Plot 51: Dahlia Discovery


You often get gifts left behind from the previous allotment holder. Most of these gifts at the moment, tend to be rogue potato plants that spring up all over the place; presumably odd potatoes missed during last year’s harvest. Another gift I’ve received is an unwanted one: Masses of mint roots buried in my brassica patch where there was a feral mint plant previously. But I did discover a very welcome, and unexpected gift while clearing the plot for my hollyhock nursery.

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Underneath the mass of weeds and rubble I found a huge dahlia tuber, and when I say huge, it was 17 inches long and 10 inches wide (43 x 25 cm). Part of the tuber was eaten by slugs but there was plenty of evidence of growth meaning it could be divided up into five new potential plants and the woody middle discarded.

I’ve only ever grown annual dahlias before, so these ‘proper grown-up’ ones are new to me. I’ve now got two tubers that have been found on the allotment, one that’s doing very well in the ground, and this new find, that I’ve now got 4 tubers from, (I gave one to my neighbour). I haven’t a clue what colour or type of flower they’ll be so it’ll be a surprise.

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I like surprises and these will also come in the guise of several other dahlias, as I’ve been given 4 cuttings by other allotment holders and I’m hoping these will fill out and get going once they’re in the ground and produce some lovely cut flowers for the home.

I’ve already got 3 plants planted out, one being the first discovery (as mentioned above) and the other two are shop bought tubers that had a generic picture on the front but no recommendation of colour or type.

I have also purchased two named varieties and these are now potted up and once large enough will be outside with the others. There was no image on the tubers when I bought them so I’ve had to copy these from the net. But I’m looking forward to these two subtle blooms.

Dahlia

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