When Jon first suggested getting dahlias I was against it. I didn’t want the trouble of digging them up each fall and planting them in the spring.
But I’ve come to love our dahlia garden. For the past seven years, I’ve been planting the bulbs in the spring and digging them up in the fall.
Not only does it bring so much beauty to the farm, but they feed the bees and butterflies long after most of the other flowers are gone.
Today was warm and sunny, the perfect for digging dahlias bulbs. I gathered up paper bags and cardboard boxes, got my thick black marker, the shovel, and the wheelbarrow, and opened up the pantry in the basement.
But the basement door leading to the bilco doors was stuck. I couldn’t turn the little knob that releases the bolt. So I took the lock off the door (four easy-to-turn screws) oiled it and put it back on.
It was a short delay and soon I was out in the garden.
About a month ago I tied colored yarn corresponding with the color of the flowers around the dahlia stems. So the pink flowers had pink yarn and the yellow flowers had yellow yarn. It’s hard to tell the colors of the flowers once they are dead and since I don’t dig them up until they’re dead, I’ve found this is a good way to tell them apart.
After I dig up the bulbs, I cut the dead plant off and then separate them all into bags and boxes that I’ve labeled according to the color and kind of flower.
Then I put the bags of dahlias in the pantry in the basement.
Now the dahlia garden has a layer of donkey manure on it and will be ready for the dahlias to be planted again in the spring.
The last thing I do is toss the dead dahlias over the fence for the donkeys and sheep to eat.