My father grew dahlias, so I suppose it’s not surprising I caught the bug. I didn’t start keeping the tubers over winter until 1974, when I had one each of 15 varieties. Only one -‘Gay Princess’, a tall pink waterlily has survived to today. I grow 30 varieties now, about 1000 plants in total, plus some for friends.


One or two tubers of each variety are lifted in mid-November, washed clear of soil, and stored under peat in a frost free greenhouse. At the end of December, I inspect them. They seem to have come through the recent cold spell, except that many are slimy about the stem; they’ve been given another dusting of sulphur.


On 1st March, I’ll water them and switch on the underground heating cable. Shoots will appear in April for cuttings or division.


They are potted on to 3½ inch pots, and then into 5 inch in mid-May, hardened off and planted out in mid-June. I’m unsuccessful with about 10% of the tubers, so I buy replacement plants or newer varieties.


Dahlias can be grown on the same patch for years so long as it is well manured each spring. I apply ‘Growmore’ when planting out, and rose fertiliser twice during the season. I am not troubled with earwigs, but last year capsid bugs had several meals from the new shoots, and mildew affected the leaves in September.


Although I am not interested in exhibiting dahlias (too much of a commitment!), I do aim for better blooms and longer stems by removing all buds that appear before mid-July, and then once a week remove all side shoots from the two upper leaf axils on each branch. Most summers they need a good watering twice a week.


From mid-August to mid-October, surplus blooms are sold at charity stalls at the Saturday market. At three for a pound, they sell fast!


by Peter Block

Water Conservation

A reminder that all sheds, constructions and greenhouses should be fitted with guttering to collect rainwater.

You can read more about water conservation on our website.

Dates for your Diary



Meet and Greet

Sun 15 May 10 to 11 am

Your opportunity to come and meet members of the committee.


Platinum Jubilee Lunch

12 to 3pm

Sun 12 June 2022



Open Day

Sun 7 August 2022

(to be confirmed)


Christmas Drinks

Sun 18 December (to be confirmed)



January 2023 (date still to be fixed)