As the second northernmost state in the country, Washington has a pretty long time to go from one dahlia growing season to the next, and when it does roll around, it sure seems to fly by! Well, we have waited and waited (well, that’s not nearly all we did between October and April, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll just say we waited) and the time has finally arrived for us to be able to plant our dahlia tubers at Lynch Creek Farm. Although we do not ship out dahlia tubers to our customers in the northern half of the country until April 15th in order to prevent in-transit premature sprouting and ensure growing success, here at the farm we are able to keep our tubers in a climate-controlled environment so we took the opportunity to do some indoor “pre-planting”.
This pre-planting process involves putting the tubers in planting trays filled with dirt and setting the trays in a temperate, well-ventilated room with bright lighting, essentially simulating a favorable outdoor environment for growing. Although we typically wait until the end of April to do any sort of tuber planting, we decided that we want to get a jump on the season in order to be able to provide our local customers with cut flowers for as much of the summer as possible. Pre-planting large quantities of dahlia tubers has its limitations without the utilization of highly sophisticated and expensive lighting and growing equipment that is usually reserved for growing a different kind of plant that we won’t discuss in our blog (you will have to read Willie Nelson’s blog for that info), so we cannot actually get to the point of producing blooms while growing indoors, but it is a fantastic way to get a jump on the growing season while we are still having to worry about last frost or late snowfall. This is an experimental year for us as far as pre-planting goes but we are encouraged by the results so far!
As beneficial as indoor pre-planting is, we are still increasingly looking forward to getting out in the sunlight and doing real hands-in-the-earth gardening. We are currently amending our soil for proper micronutrient and pH levels, but once that is complete, the real fun begins at the farm. We will keep you updated!Comments