Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dahlia Tubers Offer Promise of Summer

Ryan LeDoux bags dahlia tubers for retail sale
It may be viciously wintry outdoors, but inside the Lynch Creek Farm warehouse, thousands of fat dahlia tubers nestle in beds of shavings, full of the promise of luscious blossoms to come.

This year, the tubers were dug earlier than usual, in October, to avoid loss to damage from the Pacific Northwest’s la Niña winter. Everything that will be available this year is available for order now, according to Lynch Creek’s Andy Hunter and Nathanael Hartman. Shipping will begin March 1 to the warmest states, Hawaii, Florida and California; shipping to the rest of the deep south will begin March 15. “We’ll continue adding regions by temperature zones,” said Hartman, confirming that daily shipping to all areas of the country will be underway by April 15. But dahlia lovers don’t have to wait for their shipping dates to place their orders, and it’s a good idea to order early to make sure your favorite dahlias aren’t sold out.

Lynch Creek Farm’s colorful booth at the Olympia Farmers Market will open with a full complement of packaged tubers at the beginning of April. The dahlia fields above Oyster Bay are resting now, but planting will start when the soil warms. Harvesting tubers is only the beginning for the dahlias that will flourish in growers’ gardens across the country. During the winter, the folks at Lynch Creek sort, catalogue, and grade the tubers for size and quality, then keep them in dry, cool storage. Right now the warehouse is bustling with activity as the tubers are packaged for retail.

When we’re shivering in the cold or slogging our way through the rain, the prospect of summer’s glowing dahlia blossoms is a hopeful, joyful thought.

5 comments:

SAM71 said...

Hi Lynch Creek.. I must say your on line store front is very appealing. I am happy to have easily found my way to your blog! As an Alaskan resident..this time of year I start to go stir crazy and the temptation of dahlias haunts me! I can hardly wait to go outside and start moving snow around..urging the ground to thaw *that* much sooner. I was wondering if you can help me identify a Dahlia that I grew two summers ago? I picked it up at a local nursery and have not been able to find it since and cannot locate it on line either? I will happily email photos if you think you can help.. Thanks!

Carolyn said...

Hello, SAM71! Thanks for your comments. What part of Alaska are you in? We'd be interested in hearing how dahlias respond to your long summer days, and when it's safe for you to plant. Go ahead and send your dahlia photo, and we'll see if any of us can identify it.

SAM71 said...

Thank you Carolyn. I live in Anchorage. I planted new tubers in pots last year on March 17th. I began hardening them off at the end of April/ 1st of May and moved them outdoors and pot them in the ground on May 17th. They LOVE the long days and put on a beautiful show. I had to cut them back and put them in pots for winter during the third week of September. They are now dormant and waiting for spring..just like me! Which email shall I send my dahlia pic to? Thanks again!

Carolyn said...

This is great information for us, as well as for your fellow Alaskans. Happy growing. Send your dahlia photo to staff@lynchcreekfarm.com and we'll see what we can find.
In fact, if you have photos of your dahlia garden in bloom, and are willing, why not send them along and we'll post one along with your comments (not everyone opens up these comment boxes) to encourage other northern gardeners. Thanks!

SAM71 said...

Awesome Carolyn! Thank you! How welcoming you are.

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