Photos by Rich Gibson
NCDS 2015 Mid-Summer Show, Derwood MD
Junior Grand Champion - Steve Trumpower's bloom of Taratahi Lilac
Show Chairman Alan Fisher and NCDS President Kathleen Hoxie announcing the Court of Honor
2014 NCDS SHOW

Senior Grand Champion Hapet Perfekt by John Spangenberg
Junior Grand Champion Bloomquist Pumpkin by Steve Thomas
3 Bloom of Wyn's Sundazzler by John Spangenberg
Charles closes the deal at Leesburg, VA market.
2014 Philadelphia Show - Longwood Gardens
78th Annual Show Results
2012 Grand Champion-ACAbby

by Nick Weber

Picture by J. Spangenberg
2012 Jr. Grand Champion – Bloomquist Barbara Exhibitor, Nick Weber

Photo by A Fisher
75th Anniversary Show Results
7th Annual Gettysburg Dahlia Society
Show Results
Roseanne Weber and Grace Rissetto

Celebrate the Start of The NCDS's 75th Year
Girl Scout helpers pick their winners after the NCDS Show
Crazy 4 Jessie: Best Single "BB" C and Best "BB" in the 2010 ADS National Show
Views from 2010 Dahlia Shows
Top Row – NCDS Senior Grand Champion Bloom 3 Vicki by Nick Weber, Nick and his winners, NCDS Junior Grand Champion Camano Dreaming by Nick Weber. Middle Row – NCDS Court of Honor, Gettysburg King of Show Kidds Climax by Steve Trumpower, Gettysburg Best Display by Pat Lawrence, Maryland State Fair Grand Champion 3 Taratihi Lilac by Nick Weber and Reserve Grand Champion Stillwater Plum by John Spangenberg. Bottom Row – ADS National Show Best 5B Hilltop St. Charles by Buddy Dean, Jessica from the GPDS Show. Photos by Cheryl Shores, Judy Knight, Cheryl Shores, John Spangenberg, Rich Gibson, Rich Gibson, Rich Gibson, Alan Fisher and Rich Gibson

Nick Weber wins Senior and Junior Grand Championships at NCDS 75th Anniversary Show
2010 Mid-Summer Show
Tom and Yvonne Davis Awarded the

Prestigious "Mark Alger Award"

NATIONAL CAPITAL DAHLIA SOCIETY

75th Annual Show

2010 OTHER Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
Best Challenge Flower Bracken Loreleiohn Spangenberg
Smallest Blue RibbonRivalJohn Spangenberg
Largest Blue RibbonWinkie ColonelDean Thomas
Best Potted Plant Don CJohn Spangenberg
Best Floating Dahlia Red VelvetTeedy Blackwell
2010 SMALL GROWERS BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
OFD
OFSChristie StarletEllen Ash
WLRed VelvetTeedy Blackwell
StLuvKaren Nordahl
PChimacum PumpkinKathleen Hoxie
MBaRobann RoyalEllen Ash
Ba
MRyecroft Dave’s ChoiceEllen Ash
BBC Ryecroft CrystalKaren Nordahl
BBDEarl MinorKaren Nordahl
BCHollyhill Flamingo Ellen Ash
BDPurple JoyKaren Nordahl
2010 SMALL GROWERS BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
ACVickiJudy Knight
ADZufalls GoldRay Myers
AAC
AAD
2010 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
Best Seedling08-009Nick Weber
ADS Seedling Bench Evaluation
Best ContainerJessicaEd Kuhn
3XAlpen Sara

Stillwater Plum

Rival
John Spangenberg
3OFStillwater PlumJohn Spangenberg
OFDValley PorcupineJim & Vilma Thomas
OFS2009-007John Spangenberg
3WLHollyhill TigrisJohn Spangenberg
WLSandia SerenityAlan Fisher
3St
StCamano PetNick Weber
3PMi WongJim & Vilma Thomas
2010 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
PMi WongJim & Vilma Thomas
3MBaBarbarry BingoJim & Vilma Thomas
MBaSir RichardJohn Spangenberg
3BaNarrows KristenJim & Vilma Thomas
BaJessie GDana Miller
3MRock Run MaeEd Mascali
MForbey CrestJohn Spangenberg
3BBCrazy 4 JessieNick Weber
BBCA C CougarJohn Spangenberg
BBDCamano DreamingNick Weber
3BUkraine FreeDean Thomas
2010 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
BCG W Julie’s BNick Weber
BDDikara MoonJohn Spangenberg
3AVickiNick Weber
ACKenora WildfireJim & Vilma Thomas
ADSpartacusDana Miller
3AA
AACBarbara B.Harry Rissetto
AADWinkie ColonelDean Thomas
MCDon CJohn Spangenberg
2010 COURT OF HONOR Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
Best PhotographDahlia 105Bert Shankman
Best Artistic DesignQueen of HeartsKathleen Hoxie
Best Junior 
Best NoviceSpartacusRich Gibson
Best Other Flower EntrySandia SerenityAlan Fisher
Best Ball, Miniature Ball or Pom EntryNarrows KristenJim & Vilma Thomas
Best Miniature EntryDon CJohn Spangenberg
Best Small EntryCamano DreamingNick Weber
Best Medium EntryG W’s Julie BNick Weber
Best Large EntryVickiNick Weber
Best Giant EntryWinkie ColonelDean Thomas
Junior Grand ChampionCamano DreamingNick Weber
Senior Grand ChampionVickiNick Weber
NATIONAL CAPITAL DAHLIA SOCIETY

2010 Mid-Summer Show
Award(s)CultivarExhibitor
Best AA Open

Best AA
ClearviewAlan Fisher
Best A Open

Best A
Aitara MajestyEd Mascali
Best A Small GrowerVickiTeedy Blackwell
Best B Open

Best B

Senior Grand Champion
Madame de RosaAlan Fisher
Best B Small GrowerAlpen BillEllen Ash
Best BB OpenIrene EllenAlan Fisher
Best BB Small GrowerTaratahi LilacEllan Ash
Best 3 BB

Best 3 Bloom in Show

Junior Grand Champion
AC CougarJohn Spangenberg
Best Min Open

Best Min
Hollyhill Bright EyesDon Dramstad
Best MB OpenValley Rust BucketDon Dramstad
Best MB Small Grower

Best MB

Best Ba-MB-Pom
Robann RoyalEllen Ash
Best WLMoray SusanAlan Fisher
Best STIrish PinwheelAlan Fisher
Best OFHeather JeanJohn Spangenberg
Best NoviceAlpen SnowbirdRich Gibson
Best SeedlingBB SC YNick Weber
Despite very poor growing conditions due to prolonged heat and drought followed by heavy rains and wide temperature swings, 13 exhibitors brought a couple hundred entries that included some nice dahlias. The inconsistent weather has generated a high percentage of distorted centers, and many blooms lack normal depth. However, there are signs that the plants are reviving, so we hope to have a glorious end of the season.

74th Annual Show

2009 COURT OF HONOR Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
Best PhotographSandia SerenityKen Briefel
Best Artistic DesignPicnic at the BeachAnnie Radcliff
Best JuniorNo Entry
Best NoviceWeston Spanish DancerMike Spillane
Best Other Flower EntryMoray SusanAlan Fisher
Best Ball, Miniature Ball or Pom EntrySnoho DorisJohn Spangenberg
Best Miniature EntryHapet IdealAlan Fisher
Best Small EntryHamilton LillianMark FitzGerald
Best Medium EntryApril DawnMark FitzGerald
Best Large EntryVassio MeggosTom & Yvonne Davis
Best Giant EntryWinkie ColonelJohn Spangenberg
Junior Grand ChampionHamilton LillianMark FitzGerald
Senior Grand ChampionApril DawnMark FitzGerald
2009 OTHER Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
People’s ChoiceCamano RascalDon Dramstad
Best Challenge FlowerMingus BobbyNick Weber
Smallest Blue RibbonAlpen SaraJohn Spangenberg
Largest Blue RibbonWinkie ColonelJohn Spangenberg
Best Potted PlantCrazy 4 JessieJohn Spangenberg
Best Floating DahliaTaratahi LilacTom & Yvonne Davis
2009 SMALL GROWERS BEST N SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
OFDTeesbrooke RedeyeEllen Ash
OFSLupin ShielaEllen Ash
WLPam HowdenJeanne Edwards
StVerrone’s Sandra J.Charles Miehm
PNo Entry
MBaNo Entry
BaMary’s JomandaMike Nichols
MHollyhill Purely PurpleJudy Knight
BBCHollyhill RenoirEllen Ash
BBDHamilton LillianJudy Knight
BCHollyhill FlamingoCheryl Shores
BDPurple JoyRay Myers
2009 SMALL GROWERS BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
ACWindhaven BlushTeedy Blackwell
ADIslanderJeanne Edwards
AACNo Entry
AADNo Entry
2009 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
Best Seedling09 UndisseminatedMark FitzGerald
ADS Seedling Bench EvaluationHollyhill Cotton CandyJohn Spangenberg
Best ContainerFern IreneJim & Vilma Thomas
3XNo Entry
3OFParkland GlowJohn Spangenberg
OFDValley PorcupineJim & Vilma Thomas
OFSParkland GlowJohn Spangenberg
3WLPam HowdenMark FitzGerald
WLMoray SusanAlan Fisher
3StNo Entry
StVerrone’s Richard BJohn Spangenberg
2009 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
PMark LockwoodJim & Vilma Thomas
3MBaSir RichardJohn Spangenberg
MBaBarbarry BingoJim & Vilma Thomas
3BaSnoho DorisJohn Spangenberg
BaBlyton Softer GleamNick Weber
3MSugartown SunriseMark FitzGerald
MHapet IdealAlan Fisher
3BBHamilton LillianMark FitzGerald
BBCCrazy 4 JessieJohn Spangenberg
BBDHilltop GloMark FitzGerald
3BApril DawnMark FitzGerald
2009 OPEN TO ALL BEST IN SECTION Awards
CategoryVarietyWinner
BCCamano SitkaMark FitzGerald
BDApril DawnMark FitzGerald
3AHollyhill Cotton CandyJohn Spangenberg
ACVickiJ. Dean Thomas
ADVassio MeggosTom & Yvonne Davis
3AAClyde’s ChoiceJ. Dean Thomas
AACClearview SnowcapJohn Spangenberg
AADWinki ColonelJohn Spangenberg
2009 Small Growers Sweepstakes
CategoryWinner
OFS and OFDEllen Ash
WLCharles Miehm
StCharles Miehm
P and MBaNo Entry
BaMike Nichols
MJudy Knight
BBC and BBDEllen Ash
BC and BDRay Myers
AC and ADJeanne Edwards
AAC and AADNo Entry
Super Sweepstakes - Small GrowersEllen Ash
2009 Open To All Sweepstakes
CategoryWinner
OFS, OFD & 3OFJohn Spangenberg
WL & 3WLMark FitzGerald
St & 3StJohn Spangenberg
MBa, P, 3Mba & 3PJim & Vilma Thomas
Ba & 3BaNick Weber
M & 3MJohn Spangenberg
BBC, BBD & 3BBJohn Spangenberg
BC, BD & 3BMark FitzGerald
AC, AD & 3AJohn Spangenberg
AAC, AAD & 3AAJohn Spangenberg
Super Sweepstakes – Open To AllJohn Spangenberg
Award(s)CultivarExhibitor
Best AA Open

Best AA
ClearviewAlan Fisher
Best A Open

Best A
Aitara MajestyEd Mascali
Best A Small GrowerVickiTeedy Blackwell
Best B Open

Best B

Senior Grand Champion
Madame de RosaAlan Fisher
Best B Small GrowerAlpen BillEllen Ash
Best BB OpenIrene EllenAlan Fisher
Best BB Small GrowerTaratahi LilacEllan Ash
Best 3 BB

Best 3 Bloom in Show

Junior Grand Champion
AC CougarJohn Spangenberg
Best Min Open

Best Min
Hollyhill Bright EyesDon Dramstad
Best MB OpenValley Rust BucketDon Dramstad
Best MB Small Grower

Best MB

Best Ba-MB-Pom
Robann RoyalEllen Ash
Best WLMoray SusanAlan Fisher
Best STIrish PinwheelAlan Fisher
Best OFHeather JeanJohn Spangenberg
Best NoviceAlpen SnowbirdRich Gibson
Best SeedlingBB SC YNick Weber
Despite very poor growing conditions due to prolonged heat and drought followed by heavy rains and wide temperature swings, 13 exhibitors brought a couple hundred entries that included some nice dahlias. The inconsistent weather has generated a high percentage of distorted centers, and many blooms lack normal depth. However, there are signs that the plants are reviving, so we hope to have a glorious end of the season.

NCDS 74th Annual Dahlia Show
Grand and Junior Champion MarkFitzgerald
April Dawn and Hamilton Lillian
2009 Dahlia Diary

Dahlia Diary will be a miscellaney of suggestions and observations that will follow the dahlia season on an irregular basis. It will largely focus on the general gardener who has just begun a relationship with our favorite flower.
  • Send dahlia questions to riss@erols.com and our AAD team will publish responses on this page.
March 22 . . . Some Spring questions:
1. Many dahlia growers and texts from England and the Pacific Northwest recommend adding vegetable fertilizers higher in potassium and phosphorus with little to no nitrogen two or three weeks before planting out seedlings or tubers. Is this good advice for this area?

Comment:
There all sorts of theories about fertilization--including planting a fish with each hill. The ADS is sponsoring some serious research about fertilizing dahlias, and it is hoped that those experiments will yield some science-based advice. In a patch where dahlias have been grown there is probably more than enough phosphorous. Potash typically gets added in August to aid stems and color. I spread a general time-release fertilizer with a good nitrogen component (16-6-12) about a week or two before I plant. I do this out of habit rather than science.

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages to started tubers in posts versus ground planting?

Comment: The advantages to starting tubers in pots is to get a head start on your dahlias before the ground is warmed up for outdoor planting. You will also be able to see if a tuber is producing roots before setting out. Lots of tubers send up a shoot and then never produce roots and the plant dies too late to replace in the garden. The disadvantage of starting in pots is the possibility of the plant becoming rootbound in the pot. A rootbound plant will not be able to send out feeder roots and will just grow in a clump. Potting up around April 15th is a good time for this area assuming the soil has warmed to 55 degrees by May 15-20

April 14 . . .Tax day is an propitious time to begin germinating dahlia seed. Give unto Caesar and receive from Mother Nature.

Speaking about Mother Nature, she has also provided some needed moisture in the Washington DC area, but the ground is still cold. Dahlia tubers develop better when the soil is at least 65F. Use a kitchen thermometer about four inches into the soil to determine temperature. Just do not do it when your spouse is around.

April 19 . . . We tiptoed out with two of our kitchen thermometers yesterday and tested the two patches where we grow dahlias. The sunny one registered 70 degrees at 6 inches and shady one 60 degrees. I guess we could start planting tubers on the sunny bed. But why rush the season.

If you have been growing plants indoors expose them to the outside world slowly--or else they may perish from over-exposure. This is called hardening 'em off. Gardeners have a word for everything.

We put seed on wet paper towels on April 16. We used seed from two "seed parents" (the plant from which the seed was gathered.) We checked on Saturday and had 90% germination on one group, and 50% on the other. We carefully lifted the germinated seed from the towels and eased it into cells in a flat filled with fine seedling soil. The garden shops sell a unit that includes a flat, cells and a plastic cover. Growing seedlings is like taking chances in Nature's lottery. The anticipation in August as the plants begin to bloom is exciting--if you are in to this sort of thing.

April 25 We are having a late season this year. I visited Stan Mehr this afternoon. He has a garden shop/cut flower business in McLean Va. He has more than a thousand divisions in large flats behind the shed. There were very few visible eyes or shoots. The tubers and crowns were healthy but the dahlias were still asleep. I think he plans to spray them this evening in the hope that the warm weather (90+F) today and tomorrow will wake them up.

The seedlings are sitting under banks of fluorescent lights, and the seed leaves are greening up. On Sunday we will begin to sort the tubers that are still in plastic bags with vermiculite. In a couple of bags, a division or two have engaged in a break-out, and you can see the white tips of the shoots poking through holes in the bag. Viagra dahlias.

April 28 After three days of hot weather, the rains have returned. If you are growing dahlias as a garden flower, planting time is just around the corner. Remember at least a half-day of sun is a must. In an established bed put in a tomato stake and plant the tuber about two inches from the stake by laying it flat with the shoot or eye pointing up. This avoids impaling the tuber with the stake later in season. In clay soil the tuber is planted about three inches deep; in sandy soil an inch or three deeper. If you care what you are planting, make a tag for the stake or a notation someplace where you can find it. If you are planting in new ground work in some mulch and mix well before planting. Water occasionally if it doesn't rain.

May 6. The warm weather has come and gone. We are now building an ark in Falls Church. Rain for about a week on and off. The dahlia patch is waterlogged. Not a good time to plant dahlias. The clay based soil will compact if you try to work it. The dirt is also waterlogged, and that is not good for the gas transfers that keep the plants growing. My science may be flawed, but experience tells me to wait until the patch dries out some.

June 6. We have been off the air during the past month. It was time for planting dahlias and other family activities. We planted about 135 tubers over the Memorial Day Weekend, and 100 or so first-year seedlings last weekend. And then the rains came. Almost 10 inches over the past two weeks.

Thye new plants and shoots are a slug-buffet. I have heard that beer works. A friend has experimented with a variety of other alcoholic beverages with mixed success. It would have been fun to be a part of that process. I am using a pellet product from the local garden shop. A new application is needed after prolonged rain--the pellets dissolve.

After the plants develop 4 or 5 pairs of leaves, pinch out the growing tip. This will encouage new shoots to develop at the junctures of the leaves and stems. More blooms for the garden or for cutting.

When the plants grow to about 18" it is time to provide some support, so they do not fall over. Using soft garden twine (hemp of the legal kind), loop the twine around the plant, then criss cross the ends and wrap the twine around the stake. The goal is to do so loosely around the plant and tightly around the stake. The stalk of the plant will expand during the season. My mother always bought shirts for me that were loose around the collar--room to grow, she said.

July 3 . . .The weather has een fair and raifall adequate. Our first bloom of the season appeared unexpectedly last week. It was a red and pink orchid floweing seedling. I keep growing this cultivar because itgrow with vigor, has beautiful colors, and good form. It will never win on the show table because the stem is too long. It is a noce garden flower and I shall keep it.

There is a gremlin down at the bottom of my patch. The soil must have soured or sprouted a fungus. I have lost most of my first year seedlings and about a dozen other plants in the adjacent two rows. The plants grew to about 18 inches and then wilted. I have dug up the tubers, and there are sign of roots and the absence of root growth. I expect there was rot in the crown of the tuber when I planted it. As a result, roots have not developed from the tuber or from the juncture of tuber and stem. There is no solution, but I did pour a fungicide solution around the ailing plants. The rest of the patch seems fine-- a classic case of the glass being mostly full.

I have topped and tied and remain on the lookout for red spider. This is the dahlia grower's window for a vacation.

August 2 . . . We're back, and the dahlias have survived. Great blooms of Bryn Terfel and Wanda's Aurora--they are big and flashy. Two of the minature balls (Ms kennedy and CJ Spirit) are closed and deep. This is unusual for our area, which is known for its hot and humid July weather. Blooms with flat petals develop too quickly and the florets (petals) do not cover the centers.

There are some evidence of mites--a red tint to the new foliage. This calls for a miticide on a cooler morning with a dry day in the forecast.

We have tied and groomed about half the plants. Good vertical growth makes tying easy. Rubbery stalks need to corraled with multiple ties. Grooming will be continuous from now to the shows. Remove the side shoots, at least three down from the center bud. This will encourage straight and attractive stems without stumps in the leaf nodes. I remove the excess laterals gradually-- no more than two during a grooming. This will result in larger blooms, if that is what appeals to you. Dahlias have little factories under their skin with tubes that move fluids up and down the plant during the day. Whacking off the laterals disupts the fluid flow and tresses the plant.

August 15 . . .Mother Nature is a fickle gardening partner. A week of 90+ degree weather has fried a lot of blooms and caused others to open and blow their centers on a wham bang basis. This is particularly true for the the decorative forms. Cool weather nurtures the bloom's development. Rank after rank of petals (florets) grow out of its center and slowly move toward the stem resulting in a full deep bloom--the dahlia ideal.

We have had virtually no rain during the first two weeks of the month. Dahlias need an inch of water per week because they are developing blooms and greenery at what seems to be a frantic rate. So take out the trickle hose and let it dibble at the base of the plants. I run soaker hoses for three hours every third day. A time is a good investment.

Cyclamen or broad mites (I do not know which) have infested a number of the plants. The new growth has a red tint and the new foliage begins to roll inward along the edges of the leaf. You can try to wash them off with a hose (be sure to spray the underside of the foliage) or visit a garden shop for a miticide. The mites are persistent critters, and successive generations develop resistance to chemical attack. You will probably be advised to alternate remedies.

A month ago my local dahlia friends were all excited about early blooms of good quality. After the last week most of us have returned to the reality of a hot, dry Washington DC August.

September 5 . . .We have some beautiful dahlia blooms in the garden. We evicted the mites from their vacation homes in the new foliage, and the plants have new growth, along with buds and blooms. This is the summer for yellow dahlias. Vicki, which is pictured on this site, is blooming all over the patch with sunbursts of yellow cover. Spartacus and Vassio Meggos provide contrasting globes of red and lavender-- like planets around the sun. With the cool weather and longer nights, the dahlias will only get better.

September 21 . . . This weekend we visited Hollin Meadows Elementary School near Mount Vernon Virginia. It is a showplace for integrating gardenening into all aspects of elementary education. Our third-grade guide was an expert interpreter of the plants, vegetables and improvised technolgy that managed water collection and irrigation. It is a remarkable project that involves the students in all aspects of their classroom education. The kindergarten section is a "color garden" with an exciting display of bedding dahlias. The intensive integration of gardening into early education is a creative accomplishment by the staff at Hollin Meadows. For more information visit the school's website, http://www.fcps.edu/HollinMeadowsES/.

Our 74th annual dahlia show will be held at Brookside Gardens in Maryland this weekend. It will be spectacular. I visited my patch this afternoon and babied a few emerging blooms that have some possibility. This is the point in the season when Murphy's law is at full throttle. Bugs, wind, rain, sunlight and just plain bad luck all conspire to bring my optimism down to earth. Nevertheless, as the days grow cooler and shorter, the garden grows more lively with beautiful dahlia blooms--maybe a few will make it to Brookside.

September 30. . .Well, we had an amazing dahlia show last weekend at Brookside Gardens. Two large rooms filled with beautiful blooms. We were favored with many entries from our local members and bountiful contributions from the Kuhns, Thomases and Mark Fitzgerald, who entered the Senior and Junior Grand Champions. Many of the visitors were jotting down the names of their favorites. It is great to see such enthusiasm for our flower.

Overall we have had a great growing season, and the dahlias in our gardens have striking colors and forms. The short days of October increase the color, and the cooler weather lets the blooms develop more slowly with rank after rank of florets (petals) in a radial symmetry.

The plants are also turning to sex. More of them will have open centers to make it easier for the bees to deposit pollen. If the weather holds, we will be getting seed pods with next season's progeny. Dahlia seed seldom breeds true to form. It is a great genetic lottery, and the price of a ticket cannot be beat.

October is a great month for dahlias.

October 10 . . . It is overcast today, and drippy from time to time. When our sons were teenagers, we ran out of room in the kitchen and built out an extension for the table. Our genius was to add a picture window that overlooked the dahlia patch. It has given us hundreds of hours of pleasure. From a distance of 30 feet the blooms and garden look great. In today's subdued light the yellows--mostly Vicki--literally glow. They are collecting and reflecting light from somewhere. The stems are lengthening and getting whippy. So the blooms sit at precarious angles to the plants. The shows are over, so it is all color and form. The patch is not too flower-filled (floriferous) because friends have stopped by to cut blooms. But the flowers that have escaped make solo turns against a field of foliage.

October 15. . .We are still hanging in there, although the combination of rain and thin stems are causing the blooms to droop. Many of these new blooms have open centers--all ready for sex. But the cool weather has kept the lascivious bees closer to home. 

October 25 . . .To dig or not to dig that is the question. After frost zaps the patch, you have a choice. Either cut the plants leaving six inches of stem and cover the stem tops with aluminum foil and a rubber band. Make a note with the name of the dahlia and put about six inches of leaves or mulch on the covered stump. If there is not a sustained period of freezing weather, the dahlia is likely to make it through and sprout next year. If it is a no-show, simply replace it.

Alernatively you can dig the clump after you cut the stalk and store it. There are various ways to do this correctly, and and a reliable method is decribed on the Colorado Dahlia Society website: www.dahlias.net

Then again, you can treat the dahlia as annuals and simply cut down the plant.

November 18 . . .It only took one night. Two Fridays ago, on November 6, the temperature dropped to 28 degrees in Falls Church. The following morning, the dahlia foliage cracked at the touch and the plants were frozen in place. Since then the weather has been warmer and we have not even approached freezing temperatures. Nevertheless, one night is enough and the plants are drooping skeletons--rows of floral scarecrows hanging from their stakes.

We have gathered seed for next year's seedlings and it is time to dig. The forecast is fair, so it is time to start. We missed a perfect Sunday already, but just call us slowpokes.

We have begun to receive lists from the commercial dahlia growers. The Internet has sped everything up. If you saw a favorite variety this summer, now is the time to make an order. You can find out who is selling what on www.dahlias.net. Or you can visit the NCDS dahlia sales in the Spring.

December 27 . . .About 60 dahlias clumps are currently snuggled under a receding blanket of snow. After 16 inches over the prior weekend we have had two days of 50degree weather. Perhaps we can start digging again later in the week.

Snowcover is thought to be a great insulator, protecting the ground beneath and clumps below. But in the Washington DC area that is an academic debate because snow covers seldom last for more than a week.

Some years the weather is not consistently cold, and the ground does not freeze to the level of the clumps. The tubers will survive and put up shoots in the the spring. But it is a gamble, so most growers dig the clumps, cut them up and store them over the winter. So we will keep at it as long as the ground can be dug.

NCDS 2008 Show
2008 Midsummer Show

July 2008 in the MATG
Entry AA-1
Entry B-3
Entry BB-11
Entry BB-16
Entry CO-1
Entry MS-1
Entry NO-1
Entry ST-1
Entry Gateshead Angel
A coup has taken place. Vinny is Jefe and Don has been exiled to Montana
First bloom of the season, June 24 -- mignons rule!!!
Photos by Cliff Witt
The ADS-NCDS Mid-Atlantic Trial Garden
Leroy Nordahl's Dahlia Patch
Don "Jefe" Dramstad and Cheryl Shores
Charles Miehm: Stake-driver
Yvonne Davis waiting for compost
Jeanne (Alger) Edwards: "Did my dad plant like this?"
Alison Tobias and Nick Weber: "Move the stakes an inch to the right"
Karen Nordahl: Fixing the tags.
Tom Davis, Don, Cheryl and Harry: Taking a break
John Spangenberg: "There is a hose down here somewhere!"
Yvonne: "Why did I fill the whole thing?"
Judy Knight: "Is that a dahlia?"
Harry: "Perhaps a short prayer will help"
Jeanne, Karen and Don: "Are you sure that's a mignon single?"
"They're not roses, Nick!"
John Spangenberg's high scoring new introduction, " Crazy 4 Jessie"
Vassio Meggos
Wanda's Moonlight

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Falls Church, 22046


Phone: +1 703 2410442 +1 703 2410442

E-mail: riss504@gmail.com

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