Dividing dahlia tubers

For the first time last year in our potager, we grew a lovely, dramatic dahlia called 'Chat Noir'.

It is a variety recommended in Sarah Ravens catalogue, grown for its dark red, almost black velvety petals, and a contrasting lime green centre - a truly wonderful cut flower which continued producing flowers right up until our first frost in November.

The perfect job for a wet and windy afternoon in March, I showed Barbara and Debbie how easy it is to divide dahlia tubers for more plants this year. The plants had grown well this last year, and we managed to obtain about 6 tubers divided from the main plant, so by the end of the afternoon 18 new plants were potted up into multi-purpose compost and placed in the vinery to allow them into growth earlier and to keep an eye on them, the three original plants were left a decent size, and replanted into the potager in a different place according to the 2006 design.

A little taster as to what to expect when the flowers burst open again is below...

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