Dahlia season is on the horizon

Those who walked through Bower Place mall last fall when the Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society were hosting their annual show know what these flowers look like at their best. They are magnificent and easy to grow. Every garden should boast a few. Start with good roots or tubers.

Those who walked through Bower Place mall last fall when the Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society were hosting their annual show know what these flowers look like at their best. They are magnificent and easy to grow. Every garden should boast a few.

Start with good roots or tubers.

These can be purchased in box stores, at greenhouses, garden centres or from the Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society.

The society is holding a sale on Saturday at Bower Place, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They will have a large variety of tubers and corms available, all at a very reasonable price. Members will be on hand to answer all questions concerning the planting and care of these plants.

To ensure that the dahlias bloom early in the season, the tubers are planted and grown as bedding out plants.

Once all danger of frost is past, the plants are hardened off and placed outside in a sunny location.

The Alberta Dahlia and Glad Society has a few suggestions to make the transition outside less stressful on the plants.

Water the plants two days before they are planted outside making sure all the soil in the pot is wet.

Before planting them out, place a 60-inch (1.5-metre) stake into the ground to the depth of 12 inches (30 cm). This will allow the plant to be staked as soon as it is placed in the hole.

Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and sprinkle a small amount of slow release, balanced fertilizer in the bottom of the hole.

Then remove the pot and place the plant in the hole, backfilling it with soil. Be sure to press the soil down firmly around the plant.

Tie the plant loosely to the stake and water thoroughly.

Then do not water for about two weeks. This method of watering forces the plants to develop deep roots, which will support the plant as well and access moisture.

Plants should be placed far enough apart, approximately 24 inches (60 cm) to allow the air to circulate between the plants, decreasing the chances of mildew.

Dahlias need the average amount of care over the summer. Like all plants, they do best with adequate water, fertilizer and should be free of weeds which compete with the plants for moisture and nutrients.

Purchase gladiola corms now but keep them in a cool area until two weeks before they are to be planted out. Members of the society plant their glads when the mayday trees begin to leaf out, end of April to first part of May.

As corms grow well in soft fertile soil, it is best to cultivate deeply by machine or with a fork or shovel. Plant corms that are being planted for cut flowers in a trench that is about 5 inches (12 cm) deep and place the corms root side down. Place corms every six inches (14 cm) and backfill to cover the corms. When sprouts appear, fill in more soil.

If glads are to be added to a flowerbed, dig a hole approximately 12 inches (30 cm) across and five inches (12 cm) deep. Place five to six corms in the hole and backfill.

Before purchasing corms or tubers, inspect them.

Do not purchase or plant ones that contain mould, rot or soft spots. Diseased materials will not grow well and can contaminate healthy plants.

For those that are worried about having to dig the roots in the fall and store them overwinter, they are so inexpensive that they can be treated as an annual.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist who lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com.

Just Posted

Shanna Lydiard is upset to have had mail delivery cut off last month to her West Park street because of water main reconstruction. Delivery is to resume by May 19 at the latest, according to the City of Red Deer. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer woman frustrated by mail delivery suspension due to construction

Shanna Lydiard said residents shouldn’t have to drive across the city for their mail

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Devin Dreeshen received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at Jackson’s Pharmacy in Innisfail. (Devin Creeshen Twitter photo)
COVID-19: Most local MLAs have received their first vaccine shot

Alberta’s NDP is encouraging all MLAs to get vaccinated and publicly promote… Continue reading

Alberta continues to wrestle with high COVID-19 case numbers. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer up to 858 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports additional 1,799 cases of the virus

Bo's Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening.
(Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

The Bowden Institution medium security facility near Bowden has 15 active COVID-19 cases. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)
15 active COVID-19 cases at Bowden prison

Bowden Institution has had 36 positive cases this year with 21 recovered and no deaths

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Ottawa Senators centre Josh Norris, right, celebrates his game-winning overtime goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs with left wing Brady Tkachuk Wednesday May 12, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Norris scored winner, Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3 in Andersen’s return from injury

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, holds up the trophy after beating Daniil Medvedev, of Russia, in the final at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Tennis Canada could move top tournaments to US if Toronto, Montreal plan not approved

Philadelphia Flyers' Travis Sanheim (6) and Brian Elliott (37) celebrate with teammates after the Flyers won an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Monday, May 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

Puck luck? Hockey’s secrecy makes betting on NHL a gamble

FILE - John Davidson, left, president of the New York Rangers, and Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton pose at a news conference in New York, in this Wednesday, May 22, 2019, file photo. The New York Rangers abruptly fired president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 with three games left in the season. Chris Drury was named president and GM. He previously served as associate GM under Davidson and Gorton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

New York Rangers fire coach Dave Quinn, 3 assistants

Denis Shapovalov, of Canada, returns a shot from Ilya Ivashka, of Belarus, during the Miami Open tennis tournament, Saturday, March 27, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Wilfredo Lee
Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

Canadian Denis Shapovalov books meeting with Nadal in third round of Italian Open

United States goalie Alex Cavallini (33) deflects Canada's Marie Philip Poulin (29) shot during the first period in the women's 3-on-3 game, part of the NHL hockey All-Star weekend, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, in St. Louis. Hockey Canada's roster of players invited to try out for the 2022 Olympic women's hockey team indicates the squad will be experienced up front and less so on the back end. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Roberson
Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Hockey Canada announces players invited to try out for women’s Olympic team

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried works against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Hernández 2 HRs as Ryu, Blue Jays improve to 5-0 vs Braves

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jack Campbell (36) makes a save as Maple Leafs defenceman TJ Brodie (78) and Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) look for the rebound during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, May 8, 2021. The Leafs and the Canadiens will meet in the playoffs for the first time in 42 years when the 2020-21 NHL post-season gets underway.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Leafs, Habs will face off in long-awaited playoff rematch, Oilers will face Jets

Most Read