Friday, August 29, 2008

Aside From Black Dahlia

white "cactus-type" dahlia in our garden


I like dahlias. They are generous in giving flowers which last a long time. Even when used as cut flowers, the blooms keep their beauty for a number of days, even weeks (photo below on the right: our bi-colored dahlia). In planting dahlia tubers, one just has to watch out for slugs and snails. These gastropods are voracious eaters of dahlias' young stems and leaves (and other soft-stemmed plants). And if you don’t take precautions, you will end up having no dahlias at all. We usually use ashes in preventing gastropods from eating our marigold, lettuce and dahlia. So far, it's quite effective. Ash is also a good source of potassium, calcium, sodium and phosphorous for plants. But if there are too many gastropods (particularly slugs) in your garden, coupled with a rainy summer, maybe iron phosphate-based anti-slug granules could be a lot of help. One can also trap slugs by putting beer on a shallow cup and leaving it near the plants they eat. They would be attracted to the smell of beer and drown in it in their greediness to drink it *winks*.



With our first try of growing dahlias last year, we weren't able to have many flowers. This year is a little better (hurray! hurray!). But I still think our plants could have given more, especially considering that dahlias have a big potential of giving numerous, long-lasting flowers given the right conditions. Maybe I still need to loosen more our soil --- ours is so compact and we usually add compost to our vegetable and flower plots.


But one thing I’m happy about is that from the flowers last year, I was able to collec
t seeds from the white "cactus-type" dahlia. And when I planted them, some of them grew! *proud smile* In general, the surest way to grow dahlias is to plant tubers (especially for beginners). And I’m really happy that I was able to grow some from the seeds I collected *grins*.

(even the backside of the flowers looks charming. Now, do you understand why I like them a lot? *smiles*)

Well, the plants haven’t given any flowers yet, most probably because they’re trying to grow tubers first. But it’s a start. And I wouldn't feel too bad if by the end of autumn there are no tubers when I try to uproot them (the tubers are cold sensitive and will get rotten if left planted during winter months). After all, it’s just a try and I got them for free. I’m still trying to see if I can get some seeds from the bi-colored dahlia we have. But so far, I haven’t seen any from the wilted ones (maybe it’s still to early for them to form). Well, I guess I just have to wait and see *hopeful grin*.

8 comments:

Selerines said...

Superb ones... Thanks for it.. I will keep it as my desktop background photo.....

Wendy Lopez-Redaon said...

they're so lovely!

Hi lareine =) I was so happy seeing you in my blog this morning. I missed your garden!!

Wendy Lopez-Redaon said...

Hi Lareine,

I have an award for your beautiful blog. see it here...

http://wenlopred.blogspot.com/2008/09/i-love-your-blog-award.html

lareine said...

to selerines: if you like, i can send you a bigger size copy... i always compress/reduce the size of the photos here for easy downloading... but it's really flattering that you thought of using my photos as your wallpaper... you make my heart sing :)...

to wendy: yep, it's been a while... i've been busy and we went for a short vacation... i'm also happy to know aside from your allergy, your pregnancy is going on well...

thanks for the tag... i'll post it soon :)...

Darla said...

I enjoy Dahlias too. Nice photos.

lareine said...

darla, thanks... dahials are quite "photogenic" so i didn't have ahard time showing off their beauty...

lisaschaos said...

Those are all so pretty! Love them!

I'm added you to my blogroll too. :)

lareine said...

lisaschaos, thanks for the visit and the link... hope your planned EB will push through... too bad, i'm too far to join *sigh*...

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