Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Cold December Night & "Finally Finished!"

Quite often, December in my part of Oregon includes a long stretch of dry, cold weather. This year the month is starting out with this weather pattern. Today was sunny but with highs only in the 40's. By the time I arrived home it was already 36 degrees with the low tonight expected to be in the 20s. As I drove up our long driveway, the pink colored sky caught my attention. I ran in and grabbed my camera and was able to capture a bit of the lovely sunset. We should have many more of these to enjoy in the next week if this weather pattern continues as predicted.

The big excitement was that I finished the last of my dahlia tuber dividing, washing, and packing away tonight! After 5 weeks I finally am all finished. As you can see, all of the wrapped tubers fit nicely inside two copy paper boxes. These will be stored in an unheated room attached to our garage where they will stay all winter at about 45 degrees.

I planted 199 dahlia plants this Spring. Of the original 199, 194 plants produced tubers that I could dig this fall. Now from those 194 tubers planted this year, I have harvested and stored 621 tubers. A few of those tubers will suffer some rot over the Winter and many won't have a viable eye come Spring. But I should still have plenty of tubers for myself and the rest I can donate to my local Society. Many people ask why I take the time to dig my dahlias. Well, there are two answers to that question. First of all, the clay soil in my garden is so wet that I would loose almost every clump over the Winter. And then the average cost of replacing a dahlia tuber is around $4.50, with new varieties starting at $15.00 and going higher. So even at $4.00, if I have 500 viable tubers this next Spring they have a low-end market value of $2,000! That's worth 5 weeks of work to me.

It is such a great feeling to have this big project done. It feels a little bit like canning and food security. No matter what Mother Nature throws our way this Winter, I know that my two boxes of tubers are safely stored and I will have glorious dahlia plants once again next year.

1 comment:

Sue Garrett said...

That is a lot of dahlias. Lovely sunset too