Dahlia Routine Pest Control

Dahlia Routine Pest Control
by Matthew Joy

It is essential to order early, to order carefully, to stipulate the time at which the plants are required, and, most important of all, to state whether substitutes may be sent. Make your choice of varieties by visiting other people’s gardens, nurseries, public parks and the shows, particularly the National Show if this is at all possible; do not order on catalogue description alone if this can be avoided. The grower is in business and whilst he may give value for money one cannot blame him for describing all the varieties he offers in glowing terms. It is up to you to get what you want!

The beds used should he carefully prepared by digging in plenty of peat or leaf mould, sand and by adding either John Innes base fertiliser at about 2 or 3 ounces a square yard or a good general fertiliser plus bone meal. It is probable that the earliest flowers of all can be obtained by this method so that it is particularly suitable for the more northerly parts of the British Islands.

Slugs may also be troublesome, even in the greenhouse, and almost certainly in the frame, but slug bait used regularly will eliminate these very quickly. But act at once as soon as damage is seen. It is even better to assume that slugs are present and to proceed accordingly.

Besides ordering directly from the nurseryman it is often possible to purchase nicely grown plants from florists in all the big cities; these are usually from excellent nurseries and often represent good value.

But do be careful; the emphasis now is early flowering and strong stems, that is stems that will hold the flowers well above the foliage.

The lights should be replaced at night, though some ventilation should be allowed unless frost seems likely, until about a week before planting time when the lights may be left off at night also, subject of course to the weather conditions being suitable, as it obviously is unwise to do this in very cold blustery weather.

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