A common question we are asked by visitors to our new cutting garden is
‘Do you save your dahlias?’
The answer is ‘Yes, we certainly do!’
Here is the method we prefer to use at Linden Hill Gardens.
For dahlias, the opportune time to dig the plants up is after we have experienced several frosts. Wait until the leaves are black and the foliage has died back. Cut back the stems to about 3″ ( it is great to tie an id tag around the stem).
Jessica’s Tip: Use a digging fork to uproot the dahlias, so as not to slice the tubers.
Shake and rinse off the excess dirt from the tubers. You can either divide the clumps now, or wait until spring. Let the tubers dry in an area above freezing for 4-5 days. It is very important to make sure that the tubers are dry when going into storage.
We have had great success with lining bulb crates with burlap and packing the tubers in peat moss. You can also use cardboard or wooden boxes.
You will want to keep your stored dahlias in a dark place that will not freeze like a garage or basement, ideally between 40-50 degrees. Check them once a month if you feel or see they are shriveling, spray them with some water. From our experience, we did not find watering them to be necessary.
You can then plant your dahlias again in spring after the frost date has past.
Spanish Mission Fig Care
Another tender plant we overwinter here at Linden Hill is the fig. We are crazy about these edibles, and it is very simple to save the plants over winter. Like with the dahlia process, allow the figs to go through a few hard frosts and lose all of their leaves. Then put them into an indoor area that will not freeze. (We place them in the same barn room as the dahlias).
Gardening Tip from Jessica:
Fallen leaves are great nutrition for your garden! Instead of putting them on the curb or burning them in the yard (gasp!), take advantage of the benefits they can provide to the garden. Optimally you should shred your leaves using a lawn mower with a bag attachment, as they will stay in place and decompose faster, but if you do not have a bag, simply use them as is. Pile the leaves in an out-of-the-way space, in an area unlikely to attract critters, and create a batch of nutrient-rich soil ready to add to your planting beds next year. Alternatively, use the leaves as a natural mulch for your vegetable garden or perennial beds. I have many locust trees at home, and luckily the leaves are tiny enough that they do not need to be shredded and they compost extremely fast, so just letting them lay in the garden works perfectly. Please be advised however, we do not recommend using black walnut leaves! The natural toxins in the will damage or kill plants.
Good Luck! Please do not hesitant to bundle up and come in to see me at
Linden Hill Gardens anytime to ask questions or to see our process. –Jessica
We are open Wednesday through Sunday 10am – 4 pm
Save the Date for the Ottsville Holiday Festival December 6th & 7th