahlia society held their annual dahlia tuber sale last week I bought all the peach and orange dahlias. And one purple.
But that purple one! It's smashing. And unpredictable - like a toddler. More on that in a second.
I'm an extraordinarily poor waterer when it comes to my home garden. My vegetable garden has the drip irrigation system I installed a few years ago. It works great, I recommend it 100%.
Because of my dreadful watering habits my dahlias always seem to hold off on blooming until almost fall so the oranges and peaches look spot on next to the changing maple leaves in the neighbourhood.
My home garden has a sprinkler system on a timer, but I always forget to get it up and running until the grubs come knocking on my front door asking what the hell.
This year, I vow to water my dahlias. I also vow to water my window boxes because they're going to be filled with the edible petunias, Cosmic Cherry and Giant Rose I showed you a while ago.
I planted them and they are looking really good under my grow lights so I'll be able to plant them in my window boxes along with a couple other plants I started from my Baker Creek Seed binge.
The 18 Dahlia Varieties
The varieties I'm REALLY excited about are all of them.
You'll notice down the images a bit a dahlia called AC Paint. It's the unpredictable one that could look like it has paint streaks (how it should look) or could look 2 tone, like a Paint horse.
I'm pretty darn excited to see which kind of flowers the 2 tubers I bought produce.
You can see how these flowers become an issue for people. If you like red flowers, there will be masses of different red dahlias that all look different. They could be a different size, a different shape, different petals or shades.
I have 10 or 12 varieties above that are all peach/orange. But they all look totally different.
Now the big decision comes. Do I plant them all in my front yard? Or do I relegate them to the community garden?
The fantastic thing about having them right out the front door is I get accolades and applause from everyone who walks past.
Whereas at the community vegetable garden people will just ask if I'm going to fry them or sauté.
I bet you're being logical and thinking - why can't she figure out that she can just put some at home and some at the vegetable garden?
Thank you for your advice, I think I'll take it. I believe I'll do that.
Dahlia Planting Distance
For cut flowers dahlias should be planted 12" apart with 18" in between rows.
My community garden beds are 3.5' wide and 16' long.
I have multiples of a few tubers giving me a total of 26 dahlias to plant. For now. Because at the moment I'm not willing to agree to not buying more.
That means I should be able to fit 643 dahlia tubers in one bed if my math is correct. Hold on let me get a calculator that doesn't seem right.
Nope. As it turns out, that means I can fit about 644 dahlia tubers according to my calculator so I should probably buy more.
And that my friends is dahlia math.