Keep your dahlias healthy

Once you have gone to the trouble of designing your flower beds and selecting your lovely flowers, you will naturally wish to give them the best chance of growing into beautiful specimens. However, keeping your dahlias healthy is something that has to start even before you have bought them.

Firstly, make sure that you have properly prepared the ground where you intend to plant your flowers. It goes without saying that the soil should be cleared of weeds and debris. It also helps to dig the ground over and mix some good quality compost in to increase the nutrient levels in the soil. Dahlias do best with a rich, moist soil of pH 6.5 which should also be well drained.

Adding some well rotted manure and wood ashes to the soil before planting is a very effective means of fertilising the soil and helps to keep the pH alkaline as opposed to acidic which will not suit the growth of dahlias. Since these flowers are very showy, it follows that they will require a steady source of nutrients as they grow and bloom. The addition of bone meal to the top soil at an appropriate dosage is essential for good results and a long growing season.

Bear in mind that some dahlias can become very tall and will require a support to protect them from wind damage as well as to support their weight as they grow to keep them straight. Use a mulch to keep weeds at bay.