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Dahlia Project Update
by Suraya David-Sadira FTT and Assistant Mini-Farm Manager, TJC

In 2021, we established an experimental 10-Bed Unit at The Jeavons Center with a diet design including dahlias as a versatile carbon/calorie/income crop. This is part five in a continuing series on this project. You can find a good intro to edible dahlias here.

gold and red dahlia, growing at The Jeavons CenterSince the last update, we have gotten all the tubers in the ground and they have almost all sprouted. This year, instead of doing 25-50 square feet of 4-5 varieties, we chose to do 10-20 square feet of 15 varieties, so we can observe how more varieties do at our site, and adequately choose which ones we want to expand on next year. We planted 250 square feet of dahlias which came out to 98 tubers planted on 18-inch offset centers, out of which 92 sprouted successfully. The tubers planted this year are second- generation TJC, coming from last year’s divided and stored tubers. That feels like a pretty good dividing and storing success to me!

We planted Thomas Edison, Maki, Patches, Mikayla Miranda, Hometown Hero, Who Me?, Citron du Cap, My Hero, Giggles, Chick-a-Dee, and a couple of unknown varieties that I named Lady Love, Orcas 1, Orcas 2, Orcas 3, and Little Amanita. So far the Thomas Edison, Maki, Patches, Mikayla Miranda, and Hometown Hero, seem to be the most promising, but I look forward to observing how the other 10 varieties do. Most of the dahlias are about 8-12” tall and most aren't flowering yet, but this is right on track since they are a late summer to early fall bloomer. This summer we’ll be observing how many flowers we get, what size and color, and will be weighing the tubers when they go into storage this winter. I look forward to seeing all these beautiful flowers and will keep you all updated as well.

If you are interested in keeping data on your favorite dahlia variety and want to share your findings with us, please reach out to Surayasadira.ecologyaction[at] and I will send you a data sheet and instructions on how to follow our data gathering guidelines.

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