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.