For most experienced gardeners, the prospect of adding a new crop to the garden is exciting. As a cut flower grower, I often add new plants to the flower cutting field. Browsing online, it’s easy to be blown away by the beautiful images of professional bloggers and growers. When I saw the large rows of dahlia flowers in full bloom on a local farm, I knew I should have grown them alone, but I didn’t know it would be such a challenge.
Failure in the garden. Cultivation of dahlias
Growing Dahlias for the first time has been a learning experience. After being drawn to different dishes, I decided to select ten different types for the garden. When spring came, I planted them after the last frost. I had read a bit, but mostly I thought the plant would be as easy to grow as other common summer flowering bulbs.
In the following months, I encountered one disappointment after another. From insect damage to plants that were completely free of blooms, to say that I was disappointed would be an understatement.
Through research, I have learned that most dahlias will require staking. I devised a plan to use large wooden poles. I put the stakes on the sowing and patiently waited for the tubers to start growing. By the time the weather warmed, over half of the shoots had been eaten by snails. Although snails are not normally a problem in my garden, spring wetter than usual had made my garden their buffet. When the plants grew, I constantly staked and fertilised them as scheduled.
I soon managed to grow 1.8-foot tall plants. The problem? No flowering. As it turned out, I had fertilized my dahlia plants with too much nitrogen. Also, the hot midsummer temperatures in my garden caused stress to the plants. Subsequently, the plants were overcome with beetles and began to show signs of disease. Although the instructions for cultivation had required a sunny location, many people quickly faded when temperatures rose above 90 F. (32 C.).
At the end of the growing season, there were only two dahlia plants left in my garden. Although technically, I had followed all the advice I had found online, it took a complete failure in the garden to realise that the growing dahlias in my southern garden needed extra care and attention to thrive.
As my most recent Dahlia flower plantations continue to grow and flourish abundantly, I am always grateful for learning my lesson the hard way. Get your floral gardening fails, or any other, step by step. While they can be disappointing, they also teach moments that help us improve what we love to do most: gardening.