Dahlia Planting Tips and How to keep Squirrels from digging them up

I have been planting more store-bought dahlias, and I also picked up a bag of purple gladiolus. The planting has been progressing slowly but surely as I manage to find bulbs I like here and there. In this video I am demonstrating how to tell if a dahlia tuber is healthy and will grow. The problem I have had lately is critters like squirrels digging in the beds. I have been protecting my plants with chicken wire and wire fencing.

Some of my tulips bloomed in early January which was a month early! It looks like all the early bloomers were miniature tulips. I even found some with variegated leaves that appear to be on their way. All of the wild tulips have strappy leaves, and some of the grape hyacinths were just beginning to show some color.

Winter Garden Clean Up Planting Dahlia Tubers and Cosmos Corms

In this video, I am planting dahlia tubers and crocosmia mix corms on January the 16th, 2021, in zone 8b. My first winter Amaryllis bloom was Marquis, and it is in the intro! This year, I am planting an assortment of winter vegetables I will be updating later.

I have planted strawberry cabbage lettuce, Alpine strawberries, Kyoto red carrots, Red Cored Chantenay carrots, Japanese Minowase Daikon radish, Early Wonder Beets, and Cipolle di Tropea onions. I am enjoying growing vegetables throughout the winter! It will be necessary to watch the weather and be prepared to cover my containers with blankets if the weather forecasts a freeze. So far, the plants have survived 30 and 31 degree nights without covering. Still, I don’t want to make the mistake of not covering if it gets into the 20s, which doesn’t happen very often. I may have to cover my plants overnight a few times throughout this winter, but most nights will hover in the high 30s and 40s.

Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce

I also spent some time doing fall garden clean up. I have enjoyed using the Sunbelt weed fabric but have found it still requires some weeding and maintenance. I have kept all fallen leaves and debris swept off and kept the edges trim with the weed eater. I think I would rather sweep my garden than pull weeds any day! The result of not keeping the weed mat clean is that weeds will grow in the mulched debris. I will place some rabbit manure in the holes left from last year’s plantings and cover that with hay to prevent weeds from growing over the winter.

Last November, I planted some echinacea seeds gathered for Cheyenne Spirit Echinacea, and I am so curious what colors will bloom this summer. In this photo, you can see the echinacea and my grape hyacinth doing well in the cold weather of January!

fall sown echinacea seedlings
fall sown echinacea and grape hyacinth
grape hyacinth and echinacea