Soil Types for Dahlia

Soil Types for Dahlia
by John Maiya

Unline many flowers grown for their beauty alone, and thus forgiven for their many faults in other directions, the dahlia, though worthy of inclusion in any list of the world’s loveliest flowers, is peculiarly lacking in temperamental likes or dislikes.

The dahlia will grow well in pra&ically every garden with little attention other than staking and tying. If, in addition, the ground is well tended and a little compost or manure added from time to time, then good results are certain.

The advice which follows is given to help the enthusiast who desires the utmost perfection from his plants, and the average gardener who, though he may grow them under difficulties, still desires to get the best results possible.

In its natural habitat the dahlia grows on a rather light, sandy soil, enriched by leaf mould, with a copious rainfall during its season of growth. Although not a native of the forest, it grows for the main part in open spaces sheltered by trees from the full strength of the wind. Thus it normally receives a great deal of sun, water and rich vegetable mineral elements, and is not subjected to high winds when in flower.

Yet it has been proved without doubt, during the many years that the dahlia has been cultivated in this country, that the majority of the species and garden hybrids will grow well in conditions very different from those of their native country.

It must be stressed that overliming will have equally undesirable results, at least as far as the dahlia is concerned, so that if any doubt is felt, the soil should be analysed. There are several very cheap and reliable outfits available with the aid of which a simple test for calcium content can be made. Remember also that one part of the garden may be nicely balanced, whilst another may he either too acid or alkaline, so that tests should be made throughout the garden.

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