Growing dahlias isn't one size fits all, so we cover what you need to know from a novice hobby gardener to someone with a cut flower business:

We will not be held responsible for any dahlia/gardening additions you may get as a result of this guide.

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  1. Do you really have to divide? Hobby gardeners may only need a few tubers for personal use, while flower farmers selling tubers will require larger quantities for commercial purposes.  If you’re growing for a hobby, you don’t necessarily need to divide to multiply your supply.  Simply dig them out in the fall and replant in the spring.

  2. Quality Control: Any flowers that are irregularly shaped are probably a defective plant.  Cull often.

Here are some tips to help you understand the specific considerations for each:

For Hobby Gardeners:

  1. Quantity: As a hobby gardener, you may only need a few dahlias for personal enjoyment. Consider selecting a variety of colors, forms, and sizes to create a diverse and visually appealing garden.
  2. Care and Maintenance: Focus on providing proper care, including watering, fertilizing, and pest control, to ensure healthy growth and abundant blooms. Take the time to learn about specific dahlia care practices and implement them consistently.
  3. Experimentation: Embrace the freedom to experiment with different dahlia varieties and growing techniques. Use your garden as a canvas to explore new colors, forms, and arrangements. Enjoy the process of learning and discovering what works best for you.

For Flower Farmers Selling Fresh Blooms and Dahlia Tubers:

  1. Market Demand: Research the market demand for dahlias in your area. Identify popular varieties and colors that are sought after by customers. Consider growing a mix of classic favorites and unique varieties to cater to different preferences.
  2. Quantity: Figure out the demand for stems and try to decide how many you actually need to grow.  It can add up really quickly to plant more, and selling off the extra tubers may give you more bang for your buck than keeping them to plant them just to throw the flowers in the compost pile.
  3. Quality Control: Pay close attention to the quality of your dahlias. Select healthy tubers, provide optimal growing conditions, and implement proper care practices to produce high-quality blooms.
  4. Networking and Marketing: Build relationships with local florists and find out what is trending -- what colors and varieties do they want you to grow?

Tips for purchasing a tuber:

We recommend buying from a small grower because we inspect each and every plant for disease before dividing, only saving the plants that produce perfect stems and culling any with deformities.  Our tuber sale is in the spring.  Make sure you subscribe to our farm newsletter at www.sunnymarymeadow.com/newsletter The anatomy of a dahlia consists of three main parts: the body, neck, and eye. The body refers to the tuber, which is the underground storage organ of the plant. It is the main source of nutrients and energy for the dahlia. The neck is the narrow portion that connects the body to the stem. It acts as a transition point between the tuber and the above-ground growth. The eye, also known as the bud, is a small, dormant bud located on the neck. It is the starting point for new growth and the development of stems, leaves, and flowers.  If it doesn't have an eye, you won't have a plant.

Our tuber sale happens in March every year.

Both hobby gardeners and flower farmers share a love for plants and flowers, their considerations differ significantly. Hobby gardeners focus on personal enjoyment and experimentation, while flower farmers prioritize market demand, scale, and financial viability. Understanding these distinctions can help individuals make informed decisions about their gardening pursuits.

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