Summer Care for Dahlias

July 22, 2016

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Keep Dahlias looking their best with a bit of summer care.

Watch for holes in leaves and flowers. Slugs and earwigs are often the culprit. Both pests prefer cool, dark damp conditions and usually feed at night. Trap slugs with shallow cans sunk into the ground and filled with beer. Or use the eco-friendly slug products that have iron phosphate as their active ingredient. This stomach poison kills slugs but won’t harm people, pets, or wildlife including the birds and toads that eat these pests.

Trap earwigs with a piece of crumpled paper placed under a clay pot or with a cardboard cylinder filled with straws. Each morning knock the trapped earwigs into a can of soapy water. Water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist. Use a watering wand, drip irrigation or soaker hoses to avoid wet foliage and reduce the risk of disease.

A bit more information:  Don’t be afraid to pick a few blooms for your indoor enjoyment. The more you cut the more flowers they produce. And don’t worry about taking a few side buds along with the main blossom. These are often weak. So cut a long, about 12 inches, stem and enjoy.