Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

Discuss your tips, tricks and experiences growing and selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, plants and herbs.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 13, 2018   #16
bower
Tomatovillian™
 
bower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Posts: 5,606
Default

They sure do look great. Will be watching with interest to see how the economics work out for you. And to see the flowers of course... natch!!!
bower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 16, 2018   #17
Heritage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,262
Default

PH,

You're doing a great job! What varieties of Karma Dahlias are you growing?

A few questions/things to consider:

Are you planning on disbudding and selling stems without side growth or are you selling stems with lateral growth and buds in addition to the terminal flower? Your plants are very consistent in size and, since you topped them all at the same time, you might get a huge flush of flowers all at about the same time and make marketing more of a challenge. You want to aim for a consistent supply throughout the season. Maybe experiment with a few plants and disbud each lateral down 2-3 nodes (depending on variety). This will give you longer stems, slightly larger flowers, and start the next flush of blooms sooner (and help stagger the crop).

All growers here (So Cal) sell bunches of 5 stems. I think you might get a better price per stem if you do 5/bunch instead of 10. It is a psychological thing - 2 bunches of 5 stems look like more flowers than one bunch of 10.

Have you started a spray program?

Good luck on your venture!
Steve
Heritage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #18
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,256
Default

Heritage, I am growing Sangria, Bon Bini, Thalia, Corona Pink, Goldie, Yin Yang, Fox Red and Fox Maroon.

When you say disbud laterals, do you mean doing a second pinch? As in pinching the terminal growing point on the current laterals? I had read some do a second pinch and had considered it. It would be nice to stagger the crop by doing this like you point out.
I was not planning on selling any stems with lateral buds. Single flower stems only.

I am not spraying because I don't see issues yet. I found one slug this morning but it has been dry this week. I will put Sluggo down as an insurance plan.
Although did see a bunch of tiny light green bugs flitting when I handled the plants this weekend. At first I thought they were whiteflies because of the way that they behaved. But they are some type of hopper/leafhopper. I'm not seeing any damage yet, but a spray might be in order. Gonna be hard to get something on the underside of the leaf where they hang out. Not to mention they hop away when you go to spray/handle the plants.

A few plants have some powdery mildew on the oldest/lowest leaves. The planting is in a tunnel, so I'm hoping lack of splashing rain will keep the threshold low. I don't like spraying anything, even organic. It's a pain and time-consuming. But I'm willing if the product works. Not sure what I'd use though...
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #19
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,737
Default

disbudding is taking off all the side buds and leaving the first and central bud to form the largest and spectacular of flowers on each and every stem. this is a lot of work but well worth the effort. you might want to do both as there is a market for disbudded flowers and a market for pinched or "spray" stems of flowers. I worked in a greenhouse that grows the nicest roses grown locally ... as in not south of the border in central america... they were not cheap to buy... they were absolutely beautiful... I worked in the rose house ONE day and said I would never do it again. I had a new appreciation for those who did dsibudding. arms raised above your head all day long with thorns scratching your armpit sides as you straddled the isles on the edges of each bed and reached across the bed for each and every stem . or you worked in the mum house hunched over disbudding the mums to make football mums for the flowershops or pinching out the top bud on the potted mums to make flowershop pots of mums in 6" pots... Dahlias are the same way. you can either disbud all the side buds for one stem with one flower or pinch out the center bud for sprays or leave some with the center bud and the side buds too. depends on the florists needs or wants.
__________________
carolyn k

Last edited by clkeiper; June 18, 2018 at 05:56 PM.
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #20
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,256
Default

I follow you.
So basically not allowing new shoots to form along the current set of laterals I have growing. Only the main stem and it's terminal flower.
I guess what I was reading about was pinching the lateral's grow tip to get it to produce laterals for more stems.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #21
Heritage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,262
Default

You have s nice selection of colors. You will probably want to add a white next season. Surprisingly, white is, by far, the biggest selling color here. Yellow is the least favorite color. For the last 5 years I haven’t been able to give away a yellow dahlia even in the fall. The color trends change over the years and you will get to know your local preferences, maybe you already do.

Carolyn did a great job of describing disbudding, and I agree, you might want to try both methods. I imagine you now have 6-8 laterals depending on how far down you topped the plants. These will be the stems you sell. As these stems grow you will notice they develop their own laterals. When these side laterals get to be about 1-3 inches long remove them by bending them down until they break off (this is cleaner and faster than “pinching” the growth off). Notice the top has a central bud with two laterals, One of these laterals will be another bud. On some of the plants, maybe leave both the central bud and the one side bud, instead of just the central bud. This will give you some leeway on the timing. If you need to hold the bloom for an extra week you will be able to remove the older central flower and allow the side bud to open. It will already be showing color so will open within a week. Disbudding is a labor-intensive job. I enjoy the mindless job of disbudding but I have to hire help to disbud because it is too much for me to handle alone.

I didn’t intend to be so wordy. I’ll post about spraying later…

Steve
Heritage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #22
greenthumbomaha
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Omaha Zone 5
Posts: 1,830
Default

I am going crazy not being able to follow the flower progress. I can not see the photos from ph in this thread or the 2018 growing garlic thread. I have tried signing in again but just get the name of the photo. Can someone help with a go around for this problem? Thank you


- Lisa
greenthumbomaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #23
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,256
Default

Lisa I have that problem in any of Gerardo’s threads.
Nobody has responded when I’ve asked about that.
I can’t see my pics when I post, just the names.
I right click on them and choose open in a new window.
In that new window is the login for your username and password.
I enter both and the pic comes up in that new window, usually sideways even tough I edit
My photos after I download them from my phone to hard drive.
I then click back on the original window of the thread I was in and hit the refresh button and all the pics load in that thread. Not sure if you’ve tried this exact method.
I think it must be the operating system of the computer any of us use.
If I’m on TV on my iPhone I can’t see any of my pics, nor can I do the method described above.

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 18, 2018 at 09:43 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #24
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,256
Default

Thanks Steve, that is very helpful.
How many dahlia plants do you grow per year?
I really didn’t know about disbudding. All the guides I read never mentioned what you just
shared.
Not sure that I will have a whole lot of time to disbud.
Checked the plants tonight and there seems to be less leafhopper activity than the other day.
In fact, they were harder to find.
Mildew seems, not surprisingly, cultivar specific. Overall for the planting it may be on 10% of the crop, with Yin Yang being the majority of the ones showing symptoms.
So I guess the tunnel is not as a big help as I thought for powdery mildew, as I read it does not need water to spread like other foliar diseases.
Perhaps I should have begun doing weekly Cooper sprays (if that is safe and effective) a couple weeks ago. I have a bag of the really good stuff that is copper soap. It’s reddish if I recall. Can’t remember the brand but I think it’s made in Europe.
Lastly, talked to a florist today with 4 locations that also does a little wholesaling.
Supposed to hear back from her about buying dahlias. She had to dig up some numbers of what she bought and paid last year. She’s been kind to share that with me.

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 18, 2018 at 09:55 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #25
Heritage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,262
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
I guess what I was reading about was pinching the lateral's grow tip to get it to produce laterals for more stems.
Pinching as you are doing is common and you can either do it that way or disbud the first flower, there are advantages to both methods. If you "top" the first stem your laterals will probably develop faster and you will see the main flush sooner. If you disbud the first stem it is effectively the same as topping - the laterals will develop slightly slower but you will get a bloom from the main stem sooner and this will give you a preview and more time to establish a market before the main flush hits.

Pinching twice is common when dahlias are grown in containers and sold as potted plants. You get more blooms, and a more compact plant, but the stems are too short to use as cut flowers.

Steve
Heritage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #26
Heritage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,262
Default

PH, I share your distaste for spraying, it is the only part of growing dahlias I dislike. Wearing a respirator and protective clothing is miserable but I don’t know of any other way to raise dahlias commercially. Hopefully, the disease/pest pressure will not be too great in your area and you will not have to spray often. Here, I spray every 7-10 days.

I spray preemptively for powdery mildew. PM does best under humid conditions but it does almost as well in dry, hot weather. It can spread fast and cover an entire field within a week. As you noted, some varieties are more susceptible than others. PM is not easy to control once it is established so the best bet is to spray fungicides regularly as a preventative.
Heritage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #27
greenthumbomaha
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Omaha Zone 5
Posts: 1,830
Default

PH, I didn't know you were near S. Jersey. I lived in that area 28 years ago. Besides loving the people from there, I had a fantastic "Jersey Fresh" amateur garden. Diversifying into cut flowers is a wise decision. Lots of vegetable stands and produce specialty stores; a welcome perk of the area when I lived in an apartment but competitive from the grower's perspective.



Thank you for the instructions. I've clicked on this thread a dozen times and only saw text, but the photos suddenly appeared without any extra steps. I'm off to see if the garlic thread will show photos, and return to see the dahlia bed in greater detail. I hope to have time to interest my garden club to do a group buy of plugs for cutting gardens and pollinator plants. Their current method of plant acquisition was random buys from expensive plant nurseries. There's not much room for experimentation with a group of novice growers. Learning from your trials is invaluable, and thank you for taking the time to share this information.


- Lisa
greenthumbomaha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18, 2018   #28
Heritage
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: San Diego
Posts: 1,262
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by PureHarvest View Post
Thanks Steve, that is very helpful.
How many dahlia plants do you grow per year?
I really didn’t know about disbudding. All the guides I read never mentioned what you just
shared.
Not sure that I will have a whole lot of time to disbud.
Checked the plants tonight and there seems to be less leafhopper activity than the other day.
In fact, they were harder to find.
Mildew seems, not surprisingly, cultivar specific. Overall for the planting it may be on 10% of the crop, with Yin Yang being the majority of the ones showing symptoms.
So I guess the tunnel is not as a big help as I thought for powdery mildew, as I read it does not need water to spread like other foliar diseases.
Perhaps I should have begun doing weekly Cooper sprays (if that is safe and effective) a couple weeks ago. I have a bag of the really good stuff that is copper soap. It’s reddish if I recall. Can’t remember the brand but I think it’s made in Europe.
Lastly, talked to a florist today with 4 locations that also does a little wholesaling.
Supposed to hear back from her about buying dahlias. She had to dig up some numbers of what she bought and paid last year. She’s been kind to share that with me.
I am a small grower (3000 plants) but it is all I can handle by myself. I hire a "disbudder" for 5 hours a week. She can disbud with one hand (and talk on her cell phone with the other hand) much faster than I can disbud with two hands. Maybe try disbudding a few plants yourself this year and, if it seems worthwhile, pay someone to do it next year.

None of the "Karma" growers around here disbud, they sell 5 stems with the bottom 6 inches stripped from each stem, they include the top few laterals with buds in addition to the main flower. They also sleeve the bunches. I assume it must be part of the instructions supplied by Gloeckner or Verwer but I don't know. If you are dealing with one client this year, you can ask what she prefers..
Heritage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2018   #29
clkeiper
Tomatovillian™
 
clkeiper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,737
Default

Try to not spray copper on the plants. if you leave a sheen on the foliage it looks weird. you can try just spraying the foliage with clean water to wash off the spores. I had a man just tell me the other day at a market I visited that he sprays only with fish emulsion for everything. but that might make a residual smell... maybe. I have no idea. said he does it for pests and disease. no other sprays.
__________________
carolyn k
clkeiper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 19, 2018   #30
PureHarvest
Tomatovillian™
 
PureHarvest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Mid-Atlantic right on the line of Zone 7a and 7b
Posts: 1,256
Default

I am always open to listen to others who are doing, but wonder how good of a control he is getting. Did he say?
I have my 20 gallon compost tea brewer ready to go (soil soup brand). I just need to fill it with water, add the materials and plug the pump in. I could add fish to that and spray it on. Theres not even flower buds yet, so I dont think smell would be a problem unless I spray a week or less before cutting.
Just need to find time to do all this. When it rains it pours. I am uncovering garlic beds after work this week and taking off Friday to begin the harvest. Easliy will consume my weekend. Will be pleasantly surprised if I can get it done by Monday.
2 of my kids have either ball practice or games this week through mid-July. In my high tunnel, tomatoes, onions, strawberries, beans, lettuce and cukes are needing daily attention or harvest right now too. But, I chose it so I do it. I am trying to be mindful of the resources I'm blessed with and to be thankful to be in the spot I'm in because i get to grow so many different things I'm interested in.

Last edited by PureHarvest; June 19, 2018 at 02:43 PM.
PureHarvest is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:08 PM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★