Think Spring. Think Dahlias
When Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it’s time to think flowers. Or, in my case, dinner plate dahlias. But to tell to the truth, at Bear Creek Farm all of us are always thinking about dahlias no matter what the date.
Right after the first hard frost this fall, we worked long days digging, washing and storing our dahlia tubers for the winter so that we have them prepped and ready to ship to customers who purchase them now for planting in the spring. Removing the tubers from the ground is a painstaking process, and timing is everything.
First, we let the stems harden and turn brown. This may take a week or two. Then we cut the stems close to the ground. There is an art to the process of knowing just the right moment to dig. Too soon and the tubers have not properly hardened; too late and the tubers begin to rot.
Did I say “dig”? What I really mean is “pry.” The tubers are fragile, so when we dig we must be very careful not to damage them with too much force. Preserving the tubers is our number one goal, and this means that each one is gently eased from the soil manually.
Clean, healthy tubers
After we’ve washed, dried, and sorted the tubers, we cut the tubers into individual pieces. We prefer to do it in the Fall, but it can be done in the Springtime. The “eyes” where the new sprouts will form next year are easiest to see in the Spring but the tubers are harder and less easy to cut at that time. Since we have a lot of experience, we can “see” the future eyes and prefer to get our cutting done before planting time. We store the tubers in the farm’s root cellar until we prepare them for sale or planting the next crop.
Where the tubers spend a quiet, cozy winter.
We are incredibly excited about the upcoming 2016 season. The progenitors of this year’s blooms surpassed our expectations and impressed the most discriminating buyers. Curtis Kunka of Bud’s Floral Wholesalers in Northvale NJ, said that Bear Creek Farm Dahlias were the best he’d seen in 30 years in the business. High praise indeed from an old pro to the new kid on the block! Dana Worlock, of Dana Worlock Designs and owner of the floral boutique Hedgerow in Pound Ridge, New York, noticed that Bear Creek Farm dahlias bring lasting beauty to her designs and arrangements. Our blossoms can last up to two weeks, a very long time for cut flowers.
I hope you’ll be inspired to grow your own Bear Creek Farm dahlias; we have an astonishing variety available for planting this spring. Our specialty is white dinner plate dahlias, but our tubers will produces all colors, sizes, and shapes. Order your favorites now so you won’t have to wait till next year! As a special thank-you for your order of $50 or more, the shipping is on us and you’ll received a bonus tuber.