Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Planting Dahlia Cuttings and Winter Squash Seed

Tonight when I got home from work there was a large box on the counter with my name on it. I couldn't remember ordering anything until I looked at the "ship from" address - Corrolitos Dahlias. Oh yes, my dahlia cuttings! Corrolitos Dahlias in California is the only dahlia retailer that I know of that sells cuttings instead of tubers. The benefit of this is you never have to wonder if your dahlia tuber will have a live eye that will eventually send up a sprout. By getting a live cutting, already rooted and growing in a small piece of floral foam, you know you will have a dahlia plant of that variety this year. No guesswork or hoping involved. However, when receiving dahlia cuttings through the mail, it is necessary to unpack them right away and get them planted in pots or in the ground. Since my garden is far from being ready for dahlias at this point, I needed to pot up all of my new cuttings. I ordered the following from Corrolitos:
  • (2) " Camano Cloud" BB SC Pk
  • (1) "Chimicum Pumpkin" Pom OR
  • (1)  "Franz Kafka" MB L
  • (1) "Leota Mace"  WL DP
  • (1) "Eden Barbarossa" BA R
  • (1) "Willo Violet" Pom PR
  • (1) "Elfin" POM DB PR/WH
  • (1) " Colwood Hope" B LC Wh
  • (1) " Optimo"  MB DR

A healthy "Colwood Hope" cutting planted and ready to grow.

After I finished potting up my new dahlia cuttings, I turned my attention to starting my Winter Squash. I should have done this a week or two ago, but such is life! I decided to start twice the number of seeds than I hope to grow of each variety. That way, I will be covered if I have poor germination of any given variety. If I have good germination then I will have some plants to give away which will be a nice problem to have. I planted the following seeds:
  • "Butternut" Winter Squash - Seeds of Change
  • "Delicata" Winter Squash  - Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
  • "Marina Di Chioggia"  Winter Squash -Seed Savers Exchange
  • "Speckled Hound" Winter Squash - The Cook's Garden

I am not sure yet exactly where I am going to plant each variety. But I can worry about that while the seeds germinate and grow! I have grown both "Delicata" & "Butternut" Squash before and I love them both. The "Marina Di Chioggia" & "Speckled Hound" are both new varieties for me. The "Speckled Hound" is suppose to produce smaller size, bi-colored fruit but the "Marina Di Chioggia" is suppose to set 10-12 pound, bumpy turbans! The seeds for this variety were the largest Winter Squash seeds that I have ever planted, measuring 3/4" in size. An indicator of things to come!

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