Growing Successful Dahlias

WHERE : Dahlias love full sun and a soil that drains well. A spot with at least 8 hours of sunshine is best. Less sun makes leggier plants with fewer blooms. Dahlias do not want wet feet. If you have clay, you can add some sand or peat or steer manure to lighten it; do not use commercial potting soil with added fertilizer, this might burn your dahlia sprouts. Also, if you don't have a spot that drains well in winter, you will want to dig and store your tubers in the fall after the first frost so that they do not soak and rot.

PLANTING : Dig your hole and lay the tuber horizontally 4-6” deep, spacing your dahlias 18” to 24” apart, and then cover with soil. If the soil is very dry, water only enough to get them started. Don't water well until you see the sprouts coming up. Dahlias won't start coming up until the soil is around 60º. If you have slugs or snails you will probably need to put slug bait down – they will eat the sprouts as they emerge. If you are planting taller varieties (3 feet or taller) plan to stake your dahlias before they reach their full height.

WATERING & FERTILIZING : Dahlias like occasional, deep watering so the water can get to the roots 8-10 inches down. A deep watering 3 times a week should be adequate. If your plants need fertilizing, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer (5-10-10, 2-6-8, make sure the first number – the nitrogen – is smaller than the other numbers in the formula.)

Growing Successful Peonies

Select a planting site with 6 hours of sun. Plant bare roots in the fall, if possible. Plant potted plants throughout the growing season. Dig holes 15” deep and 24-36” wide. Crown eyes of the tuber should be no more than 2” below soil surface. Water regularly the first year in the AM. Fertilize when pips emerge and at die back. Use a fertilizer with N lower than P&K. Watch closely for early signs of botrytis.

Hardening Off Seedlings

Take the seedling to a protected outside location each day for 1 week (no direct sunlight or wind). The first day for 1 hour, 2nd day for 2 hours, until you have reached 7 hours on the 7th day. This process should be started when all danger of frost has passed.

Pruning Tips for Trees

When pruning trees, prune out branches that are dead, damaged, diseased, or deranged. Always prune the branch back to a bud, connection with another branch, or the trunk. Never "top" a tree. This is when the top of the tree is cut at random locations to decrease the tree's height. The cut is where new growth will occur and this can create a "lion tail" effect. It can also weaken and kill a tree. Instead, do directional pruning.
Pruning Tips

Topped Tree