eat your dahlias

I’m halfway convinced to fill my vegetable garden this summer with dahlias.
Beans and tomatoes were an epic fail last summer, and though zucchini were OK, I can find them cheap and local.
But these beauties, however, will never be found at the local market. And their cultural needs are perfectly amenable to the vegetable plot:

 photo Floret_Dahlia_Labrynth_670B7526.jpg

Floret Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’

Yes, winter marches on, but it will most assuredly end one day. And there you’ll be on a summer day, bitterly regretting the lack of foresight that separated you from armfuls of dahlias.
Dahlias in the kitchen, bedroom, dining room, overflowing from bookshelves. It’s a nice winter’s daydream anyway, isn’t it?
Floret Farm’s dahlias will be available to order in January, so get your pencils sharpened!

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10 Responses to eat your dahlias

  1. Kris P says:

    I’ve already converted my raised veg planters to a cutting garden and I was preparing my own list of dahlia tubers from Floret when their site crashed due to high traffic volume in early December and they put their sale off until January. I need to mark out exactly how many I can fit into my beds (note that I’m not even thinking about the cost) to keep myself under control.

    P.S. If you haven’t already seen it, you might want to check out Evan’s 12/7 post on The Practical Plant Geek. He really did eat some of his dahlias but, at $10 a tuber, I can’t see myself following suit.

  2. Denise says:

    Kris, I had a feeling their dahlias would go fast but didn’t know about the crash — yikes! That’s so funny about Evan sampling dahlias — had no idea. I thought edible flowers stopped at nasturtiums and borage.

  3. ks says:

    Ironically, my epic fail this year was in fact the Dahlias.I decided to plant all mini poms and let them punctuate the front garden with their cute little bobbles. I choose the colors carefully.They were bloody awful-didn’t even get a flower til Sept and the plants looked like crap. I dug them up in Oct. Next year I go back to the drama queen Dahlias.I do love them, as fraught as they are with difficulty.

  4. Alison says:

    Oh, that Labyrinth is a luscious flower. I love Dahlias.

  5. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Gorgeous! Dahlias are a favorite but I’ve very little sunny space left in my garden. Fortunately, there are many growers who put bouquets in roadside stands so I can still enjoy them inside.

  6. Ross says:

    Too many dahlias are barely enough. “David Howard” is a firm favourite here – big dark foliage and 4″ double apricot/orange blooms. Wouldn’t be without “Bishop of Llandaff” too. Easy care, darkly dissected burgundy foliage, single red flowers, almost a perennial border cliche like verbena bonariensis, but I don’t care. There are somethings a bloke just has to have. Fabulous documentary that came out 20 years ago on these quiet, sweet, gnarly old coots that were highly competitive when it comes to the show bench – “The Dahlia Men”. Every time I fuss over my blooms I think of these crazy Heath Robinson inspired umbrella contraptions they had raised to keep the flowers in mint show room form. Dahlias can do that to you.

  7. Denise says:

    @Kathy, I’ve failed with dahlias in the garden, in the stock tank, and a half-hearted try in the community veg garden that I didn’t visit often enough to keep well watered. My takeaway from this is to try them again in the veg garden with my best new year intentions to visit more often. We’ll see how that goes…
    @Alison, I could have picked so many from their site to showcase. Personally, I always grow the dark maroon flowers and want to try something different this year.
    @Peter, I have the sun but not the water! Well, I can add water of course, but it’s now officially a dry garden, and a dahlia would be a duck out of water here.
    @Ross, all those you mention are wonderful varieties for mixed borders, but I’ve sworn off mixing dahlias into my very dry, succulent/shrubby garden, so they will be banished to the veg garden if I ever get around to ordering them. The docu sounds right up my alley, thank you!

  8. Evan says:

    I see Kris already mentioned my adventures into eating dahlias. Hehe. I’ve started to turn into a grower of unusual edibles. The tubers are edible, as are the flowers, but they can be hit and miss as far as actually tasting good. Mine were all free, so I’m not afraid to sacrifice a few tubers to sample. This reminds me, I still need to try that dahlia bread recipe I found.

  9. Gerhard Bock says:

    I know exactly what you mean. In the summer, there’s a glut of organic veggies in Davis and it seems silly to grow tomatoes and zucchinis yourself. I’ve already taken over one of four veggie beds in the backyard (stealthily!) as a growing ground for succulents. A second is being overtaken by a clump of Echium wildpretii. I became enamored with dahlias this past summers but don’t have any of my own. I think I’ll go buy some right now!

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