Hibernating Dahlias. The method of Kees.

When I arrive at my parents in law, I always look to the dahlias of their neighbor Kees. Every year he grows white dahlias, at the same spot. That can't be a coincidence. Does he keep them in the ground during winter?

To learn more about this , my mother in law and I went to visit his garden and to investigate his secret.. Kees told us the dahlias indeed stayed in the ground during winter. Even in the harsh winter of 2012 the dahlias survived. My mother in law and I were speechless.

Kees revealed the secret of his success. In the autumn he cuts off the dahlias. Ain case frost was predicted, Kees threw some conifer branches, compost and optionally an old coat over his dahlias. That was all! We decided to try this too.

In the autumn I cut off the dahlias, kept half of them dahlias in the barn and the other half was left in the ground. However when frost came, I needed all my old coats to protect my Hyacinths. Furthermore I had no conifer branches like Kees either. Therefore, I improvised with plastic pots filled with old newspapers.

The long and harsh winter of 2012/2013 is remembered by every gardener. Until April I dragged with plastic pots! Frost? pots on, thaw? pots off.

Finally when spring had arrived I looked at the result of my efforts. None of the dahlias in the barn had survived, so I was pretty desperate about the chances of the dahlias in the ground .
However, to my astonishment, the dahlias that were left in the ground came up in June. Also my mother in law was successful with her dahlias. We were very proud of the results.

Meanwhile the dahlias are blooming. Not as overwhelming as with Kees. But of course every woman may meet her match!

Dahlia white, 'Maarten Zwaan'

Dahlis 'Fuchsiana'

Dahlia pompom