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Dahlias - to cut back or not? Im a gardener, and just been to one of my clients. Her dahlias have all finished flowering now and are about 5ft long and straggly, as they do this time of year. So I decided to cut them all back. Now I know the old school would have you pull them up to be put in a sandbox but ive found they always come back year after year so i leave them in. Anyway she has a friend that comes every so often and also does a bit of work in her garden as he doesnt have one. He turned up today as i was worked and told my client that her dahlias would now die as they shouldnt be cut back until febuary to protect them from the frost. Just wondered what some of you folks views on this are?




Answers

 

I find the frost cuts them back and i clear the debris away. i ofetn chck compost on top as a mulch. mine come back year on year. I'd be inclined to ignore him. if you had left them he might have suggested they should be cut down.

25 Nov, 2009

 

lol yes, i think you must know him!
I know the frost will cut them back then ill have a sludgy muck to clear up so i wasnt worried about cutting them back a bit earlier.
Im back there again tomorrow, hopefully he wont visit and i can just get on with it. I think my client was a bit embarassed as she gave me a sheepish look as i left last week.
I dont have any compost that i can use so ill just have to fingers crossed they are ok. Mine always are.
Thanks for your help

25 Nov, 2009

 

any dead fern fronds, they do a neat job too.

25 Nov, 2009

 

thanks for tip but no all she has is the dahlias and gerainums, oh and a couple of great apple trees. I only go for a hour a fortnight. She is the neighbour to another couples garden i do and to be honest i think she just wants to be able to tell folk she has a gardener as i usually am hard pushed to find anything to do! Boring really as i do like to be busy. Her "friend" cuts the lawn so i dont even have to do that! Just a bit of weeding usually and ive done all that already. Ill probably just clear up the rest of the fallen apples and trim back the bottom of the garden area a bit tomorrow then call it done for the year and get ready for 2 months of eating christmas choccies and watch true movie channel under the duvet lol!

25 Nov, 2009

 

I am from the old old school, and I found that I lost a lot more doing the right thing ie cleaning drying dusting with flowers of sulpher than I ever did leaving them in, infact I can not recall loosing any by leaving them in, as long as they carn't get water loged ,then do as SBG said and they will be there in the spring,

25 Nov, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

I wish I worked for her!! lol Sounds cushy! lol

I always wait for the frost to burn mine before I cut them back as I think to myself that they are still growing and not dormant yet, but there again, I'm SURE cutting them down now, even if they are still green, is not going to kill them. Furthermore, I'm absolutely sure that in London the Dahlias will be fine left in teh ground and not mulched at all. I'm in Hereford, whcih is rural and further north and I've got Dahlias that have been in teh ground for 15 years or more, never mulched for winter. Never lost one yet!

Think the guy just wanted to pull rank and show off! Next time you see him reel off a few botanical names, that'll show 'im! lol

25 Nov, 2009

 

thats brill sid. And unless he knows his plants you can even make them up! ha ha.
I'm in east yorks and have only lost 1 in 14 yrs. and that was partly my fault as i disturbed the tubers by doing a little early digging.

25 Nov, 2009

 

thanks Sid, apart from the fact shes in London her garden is very sheltered by other houses and the dahlias are growing next to a six foot wooden fence so im sure they will be fine.
Tis a cushy job i suppose but id rather work hard or at least be busy than have to hunt for some work to do lol!

25 Nov, 2009

 

train fare to east yorkshire?

25 Nov, 2009

 

thanks for your answer too Cliffo - sorry didnt see it just then. Very interesting that you lost more doing it the old school way.
Right off to bed - goodnight all, ill check back for more answers tomorrow xxx

25 Nov, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

No, I'm sure she'd rather come to Herefordshire ;-)

25 Nov, 2009

 

by the way you discribed the place, are you shore it is not a frost trap, frost only dose damage if it can not roll over the garden and away,he might know sumthing you don't, Dawn check that out' you only need the odd hole for it to founal through.and you have won,

25 Nov, 2009

 

good point Cliffo - i will check that thanks

Ill wait for the warmer weather to return then maybe ill visit Herefordshire and Yorkshire lol!

26 Nov, 2009

 

Chester is a nice place, and the work is dun! lol

26 Nov, 2009

 

Somerset's lovely, Dawn! Plenty to do in my garden still. ;-)))

26 Nov, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

;-)

26 Nov, 2009

 

well ive never had so many offers lol!

26 Nov, 2009

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