Planting Spring Bulbs and Overwintering Dahlias in zone 8

On November 29th, 2020, I wondered if I planted more tulip, grape hyacinths, and daffodil bulbs that day than I ever have in my life. It was not much fun slogging around in the rain planting over 500 bulbs of various sizes. But I didn’t mind a bit because I was getting something done that would hopefully become beautiful masses of color in about 3 or 4 months.

I noticed I had some very healthy looking dahlia tubers left in the containers as I dug and loosened the soil to plant the bulbs. I quickly snipped the foliage off the dahlia tubers and planted them back in there with the bulbs. I used a bag of bulb fertilizer I got from Brecks following the package instructions. I also topped everything off with finished kitchen compost.

Next year, when the tulips start to die as they finish for the season, the dahlias will grow and hide the browned leaves. I plan on saving the bulbs by drying and storing them in onion bags, followed by placing them in the fridge around October 15th. I plan to plant again in late November to mid-December next season.

I also winterized my dahlia tubers by digging up the ones I cared most about and checking them for rotting. I ended up moving some of them to increase the chances of them surviving the winter. I like this pink seed grown dahlia I recorded in the video and plan on using this as a border if all goes well.

Spring Bulb List

  1. Tulip World: 1 Mixed Perennial Tulips Super Pack/100 bulbs, Purple Sensation Allium 25 bulbs, Mixed Small alliums 2 packs 50 bulbs, 1 Queen of Night Tulip value bag 25 bulbs, 2 Don Quichotte Tulip Value Bag 2 bags 25 bulbs
  2. Home Depot (Van Zyverden) Tulips: Pastel Blend late bloomer pack 15, Apricot Impression, mid bloomer pack 15, Double Late blend pack 20, Long Stem blend mid bloomer 2 packs 20, Queen of Night 2 packs 8. Muscari heavenly blend pack 30.
  3. Van Bloem Gardens: 10 Cyclameneus Narcissus Jetfire, 8 Double Narcissus Golden Ducat.
  4. Brecks: Spectrum Sweet Aroma Daffodil Mixture 2 packs 25 bulbs, Guinevere Jumbo Perennial Tulip pack of 10, Blue Grape Hyacinth Super Sak 3 packs 50, Wildflower tulip collection: Golden Charm: Tulipa dasystemon tarda 15 bulbs, Wild Blue Heart: Tulipa humilis ‘Alba Coerulea Oculata’ 5 bulbs, Lilac Wonder: Tulipa bakeri ‘Lilac Wonder’ 10 bulbs, Orphanidea Flava: Tulipa orphanidea ‘Flava’ 10 bulbs, and Odalisque: Tulipa humilis ‘Odalisque’ 10 bulbs.

Last Harvest for 2020

  • butternut squash and dry harvested luffa gourds
  • Japanese Morning Glory speckled split petal
  • Japanese Morning Glory white split petal
  • Cosmos Gazebo Mix
  • Cosmos Gazebo Mix
  • Cosmos Gazebo Mix
  • Cosmos Gazebo Mix
  • Coral Canna Lily

Welcome to my gardening journal. I am a small hobby gardener. I love growing from seeds and experimenting with growing in containers. I have one last harvest this year of yellow cherry tomatoes, yellow squash, butternut squash, and luffa gourds. I did manage to keep the squash vine borer eggs off my plants this year. I also have some results from my canna seeds I planted last spring. Next year I will have more results to share especially since I will have more mature plants.

My First Cafe Au Lait Royal Dahlia Bloom

I stepped outside and there it was, Cafe Au Lait Royal was making a statement on its own. What a beautiful bloom! I noticed when looking at more different blooms that this Cafe Au Lait Royal is bright purple with variations of more or less light-colored streaks. This variability in color means that it is not stable in appearance.

I have purchased a variety of dahlia tubers this year. Cafe Au Lait and Cafe Au Lait Royal are two varieties I couldn’t wait to see in person. I started the bulbs in gallon pots this spring because they were sprouting early. I had to bring the pots inside a few times to protect them from frost and did not water them much at first because sometimes the tubers will rot if they are kept too wet or placed in soggy soil that does not drain quickly.

Dahlias are very easy to start from seeds. The dahlia seeds I planted are Bishops Children, Figaro Mix, Unwin’s Dwarf, and Rainbow Mix. I started with a good quality potting mix and planted the seeds in flats at 1/4 in. depth. When the plants were two inches tall I transplanted them into cells. This past week I got the beds amended with a top dressing of composted wood chips and planted my seedlings. I am excited to see them growing and can’t wait for all the new blooms!

Another Hardy Hibiscus Seedling Bloom

I have been watching a bud develop on my hardy hibiscus seedling grow out for the past week. I was anticipating the bloom so much that I took a picture of it every day! This beautiful flower was on one of the taller plants with dark green shaded with red leaves. It was light pink with a raspberry red center that flared into the petals. I believe the notably high temperatures caused all the plants in my garden to experience heat stress. I am guessing the slight lipping in this bloom was caused by the extreme weather.

Hardy Hibiscus 6 days to a bloom

We have had the battle of the bugs the past two weeks. The whiteflies have descended upon my garden with a vengeance. I have been busy washing them away from beneath the leaves with water and following up with neem oil and pyrethrins. I mixed the solution more diluted than the package called for and only sprayed in the late evening. So far, it looks like I have good insect control and the plants look lovely except for a bug chew here and there. To view more seedlings visit my hardy hibiscus page.

Hardy Hibiscus Bloom

Daylily Seed Harvest

daylily seeds

This week I was excited to discover that the day lily pods from my purchased daylilies are splitting open and the seeds are ready to harvest. The plants I bought this year had larger flowers, bigger pods and much larger seeds than Little Business Red and Red Ribs. I’m not sure what two of the varieties were because they did not look like what I ordered. One daylily was Tuscawilla Snowdrift which did not set any seeds. The two daylily plants with seed pods ready to harvest right now are a big red one and a yellow one as seen in the pictures. I am still waiting for two other daylilies out of the five varieties I bought this year to bloom so I will update those later.

Red Ribs Daylily Seedlings
Red Ribs Daylily Seedlings

Daylily Growing Gallery

This morning: Beautiful Luffa gourd vine, banana tree, caladium and illustris elephant ear update.

Beautiful Caladiums,Illustris elephant ears and Zinnia

After all the rain we got from the storm it looks like the elephant ears are going crazy growing in nice and thick making quite a statement. I am surprised to see a few early blooming daylilies Red Stripe seedlings still hanging around. The Burpee Cut and Come Again zinnias are going to be a favorite of mine because I want to save seeds from these to grow next year.

caladiums elephant ears illustris zinnias
front bed caladiums elephant ears illustris zinnias

Moss Roses I have grown

I really love moss roses because they are one of the easiest pest and disease free flowers a person could grow. They are easily started from seeds,need full sun and moist well drained soil. I just sprinkle the seeds over the soil since they are so tiny during spring and water in lightly pressing them in. I will share more of these later.

single bloom yellow moss rose
Single bloom type yellow moss rose
moss rose pink striped
moss single bloom rose pink striped

The Storm was not as bad as we thought

The Hurricane wasn’t as bad as we thought. All it did was make a mess in our garden and I am so thankful for the fact our lights stayed on and we didn’t get flooded out. In 2016 I lost all my plants to a flood and now I am working on restoring my losses by growing seedlings. I have plants that are survivors of this climate and bad weather to use for the pollen and pod parents. This will ensure that I have plants to enjoy for years to come.

My garden is having a bad hair day.

Red Sunflowers in bloom

Red sunflowers seedlings from Autumn Mix
red sunflowers

I am glad I supported the sunflowers because they made it just fine and are blooming this week! These sunflowers are some kind of autumn mix and I saved seeds from one or two plants with multiple budding and I hope to get more plants like this. We will see in the next week or so if I get some nice multi bud sunflowers. I will update the sunflowers again later. I will conclude with a picture of one of our daylily beds. I enjoy the iris in early spring, daylilies in spring and early summer and then caladiums and elephant ears with perhaps a few annual plantings for rest of the year.

caldiums and illustris elphant ears
The daylies are almost finished so the caladiums and illustris elephant ears can take over.

Preparing the Garden for a Storm

Bracing for Hurricane Barry

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting my garden ready for Hurricane Barry. I didn’t do anything that looked fancy but more like frantic from the looks of this picture. I managed to use wooden stakes and ropes to support some of my sunflowers. The one sunflower I did not support is already toast and this is just the day before! I turned a lot of pots over on their sides to avoid excessive damage to my plants and put some of the more delicate plants like the Japanese Morning Glories in the shed. I placed covers over some of my seedlings so they wouldn’t get damaged or washed out by the rain.

In spite of being in a humid shed the Hannahubuki bloomed beautifully today with a small flush of first blooms. I have more of a variety of different kinds of Japanese Morning Glories to share later on.

Japanese Morning Glory Hannahubuki close up
Japanese Morning Glory Hannahubuki