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Wynne's Dahlias

We Grow Dahlia's Big!

Photo Albums

Dahlia Care & Cultivation Dahlia Care & Cultivation Seed Pod Stage 1 The bloom goes to center & the pollen shows 17147704 Seed Pod Stage 2 Carefully remove the back petals so they don't rot the pod. Leave at least one row of petals so that the pod doesn't close up too soon. 17147685 Seed Pod Stage 3 This one shows the seed pod after it has closed up-- hopefully full of nice big AA dahlia seeds! You also want to remove the few dry petals that are left on the face of the pod so they don't rot the pod. Then you let it dry on the plant until it's brown, cut it & dry it further upside-down in a warm, dry place. 17147703 Seed Pods drying It was a bumper year for seed in Western Washington- long, hot, dry summer. Walt can put all 62 acres into dahlias with this lot- & this is just the start. This is Bob Simon's greenhouse- hoping the good karma rubs off & produces LOTS of AA's! 16673059 Seed pods drying 2 Seeds pods are bundled & tagged with the name of the seed parent dahlia the pods came from. The pods are cut to 12" long, tied in a bundle & hung upside in the greenhouse to dry. 16673060 More Seed pods drying 16673069 Seeds from 99 20 A SC O 16673081 Seeds from Scorpion Seeds from Scorpion 02 over 500 seeds from one pod. 16673070 Walt picking dahlia seeds Picking the seeds from the pod is done by removing the pod head & lightly squeezing & picking to remove the seeds from the pod. 16673082 Individual Seed Envelope All seeds from each seed parent go into an individual envelope labeled with all the information regarding the seed parent, number of seeds etc. Each envelope is placed in the seed storage tin for that year. 17083290 Seed planting March 2003 Cory plants the seeds in flats in about 3" of good sterile soil the last week of March. We use Miracle Grow soil from Costco. It's a nice soil that is very fine & doesn't have a lot of sticks & junk in it. It also has a water retention fiber in it & a bit of fertilizer that will come in handy when the babies are bigger! 16673071 Seedlings covered with soil The seeds are then covered with about 1/4" of soil. Pat the soil down lightly. If it's dry I give it a sprinkle of warm water. Each section is labeled as to the mother- the dad goes in the record book along with the mother. 16673083 The Seeds in the Greenhouse The flats are put in the greenhouse on heat mats. Five flats fit on one mat. We have 3 heating mats - Cory plants 6 full flats that, when re-potted will fill all 4 mats. They are given a spray with Safer's Fungicide about every other day to prevent any rot from starting. 35648966 Flats The flats that the seedlings will be transplanted into come with 32 deep, ridged cells. The ridges keep the roots growing down instead of around the pot- they don't get root-bound. 126185342 Flats The cells have a hole in the bottom- Walt has a dowel the same size as the hole so he can push the seedling up & out of the cell before planting out in the garden. 126185651 Flats Walt cuts the flats into sections - 4 with 6 cells & 2 with 4 cells. They are much easier to handle when the plants get tall. 126185649 Seedlings The seedlings are getting big enough to transplant into the cells 126185343 Seedlings More seedling babies- we had 657 in 2011. 126185344 Seedlings Cory takes the seedlings out of the bed & puts them in a bath of warm water with Vit. B1 anti-shock treatment in it. Sometimes the seedlings are really thick in the bed. This bath helps separate them without breaking any roots or stems off. 126185345 Seedlings Seedlings in the warm Vit. B1 bath 126185347 Seedlings One section of seedlings has been transplanted- about 537 to go! 126185346 Seedlings The seedlings are in the cells, watered once again with the Vit. B1 solution & ready to go on the heating pad.. Everything is labeled with the mother seed parent & records are kept on the computer of the father seed parent-- we have to have a few secrets! 126185348 Seedlings About 10 days later the seedlings have grown a lot- didn't lose any this year! 126185652 Seedlings The seedlings are sharing the greenhouse with the tubers that Walt started early. 126185653 Twenty Yards of Manure Meanwhile, out in the gardens, Walt has rototilled all the gardens with the tiller on the back of the tractor. Twenty yards of composted manure solids are put on the gardens. Walt used to do this with a wheelbarrow & shovel until he found out a farmer will haul it in his spreader truck. Walt says he got so tired just thinking about how much work it used to be that he had to go inside & have a rest! 35648969 Spreading the Manure Solids Nice, rich stuff coming out the back of that truck! 35648970 Prep in the Big Garden The Manure solids are tilled under. 35648973 Getting the Big Garden ready After tilling the manure solids under, Walt has put in some of the posts & strung twine so he can get the rows straight 35648972 The Long Garden The Long Garden gets show dahlias in the first section- each at it's own post. In front of the show dahlias are 4 rows of the current year's seedinngs. Farther out are last year's seedlings & then Cory's few little ones way out there away from everything else! 35648971 The Big Garden--The Rows are In Walt now has all the posts in the big garden. The cross bars are for holding the twine that keeps the plants up. 35648974 Furrows Walt digs fullows about 6-8" deep down the rows. 35648975 Peat Dirt in the Furrows Walt puts nice river-bottom peat dirt from the bottom of the farm in the furrows. The peat is rich & makes the color of our dahlias deeper. 35648977 Fertilizer inthe Furrows Next Walt puts 10-20-20 fertilizer in the furrows. This is the kind of fertilizer the farmers use on crops- no fancy designer fertilizer for our dahlia crop! 35648978 Mix Well! The peat, fertilizer & soil are mixed well so no fertilizer is left uncovered. You don't want the fertilizer touching the tubers. Mixed in well it gives the feeder roots something to grow for. 35648999 Planting the seedling tubers The seedling tubers in the rows are planted a foot apart. 42925591 Walt getting ready to plant seedlings The seedlings have been in the regular greenhouse about a month now & have spent the last 2 weeks being hardened off- outside in the daytime & inside at night. This is only 1/2 of them! May 23 16673068 Starting to plant Seedlings May 23. The first of the seedlings being planted- only about 635 to go! Each seedling is planted with a label & the amount of plants per seed parent. The sections are marked with labeled tags. Survey tape is a handy little item to use as tagging material. At this point Walt is wondering why he does this!! 16674215 Posts David's newest invention -- instead of 2 posts side by side to tie the twine to, we now have these nifty posts with cross bars with holes for the twine. We use Christmas Tree twine as it doesn't stretch when wet. Get it at your local farm supply store. 16674216 More Posts & Seedlings The shafts are scrap metal & FREE! The posts are ones we already used - now we only need half as many posts! 16674190 Seedlings are growing! June 22 June 22- the seedling babies are growing! 16674191 More seedlings & posts! 16674217 Big Garden & Mt. Baker in Spring Part of the Big Garden in June. Seedlings are looking good. 42925589 Part of the Big Garden in Spring Two sections of the Big Garden- Some 03 Seedlings & 2009 Seedling baby plants. 42925590 Weed Control The weed control on Wynne Farm consists of Walt, his hoe & the rototiller that he modified so the tines don't catch the dahlias as he goes down the rows! 42925587 Weed Control When the plants get big the weed control reverts to just Walt & the hoe! 42925588 Seedlings a month later 7/15 A month later, see how the seedlings have grown! 16674218 Seedlings 3 weeks later 7/24 These are 3 weeks after the last picture. They have lots of buds & some are blooming! 16674189 The Big Garden in bloom Those are the little guys that were seeds in March! 16674362 The dahlias are ready to dig! Dahlia plants that have been frosted & are being held up by the string. 17086343 Cutting the string Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the string that holds the row of stalks up. 17086325 Recycle the string The string is rolled up, tied & then taken to the recycle yard. 17086326 Loosening the dirt around the tubers Use a pitchfork to loosen the dirt down each side of the dahlia tuber so it can be removed from the ground without breaking tubers. 17086328 Cutting the stalks down Walt cuts the stalks off far enough above the ground so that he can use the stalk for a handle when digging the dahlias & removing the dirt with a pitchfork. 17086327 Digging In Place the pitchfork under the tuber & lift from the ground carefully so tubers are not broken. 17086344 Use the stalk as a handle Use the stalk as a handle as you free the dahlia tubers from the dirt. 17086329 Moving the cut stalks to center of row After the tubers are removed the cut stalks are raked to the center of the dahlia row so they will be easy to rototill. 17086331 Remove excess dirt from tuber Use the side of the pitchfork & knock the excess dirt from the tubers before placing in the bin. 17086345 Load up the wagon Each individual tray is placed in the wagon & headed to the washing station. 17086332 Individual Bins Each variety of tuber is placed in it's own bin so they don't get mixed up. 17086346 Field of Stalks ready for rototilling This is a pic of part of the garden that has been dug & the stalks are ready for rototilling. 17086347 Washing the tubers Wash each tuber clump of any excess dirt, mud or anything else. 17086348 Nice Clean Tubers! If the tubers are nice & clean, it will be easier to separate the tubers with your clippers & your clippers will not be needing sharpening as much. 17086334 Washing Station Keeping the tuber varieties separate, dump each bin out on the ground. 17086333 The Tools Scissors for cutting off the feeler roots, Small clippers for separating the tubers & large clippers for cutting off the stalk or cutting thru a very dense clump of tubers. 17086349 Cutting off the stalk Cut off most of the rest of the stalk- leaving about 1/4-1/2" where the eyes will be in spring.. 17086335 Dividing the tubers Use small clippers to cut the tubers apart. Leave the part of the stalk where the tuber attaches to it - that's where the eyes will be in the spring 17086337 Cut out the mother tuber Clip out the mother tuber & throw away, or if it's still in good enough health you can keep it. 17086336 Cutting the feeler roots Use scissors to trim the tubers of any feeler roots or excess "stringy" things hanging off the tuber. Get rid of any tubers that have broken necks. 17086338 Labeling your tubers Make sure your labels are kept with the right tubers so everything is cataloged correctly. 17086350 Dividing the tubers 2 You will cut the tubers into individual tubers or small clumps of two or three tubers. 17086351 Attaching labels Be sure to attach your labels securely so they don't fall off during the winter & leave you wondering which tuber is in there!! 17086353 Label Information We put the name of the tuber, description & any other information or notes that we use to catalog the tuber. We also put the tuber count on the label. 17086354 Walt's Operating Room Walt has the end of our garage made into his "operating room" where the tubers are divided, labeled & put into storage containers. 17086355 Tuber ready for storage This is a tuber that has been separated, cleaned of feeler roots & is ready for storage. 17086339 Label your storage container Take your information from your tuber label & transfer it to your storage container. 17086352 Dahlia Processing Center The downstairs cold room where we process the tubers & store them for the winter. It is kept at around 40-45 degrees F all winter. 17086340 Adding Vermiculite To store your tubers & make sure they don't shrivel or rot you should place them in Vermiculite within 3 or 4 days after dividing them. Add a little Vermiculite to the bottom of the container, place the tubers in the container & then fill the container the rest of the way with Vermiculite. 17086357 Possible 2009 Introductions These are bins of tubers that we will be reviewing & choosing our 2009 introductions. 17086356 Dahlia Crates All individual pots of tubers are placed in crates that are labeled with the names of all tubers that are inside the crate. 17086490 Cory labeling & Walt trimming Cory got the job of labeling the pots for Nat's tubers while Walt is cutting up the clumps. The pots on the shelf in the background are all new 2008 Wynne Seedling Babies. 17099513 Natalie & Walt at work on Natalie's dahlias Even Nat's dahlias get the Wynne's cold room treatment. Here Nat trims off the feeder roots while Walt gets ready to lop off a stalk. 17099610 Seeding the Cover Crop After all the dahlias are dug, Walt seeds all the gardens with Winter Rye as a cover crop. It keeps the weeds down & will grow all winter In March he will rototill it under to provide nutrients for the dahlias in summer. 35648967 Packing the Gardens. After the Winter Rye is all planted Walt packs the gardens with the tractor & large roller. 35648968 Spring 2011 Another year- another 20 yd. load of fertile mulch on the dahlia gardens 122919002 Spring 2011 Sure beats using a wheelbarrow! 122919003 Cuttings in Sand & Water Small plastic cups- cut a slit or two in the bottom 126182648 Cuttings I do cuttings in sand and water- the sand is the kind you can buy at the lumber store to put in kid's sandboxes. After cutting the slits in the bottom of the cup, fill it with sand and put it on a tray of water so the sand soaks up the water. 126182647 Cuttings Start your tubers that you want to do cuttings from in Feb. in the greenhouse. Take the cutting when it is about 3" tall- 2 or 3 sets of leaves. Leave about 1/8" of stem below the first set of leaves. Take off the first set of leaves. Dip the stem in rooting hormone to above the nodule where you took off the leaves. Poke a hole in the wet sand & put the cutting in the hole. Gently firm the sand up around the cutting. 126182949 Cuttings Be sure to keep sufficient water in the tray so that the sand never gets dry. In about 2 weeks the cutting will have roots & you can then pot it up in a 4" pot to grow until planting out in spring. 126182950