How To Fertilize Dahlias In 3 Easy Steps

Learning how to fertilize dahlias is easy, and one can break it down into three easy steps. They include knowing the best fertilizer, when to fertilize, and how to fertilize dahlias correctly. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed with the information about fertilizing these flowers because they are generally easy to grow anyway. 

However, like all plants, knowing the fertilizer needs and practices for dahlias is crucial to their growth and survival. You can also consider cultivating them or starting them in the greenhouse to maintain their ideal growing conditions. This way, you don’t have to worry about fluctuating weather and temperatures that can affect their growth rate and health. 

How To Fertilize Dahlias In 3 Easy Steps

How To Fertilize Dahlias Correctly

More often than not, the most crucial factor to remember when fertilizing dahlias is the soil itself. It’s also worth noting that the plants do not require fertilizer when you have just started them because they have no feeder roots to make use of the fertilizer yet. And if you’re just establishing dahlias, whether outdoors or in the greenhouse, moist soil and mulching are enough, and adding water is unnecessary since overwatering can cause rot. 

 

Know the best fertilizer

According to the American Dahlia Society, the best way to determine your dahlias’ appropriate fertilizer is by checking your soil. This is perhaps one reason why growth in the greenhouse puts you at an advantage since you can modify the dahlias environment. After you checked the soil’s pH and composition, you can then decide on the fertilizer to use. 

Dahlias can use high nitrogen fertilizer throughout the season but remember to minimize the nitrogen at the end of the season. Nitrogen will encourage bush growth and large flowers, but you have to control its amount since too much can lead to poor growth and low-quality tubers. Instead, potassium is more vital in helping create vigorous dahlias while also developing their roots faster. 

Oregon State University also recommends 5 pounds of a 0-20-20 fertilizer per 100 square feet for dahlias. Emphasis is necessary for monitoring the nitrogen and focusing on potassium and phosphorus. If you’re new to planting, you’ll find formulas where the first number is lower than the last. 

 

When to fertilize

The University of Vermont Extension mentioned adding manure or compost in the soil before planting. Then you can add a quarter pound of a balanced fertilizer per 10 square feet after a month. The reason why you’ll benefit from fertilizing dahlias 30 days after planting is that it encourages the tubers to produce sprouts and stems. 

You can also fertilize after the plants sprout, then every four weeks from the middle of the summer until the beginning of autumn. This way, dahlias can enhance their root system and have enough energy to enhance flower production. Dahlias are heavy feeders, and following these schedules should give them their requirements to grow well. 

 

How to fertilize

First, you want to know how much fertilizer you’ll give to your dahlias. Fertilizers often show their recommended amounts per square foot, so check it first to avoid over- or under-feeding. But in general, you can have half a cup of fertilizer around your plants to create a 2-foot ring that you’ll work into the soil. 

This is best when you’re just starting, and then water it up to help with absorption and also prevent burning the roots. While dahlias are heavy feeders, it can be confusing as some gardeners swear that they don’t even need fertilizing. Therefore, checking your soil beforehand should give you the gist of your plant’s needs for feeding. 

Another tip that you have probably read for fertilizing dahlias is treating it similarly to a tomato plant. This means dahlias will work well with an all-purpose fertilizer when you plant them and then switching to a low nitrogen liquid fertilizer once a month when they start blooming. If this is the practice you chose, remember to stop fertilizing early in September if you want to use tubers later. 

Additionally, you can promote better aerial growth if you fertilize with a high-phosphorus feed in the early summer every three weeks. You can then stop feeding when dahlias die back in late summer as the plants will soon be undergoing dormancy in winter. You want to discourage dahlias from producing foliage by the end of the season so that they have enough nutrition in their tubers. 

 

Conclusion

You can ensure flowering plants like dahlias grow and bloom healthily regardless of your location by using a greenhouse. However, a significant part of their success is on you, including knowing how to fertilize dahlias properly. Start by identifying the best fertilizer, when it is the right time to fertilize, and how to fertilize dahlias. 

One gardener might say dahlias are heavy feeders, while another can swear that they are low maintenance when it comes to feeding. With the many tips for fertilizing dahlias from various gardeners, the concepts can be contradicting. To avoid getting overwhelmed, remember that your soil is the first factor to consider and that until there are no feeder roots that have developed yet, fertilizing has no use. 

Therefore, check your soil quality to adjust the feeding accordingly. You can also treat dahlias the same way you’ll fertilize tomato plants and start from there. 

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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