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Tubers

Dahlia

If you plant them out before all risk of frost has passed then they may die, so plant the tubers in large pots filled with peat-free multi-purpose potting compost in March or early April. Keep them on a windowsill or in a frost-free greenhouse until late May, when it will be safe to plant them outside.

Starting off your dahlia tubers in pots will also encourage them to develop more quickly, so they’re likely to start flowering earlier. Before planting, soak tubers in a bucket of tepid water for an hour so they can fully rehydrate.

When planting, ensure that the joint where the roots meet the stem is facing upwards. Label your pots and grow on in a greenhouse or sunny windowsill. Keep the tubers well watered.

Pinch out the tips of the main shoot, down to the top pair of leaves. You also need to remove most of the shoots growing from the tuber, except for five. This encourages bushy plants, strong, vigorous growth and more flowers.

When all risk of frost has passed, harden off plants by placing them outside during the day and bringing them in at night. After a week they will be ready to plant out into their final growing positions.

Echinacea Butterfly

During a mild winter you can plant at almost any time, but a cold snap could kill the new, unsettled plants overnight. So you could pot them up when they arrive, then harden them off in spring before planting out. Growing bare-root plants in pots makes it easier to look after them, and allows them to develop a good rootball in the soft compost, without having to battle with weeds, pests and more established plants. Harden them off in spring before planting out, then enjoy beautiful flowers in spring and summer.

Flower production will decrease after three or four years. Dig the plant up, divide it into three using a sharp knife, replant one where the original plant was and plant the other two elsewhere. Water well. Divide them like this in October to ensure the roots will be kept moist by natural rainfall.

Dicentra spectabilis

Bleeding heart grows best in a location with light shade. They do well in any average garden soil, though they prefer it to be slightly acidic. They cannot tolerate heavy clay or soggy soil, and they are susceptible to root and crown rots in these conditions.

Before planting bare root bleeding heart, soak them in water for an hour to rehydrate them, but do not let them soak any longer than four hours. In the meantime, loosen up the soil in the planting site at least a foot (0.5 m.) deep and wide. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the bare root plant. This won’t need to be very deep. When you plant a bleeding heart with bare roots, the plant crown should stick slightly above the soil level and the roots should be spread out. The best way to accomplish this is to create a cone or mound of soil in the center of the hole you’ve dug. Place the bare root plant crown on the top of the mound so that its plant crown will stick out slightly above the soil. Then spread the roots so that they spread over and down the mound. Slowly refill the hole with soil, holding the bare root plant in place and lightly tamping down the soil as you refill it to prevent air bubbles. Give it some water and soon enough you should begin to notice new growth. That’s all there is to bare root planting of bleeding heart.

Sanguisorba Obtusa

During a mild winter you can plant at almost any time, but a cold snap could kill the new, unsettled plants overnight. So you could pot them up when they arrive, then harden them off in spring before planting out. Growing bare-root plants in pots makes it easier to look after them, and allows them to develop a good rootball in the soft compost, without having to battle with weeds, pests and more established plants. Harden them off in spring before planting out, then enjoy beautiful flowers in spring and summer.

Heliopsis Lorraine Sunshine

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