Growing & showing dahlias

Following the amazing dahlias at the Society’s big show in August our next talk was all about dahlias

Following the amazing dahlias at the Society’s big show in August our speaker this week was Irene Woods Secretary and president, from the Norfolk Dahlia Society talking about growing and showing dahlias.

Irene started by advising on how to store dahlias after lifting from the ground. They should be left upside down for a few days in order to drain out all the excess water otherwise they will rot. She then places them inside a greenhouse and covers with hessian sacks but they can be placed in boxes in a frost free place labelled and covered with old compost. About January time they are placed on a propagating bench with heated cables. on sand to start them into growing. Shoots are taken as cuttings which are dipped in rooting gel with the bottom leaves removed and put in pots of 3/4 compost/ 1/4 grit.When they have developed roots they are potted on into 3” pots moving up a pot size as they grow. They are planted out after all danger of frost has passed into soil enriched with compost or manure as dahlias are very greedy feeders. So all show plants are grown from cuttings not the tubers , this is in order to keep the plant with a minimum of 6 shoots. All side shoots are nipped out so growth is concentrated into the main flowering bud.

The judging of dahlias apart from their perfect blooms is classified by their size, fitting into measuring rings, so a miniature would fit into a small ring etc although a miniature doesn’t look like we would expect it to being much larger. In order to transport dahlias to a show they are supported by canes firmly tied to the stem and individually put into closely packed lemonade bottles.

At the show they are then arranged according to the Schedule making them look as attractive as possible. After the local shows the dahlias are given to the public for a small donation towards the society.

Irene went on to show us some of the wonderful dahlias with beautiful colours. She doesn’t like pom poms as the sepals have to be removed in order for the petals to meet round the back a very time consuming business.

A very informative evening enjoyed by all .

PHOTO BY: Evgeniya Borovska (Unsplash)
Gardening Club in Lowestoft

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Allotment Sharing

One of our members has 2 large allotments at St Margaret Road site in Lowestoft which he shared with his late mother and her partner. He has tried to keep them going but is finding it difficult on his own. He finds gardening very therapeutic and having suffered from cancer himself he wondered if other members who have had similar experiences could join him on his allotments where they could share experiences and socialise together. Without a team to help him he will have to give up the allotments but feels it would be beneficial to all concerned to work together. For more information please complete the contact form.

Changes to membership fees

It has been agreed by both the members and the committee that the membership fee will increase to £10 per annum, In order to get good speakers we need to increase our income, speakers costs have also increased as have their travelling costs. The entrance fee will remain at £1.00 with first time guest free of charge.