How to store dahlias for the winter
BY JESSICA DAMIANO
7. Plant outdoors around Memorial Day. This would be after the danger of frost has passed. More Gardening 101 : Step-by-step how-tos for a great garden, from Jessica Damiano, Newsday's Garden Detective.
6. Monitor the moisture. If you notice any shriveling, sprinkle a bit of water on the packing material. If you notice any rotting or molding, discard affected tubers and air out the bag and box they were in. Expect to lose one of every 10 tubers stored.
5. Pack the bags into a wood, cardboard or plastic box. Cover it to keep out light. Store at 40 to 45 degrees. Check tubers monthly.
4. Prepare the packing material. Put 4 cups of vermiculite, sphagnum peat moss, wood shavings or sawdust into a gallon-size produce bag. These bags have tiny holes spaced about a half-inch apart to allow for air circulation. Add tubers.
3. Dry them out. Place in a dry basement or outdoors on a screen rack or dry shady spot for a few days to dry. Gently wipe any remaining soil from tubers, and tag them for easy identification in the spring.
2. Remove soil from the root clumps by hand.
1. Cut stems to 4 inches. Then dig up dahlia tubers immediately after the first killing frost (you'll notice the top of the plant turning black).