Planting Tips for your Seedlings and Dahlia Cuttings & Tubers

Planting Tips for your Seedlings and Dahlia Cuttings & Tubers

Thank you so much for your purchases from our first ever seedling sale.  This post is dedicated to you to provide you with some tips for planting and caring for your seedlings.  I am going to break it down by plant variety and give some info about each. 
Before we get into each variety though, here are some tips that are applicable to all of the below flowers.  Just want to mention them here, so I'm not repeating myself in every section!  I will also do my best to post videos on instagram throughout the season as these things comes up.  Sometimes it is easier to see things visually then read about it :)

  • All of these flowers are meant to be planted with full sun exposure ie 6-8 hours of sun per day.  South or West facing is generally the way to go here.
  • They are all known as cut and come again flowers!  Which means, the more you cut, the more new blooms you'll get!  How cool is that?  So be sure to cut stems for yourself to enjoy in a vase or deadhead the spent blooms and watch as more blooms will continue to arrive.  Just make sure to cut above one set of leaves so that new growth can form.
  • When planting out (after the risk of frost has passed), dig a small hole and add some compost or organic matter before putting the plant in.  This will give the plants a low-dose boost to help them adjust and get established.  I like to use sheep manure or if available, our own homemade compost. 
  • When the plants are small (and in general), it is best to water at ground level and focus on just getting the soil wet and not the plant itself. 
  • When the plant reaches about 6-8 inches tall, you'll want to pinch off the middle stem to encourage side shoots and way more blooms!  I will definitely post some videos on instagram about this when the time comes.
  • Continue watering regularly throughout the season and adding an organic slow release fertilizer like bone meal which has some nitrogen, but is high in phosphorus.

These are a quintessential flower of the cutting garden and produce beautiful blooms all season long.  
When planting them, make sure to leave around 9 inches of space around it to allow good airflow and ample space for the plant to fill in. 
I find they are one of the first plants to develop downy mildew at the end of the season, so to help delay this, keep the lower stems of the plants clean of any dead or drying leaves!

A personal favourite of mine, I absolutely love how cosmos dance in the wind.  Plants are tall, vigorous and quite productive.  Many growers don't grow cosmos anymore because they say there are "too many blooms" they can't keep up with harvesting them!  I don't know about you, but that sounds like a great problem to have!  
They can get quite bushy and tall when mature, so make sure to leave 12 inches of space around the plant to allow good airflow and ample space for the plant to fill in.
Cosmos do not like too much fertilizer and often thrive on neglect.  If you do want to provide a small dose of fertilizer, make sure it has little to no nitrogen as too high an amount can cause the plants to become grotesque and not produce many blooms.
Variety specific information: Apricotta I find to be slower growing than other cosmos varieties, so be patient and know it'll be well worth the wait!

I absolutely adore these flowers and will always grow them!  Not only are they generally low maintenance and are easy to case for, they are one of the coolest flowers out there.  It's kind of funny to me to call them a flower because they definitely don't look, feel or sound like a traditional flower.  
They love hot, dry summers and can handle days without water. When planting them, make sure to leave around 9 inches of space around it to allow good airflow and ample space for the plant to fill in. 
Unlike the other flowers in this post, strawflowers are somewhat cold hardy and can be planted out a couple weeks before the last frost.
These dry so beautifully, but make sure to wait to harvest them when the stem is firm and the flowers have opened up!

Dahlia Tubers
Dahlias have got to be one of my favourite flowers.  It still amazes me to this day how much beauty comes from those silly starchy looking tuber things.  Dahlias truly are remarkable. I typically just grow ball varieties as they have the best vase life and are the easiest to work with.  Having said that, I will also grow some anemone style and daintier varieties like alpen cherub, to be used in wedding work.
So, dahlias are actually easy to plant out, just have to follow some easy instructions! 
After all risk of frost has passed (dahlias are extremely cold sensitive) and you are ready to plant out, all you'll need is your tuber, a small shovel, some water and compost. 
Dig a hole about 4 inches deep, add a small bit of compost and take your tuber and lay it on its side.  You'll want to make sure the eye (where the growth is coming from) is facing up in the direction it is meant to grow.  Then you cover it up with soil, mark where it is, water it and wait!  It is important that you don't water it until you see growth emerge through the ground, which can take up to 2 weeks.  This will help prevent the tuber from rotting and to give it a good, healthy start.
Once you see a sprout, go ahead and give it and some water and watch this baby grow!  These plants can get quite bushy, so it is important to give them at least 12 inches of space to fill out.  It is also helpful to stake plants when they are young and train the growth habit to be tall and straight.

Dahlia Cuttings
They come from dahlia tubers and I started taking them in February and March.  By the time they are blooming, dahlia cutting plants and dahlia tuber plants will look the same.  So you can follow the same care during the season as mentioned above (ie. 12 inch spacing, staking early in the season etc.).
When planting out, you're going to plan it just like you would a small plant.  Dig a hole, add some compost and water in!  
At the end of the season, you plant will have produced tubers, which can be saved to be used for the following season!  How cool is that?

I hope you found this helpful and informative.  I am excited to see all of the beauty growing in your gardens and would ask that you please share with me whenever you can!  I am also available for questions and coaching :). Happy growing and let's have a great season!


aka Flaura, your friendly neighbourhood flower farmer



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