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Everyone knows that perennial dahlias are grown from tubers. This method involves certain troubles associated with digging up and storing rhizomes. In the spring, these tubers must be sorted out, separated, and again buried in the ground. Therefore, many growers prefer to grow annual dahlia varieties. Thus, flowers of different varieties and colors can be planted every year. Most collect the seeds themselves and germinate them in the spring for planting. You can, of course, just sow dahlia seeds directly into the flower garden, but then flowering will begin only at the end of summer. So let's look at how to properly prepare dahlias for seedlings, as well as how the cultivation and care of dahlias from seeds is done. Many are interested in when to plant seedlings, and how to do it correctly. You will see the answers to these questions below.
First you need to know that the cultivation of annual dahlias is divided into the following stages:
- Seed collection.
- Germination of dahlias.
- Seedling care.
- Planting flowers in the ground.
But if this is your first time growing dahlias, it is worth considering which varieties are best suited. For seedlings in 2019, seeds of low-growing dahlias are often bought. Such flowers can even be grown in apartment buildings. It has become very popular to plant dahlias on your balcony. If you have a flower bed, then medium-sized dahlias, which grow no higher than 60-65 centimeters, would be an excellent option. There are also varieties that reach up to one and a half meters in height. In general, the choice is huge, and everyone can pick up dahlias to their liking.
Attention! The lower the dahlia bush, the earlier the flowering will begin. So, if you buy low-growing varieties, then two months after the seeds germinate, you can admire the first flowers.
It is very common to find seed mixtures on the shelves of flower shops. These packages contain seeds of the same dahlia variety, but different colors. Such bright combinations will make your yard colorful and will cheer you up every time. And given that dahlias bloom for a very long time, you can enjoy such beauty even after other flowers in your garden have already wither.
For those who already grow dahlias, it will be easier and more economical to prepare seeds on their own. They are collected from completely dried flowers and stored in paper envelopes until spring. The only drawback of this method is that annual dahlias quickly degenerate, and the seeds may lose their properties over time. So from time to time you will have to change the seed.
The first step is to prepare the soil for sowing seeds. Preparation should begin in the fall. Humus, turf and sand are perfect for this. You can also use peat instead of humus. All components are taken in equal amounts and mixed until smooth. Next, we sow the mixture through a sieve to separate the stones. After that, the soil should be warmed up in the oven and treated with a manganese solution, this will help get rid of diseases and pests. The seeds themselves do not need to be processed.
Attention! You need to start sowing dahlias in the first week of April.
For dahlia seedlings, low boxes with drains for excess liquid are suitable. Half of the container is filled with prepared soil. Before sowing seeds, the soil must be moistened with a sprayer. Then the seeds are sown at a distance of 3 centimeters from each other. The depth of the hole should be no more than 2 centimeters. Immediately after that, the planted seeds are placed in a warm place with good lighting, the air temperature should be around + 25 ° C.
Important! The boxes must be covered with foil before germination.
The first shoots should appear after 5-10 days. Now that the sprouts have sprouted, you need to remove the film from the boxes, and leave them again in a sunny place. In insufficient light, the sprouts will stretch. During this period, it is very important to monitor the humidity level. The soil should not dry out, but at the same time, a large amount of moisture can lead to diseases and destroy the seedlings. It is better to water the dahlia with a spray bottle.
You should start picking after the appearance of three to four leaves. You can move the sprouts into separate disposable cups or other containers convenient for you. They must be filled with soil from the box in which the seedlings grew. A hole must be made at the bottom of the cups so that excess liquid can drain.
Important! Plants cannot be pulled out of the box. You need to carefully dig up the sprout along with the surrounding soil. This will help the seedlings quickly take root in a new place.
Healthy and strong seedlings will transfer planting into the ground much easier, and will also grow well and bloom quickly. For this, it is necessary to provide her with appropriate conditions and care. Probably the most important thing for seedlings is good lighting. With poor sunlight, the sprouts become too thin and stretch out. It is also necessary that the room with the seedlings is well ventilated. But it is important not to overdo it and prevent drafts.
Do not forget about regular watering of seedlings. The soil should not dry out, so you need to constantly monitor the level of moisture. Watering is necessary only as needed, if you see that the soil begins to dry out.
It is advised to feed the seedlings from time to time with special complex fertilizers. The first feeding can be done only two weeks after the pick. The following procedures are performed every seven days.
At the beginning of May, you can start hardening the plants. This is necessary for the seedlings to get used to temperature extremes. For the first time, dahlias are taken out into the street or balcony for five minutes. The time needs to be increased every day.
Advice! If the air has not warmed up to a temperature of +13 ° C, do not rush to quench. Too low temperatures can destroy delicate sprouts.
When to plant dahlias
Planting dahlias outdoors depends on the climate in your area. In the southern regions and the center, seedlings are planted from the third week of May. Then in June the plants will begin to bloom and delight the eyes of others. In the northern regions, the best time will be the second decade of June. The main thing is that the soil is well warmed up. Since every year spring can bring its own surprises, you should not be too focused on any dates. The time when to plant seedlings comes from the moment the frost completely stops.
Advice! If frost unexpectedly returns, it is necessary to cover the dahlias with geotextiles at night.
How to plant dahlias
You should be responsible when choosing a place for planting dahlias. It directly depends on how strong the bushes will be, and how quickly the flowering period will begin. To choose the ideal site, you need to consider the following factors:
- illumination level;
- soil composition;
- soil moisture.
It is important that the territory is spacious, and the seedlings are not crowded with each other. The place should be well lit. Dahlias don't like strong winds and shaded areas. Therefore, it is not advised to plant them near trees. In such conditions, the seedlings will stretch out and will not be able to form buds. As a result, there will be very few flowers and the bushes will look unhealthy. The place for the flower bed should not be deepened so that water does not stagnate there. It is better to plant dahlias on higher ground, this will help protect them from frost. Dahlias grow well in slightly acidic or neutral soil.
Advice! In the fall, after cleaning the flower bed, organic fertilizers such as manure, humus or compost must be added to the soil.
To easily remove the sprout from the glass, you need to pour plenty of water over it. After 2 hours, you can get the seedlings out of the containers and start planting. This method takes a little time, but keeps the root system safe and sound. Due to the injuries received, the plant may not take root in the open field.
The planted seedlings should be at a distance of about 20 centimeters for low-growing varieties. About 50 centimeters are left between medium-sized bushes, and about 70 centimeters between tall plants. As a fertilizer, humus or wood ash can be put in the hole.
The land around the bushes is mulched, this will protect the plants from the cold, and prevent the flower garden from overgrowing with weeds. All these steps will help dahlias grow quickly and start blooming.
Dahlia is considered an unpretentious plant. It has high drought tolerance and does not like too wet soil. Thanks to these features, the dahlia needs to be watered only if necessary, if the soil begins to dry out. Even during the period of the most active growth, watering can be done only once a week. If it rains at this time, then even less often.
Attention! You can water dahlia bushes only in the evening or in the morning.
Top dressing is advised to be carried out every 2 weeks. Before flowering, only organic fertilizers can be applied, for example, mullein infusion. Add 1 liter of mullein to a bucket of water, and water the dahlias. One bush will need 1.5 liters of infusion.
When the plants begin to bloom, you can apply mineral fertilizers. Phosphate and potash fertilizers are best. The solution is prepared according to the instructions. Such feeding is also carried out 2 times a month.
Of course, from time to time the soil needs to be loosened and weeds removed. This routine maintenance promotes good air flow to the root system. If the summer is dry, you can huddle the bushes, then the moisture will last longer.
As we have seen, dahlia seedlings are easy to grow. By completing each step correctly, you will get strong and healthy sprouts. And as you know, good seedlings are already the key to success. We also looked at how to plant seedlings and care for them. Dahlias are one of the few flowers that are undemanding to care for, but bloom very beautifully and profusely. Therefore, many love and gladly plant them in their plots.