Gardening Tips - October
Lifting and Storing Dahlia Tubers by Peter Franks
This is usually the month when the first serious frosts occur and consequently the time to cut down dahlia stems blackened by the frost.
It is usually advisable to leave the roots in the ground for a week or so after the tops have been cut down. The practice of leaving dahlia tubes in the ground over the Winter is not to be recommended and only tubers that are not valued should be experimented with in such a way.
When lifting the roots care must be taken not to injure the crowns and also not to twist the neck of the tubers. After the roots have been lifted all those with hollow stems should be turned upside down for an hour or so to drain off any excess water. When the tubers have been lifted and cleaned the next step is to dry them usually by placing them in a greenhouse with plenty of ventilation.
After the tubers have been cleaned and dried any fibrous roots and damaged tubers should be carefully removed and correct labels fastened to them preferably with thin wire, as it does not rot so easily.
In storing the roots it is essential that they should not become frozen but they should not be stored in a warm place either and not too damp or too dry.
During the Winter the roots should be examined at least once a month and any parts that show signs of rot cut away.