1/3/09

Saturday garden

I grew these dahlia tubers from seed last year. I'm 99% sure the seeds were harlequin mix, which means the flowers will be semi-double with contrasting petals. I'm afraid there could be some combinations of red and yellow. (Unbearable.)

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Until Thursday, the tubers were potted in the same 4" pots I grew them in from seed. I can't remember exactly when I sowed the seed, but at most it was six or seven months ago. Anyhow, this is what the dahlia tuberous roots look like from seed after about six or seven months. (I'm impressed.)

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Later last year I decided that I only want dahlias with dark foliage, so I bought some dark-foliaged 'Bishop's Children' from Park. I got those started today.

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Do you hate me for shopping at Park? I try to buy seeds from different vendors to hedge my bets, as it were. Diversify my portfolio. Reduce my risk.

I've only been gardening for a few years, and already I've had several surprises with completely different plants coming up from seed that should have been something else.

Anyhow, I might turn the harelquin tubers over to CalHort for the annual fundraising sale in March. Or maybe I'll keep them. No plans yet. These USPS priority mail bags are much less bulky than grocery bags for storing tubers and bulbs. And they're free.

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(Not that dahlia tubers need to be lifted and stored. Even in Seattle where it snows, Guy said he left them in the ground and they came through the winter just fine.)

I cleaned up the nursery area and got rid of stuff that's not working out. If a seed hasn't germinated in 4-6 months, I'm usually over it. If I had more room, I might be more patient, but right now space is limited. Currently in stock: Phacelia bolanderi, Collomia grandiflora, Fuchsia boliviana, Fraxinus dipetala, Symphotrichum chilensis, Parochetus communis, Petromarula pinnata. And larkspur--inspired by Annie in Austin.

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I bought a digital thermometer.

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It also stores the lowest and highest temperatures in the last 24-hour period. So far, the low seems to be around 37 deg F and the highs are consistently in the mid-80s. That's both (slightly) colder and (much) warmer than what the weatherman says. What I don't know is for how long the temperature hangs around at those daily lows and highs. Still, it's interesting.

I turned the compost today for the first time in months.

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It's funny the things you find in teh compost bin. A bulb of some kind, with blanched leaves? I potted it up.

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Even without turning, the compost looks pretty good. I'll have to spread some around before the next rains.

The bamboo hasn't stopped weeping since the last rain.

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4 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

I don't hate you for buying at Park Seed. I grew up in little old Greenwood, S.C., where Park is headquartered. We went there frequently to see their display gardens, and I have a lingering fondness for them.

Frances said...

Hi Chuck, I don't hate you for buying there either. I like to spread the wealth. They are not my favorite, but I don't feel bad buying from them. Now Burpee is another story! Dan Hinkley, I won't forget!
Frances

lisa said...

I'm impressed with the tubers you grew from seed, too! I agree that diversifying is a good idea, and to be honest I've seen amazing things happen with seeds from Park...like germinating after 11 years! (My parents always bought from them, I like the gold foil packets they used to use...like Christmas gifts! :)

The Garden Faerie said...

I'm by no means a dahlia expert, but when taking a tour at a local dahlia grower last fall, he said dahlias are only true to form from tuber divisions, not from seed. He said that even seeds from the SAME PLANT could result in different looking flowers on the plants grown from them. I double-checked I'd heard right. So I'm very, very curious what happens with yours!
~Monica