I was 50 before I discovered dahlias. Part of it was about being a flower snob. Dahlias (like glads) were “out” for many years.
But I’m sorry to say that it’s also about climate change. Though my garden hasn’t moved, our hard frosts now come about four weeks later than they did 20 years ago. For dahlias this makes all the difference, because they really hit their stride in late August and continue right through into early October.
A week or two ago, with a hard frost in the forecast, I asked my nephew to come over and help me dig out the dahlia tubers and get them into the basement. You can get by doing this after a frost or two, but I dislike handling that mushy, post-frost foliage.
Storing the tubers in a cool basement is easy. Here’s how you dig them out:
Director of Gardening, Gardener’s Supply