Today I dug the last 3 rows of dahlias! I had 37 clumps to lift, most of them Collarettes, Orchids, and Singles. I was pleased to see that, even this late in the year, and after a few spells of heavy rain and cold temperatures, the tubers seemed to be in good shape. The new system that I used to dig this year, lifting out the tubers in the middle of the garden first, appears to have saved me the heartache of lifting rotted tubers.
Now all I have left are the dahlia plants that I fear have contracted a virus. I will come back next weekend and dispose of those plants and tubers. As hard as it is to toss so many tubers, I don't want to risk spreading the virus to my other plants or to some other garden. So I have now completed the cycle once again, beginning with plump tubers in the Spring and ending with a heaping pile of dahlia foliage in the Fall.