Late summer darlings, the Dahlia…

Bad to the phloem!August is a tough time for garden, it’s too soon for fall faves like Asters, Mums and Kale but the summer stuff is…frankly, pooped.

Dirt cheap and filled with frills and thrills, the Dahlia is an easy care annual that’s cheap to begin with and you can trick it into getting even cheaper as the years go on. You can grow them everywhere there’s a fiery blast of sun and buy them anywhere, like big boxes and hardware stores.



Spicy!



It doesn’t get any better. Trust me!

Dahlias come in an astounding selection of shapes, sizes and colors- from round lil’ pompons to dinner plate sized beauties. This year I found a few packs on sale at my local big box a little after the prime garden rush in late April (which is too early anyways, if you ask me). The packages ran me about $3.50 and  each consisted of 3 tubers. I literally drove home that minute, stuck a big pitchfork in the ground, stuck the tubers in- and that was that. Each of those plants is now 3 foot plus and covered with blooms and promising buds for weeks to come.
In fall, I’ll whack them down with tears in my eyes the night I know we’ll get a frost and throw the tubers in a crate. The crate goes in my basement. In May I start again. It’s that easy, seriously.
Forgot to put Dahlias in the ground in spring and you want some to fill in during the heat of summer? Nurseries sell them fully grown and blooming, instant gratification! Instant hole filling! Garden spackle! You can still pull the tubers up and store them and then restore them to their August throne next year.

The BEST part is that they make amazing cuts to bring indoors, in a vase or floating in a shallow bowl. Bring them as hostess gifts. Put one on your desk. They are show stopping!



Charming!


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About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens. She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

6 thoughts on “Late summer darlings, the Dahlia…

  1. I love daylillies, roses, cosmos, zinnias, gladiolus and grow lots of all of these, but there is nothing that beats Dahlias. They start in June and finish in November and there are more flowers than you can believe over that time period. The variety and beauty is incredible. I recommend Swans Dahlias or other on line growers as good sources. This year I forced some to grow earlier in the green house and was rewarded by earlier blooms than those from the more established plants left in the ground overwinter.

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