Monday, March 16, 2015

Dahilas, Growing On

The dahlias have grown and grown and are nearly three inches tall.  Hooray, dahlias!  They are developing hardy little root systems, which should eventually fatten up into tubers, so it's time to take them out of their collective nursery and give them their own little pots to fill.
First things first: it's important to gently loosen and lift the little seedlings from their damp soil mix. I find a Popsicle stick works beautifully for this purpose.  I simply slide it under and next to the plant, and lift verrrrrrrrry gently, working around until the plant is freely moving and ready to lift.
Once its free, be sure to hold the little plant by a leaf.  If you hold it by the stem, it'll be crushed and then, sadness, the wee little plant is dead.  Damage a leaf?  It'll grow a new one, no problem.
Check out that amazing little root ball!  It's full of happy little rootlets, all working away and eventually, growing into a sweet-potato-esque tuber.

The final step is to transfer the seedling into it's new home.
I find the Popsicle stick is handy for helping tuck the roots into their new home, and for patting the soil mix in around them.  A gentle press down to firm in the plant, a little drink of water, and now my dahlias are ready to grow a little taller in their own 4-inch pots.

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