Gardening: | Spokesman-Review

Gardening: |  Spokesman-Review

Standing in the colorful and lively dahlia display garden at Rosarium Garden Center certainly proves that dahlias are the queens of the fall garden.

Dahlias in shades of red, crimson, pink, yellow, white, purple and their combinations surrounded Carol Newcomb and me as we discussed the different types of flowers. Some grow as small 2-foot plants, others grow as giant 6-foot plants. Its flowers can be tight structured balls or wild mops of long petals. Any way they come; They are the best heralds of the end of the growing season.

Our walk and talk that day was in preparation for the 2nd Annual Dahlia Festival which the Rose Garden will be hosting from 9am-6pm on Saturday with free admission. Newcomb gathered 12 local dahlia and flower growers to display their end-of-summer crops and provide a colorful end to the flower season. The farmers will sell their flowers and take orders for dahlia tubers. A farmer will have a selection of plants used to produce dyes. There will be several speakers and classes offered as part of the festival, as well as live music and food trucks. Rosarium is located at 9405 Williams Lane between Cheney and Spokane.

If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow dahlias. Like tomatoes, tubers are planted after the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed. Dahlias can be large plants, so it is important to place a stake or tomato cage around them to tie them down later in the summer. Limiting the stake at planting prevents damage to developing tubers in late summer. Dahlias need full sun and even irrigation but are fairly drought tolerant. When buds appear, thin out two of the three that appear on the stem to encourage the growth of a larger flower. When the first frost hits, it's time to dig and divide the tubers. Gently dig the clumps and divide them so that each new section has growing eyes. The tubers should be stored in a frost-free place for the winter. While this is a brief description of growing dahlia plants, speakers from the Spokane Dahlia Society and Tall Grass Farms will have more detailed information on caring for and dividing dahlia plants while allowing plenty of time for questions.

Along with talks about dahlias, Susan Mulvihill, author of “The Vegetable Garden Pest Guide” and a columnist for the Spokesman-Review, will talk about organic control of insect pests in the flower garden. Amanda Thiessen, of Sunset Highway Farm, will talk about the use of medicinal herbs. There will be lessons on making dahlia bouquets, pumpkin gardens and designing three bud vases. You must register for classes.

Other vendors will offer opportunities to make flower crowns, sugar scrubs, a dye garden tour, jewelry, soap, skin care, clothing, and fine and metal art, all garden-themed. Tall Grass Farms will be taking orders for dahlia tubers and the Rosarium will have locally grown, special-rooted roses available.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply