News from ADS!
Thinking Ahead, November 2020
Tubers waiting for Mom and Dad to put them to bed
By now, you've stored your tubers, are frantically cutting and packing, or have decided to leave them in the ground. It's a bittersweet time of year for dahlia lovers.

COVID will likely make Thanksgiving a quiet affair, and perhaps the other holidays as well. Nevertheless, there will still be lots of distractions. The amount of mail is increasing daily. The commercial catalogues seem to have supplanted internet advertising; but, in the dahlia world, we are still moving in the opposite direction. Instead of catalogues we often have to scour the internet to find the offerings of the specialty dahlia boutiques. A number of them are listed on the ADS website.

Every garden has room for a few new dahlias next year. That is part of the excitement of growing our favorite flower. Now that is a bit presumptive - my daylily, glad, and rose friends will object. But here in our little corner of the floricultural world, the dahlia reigns! And in spite of COVID, though with all the proper procedures, the ADS trial gardens prospered and there are some beautiful new varieties being introduced for 2021.
Tacoma Trial Garden - Photo by Bob Schroeder
If you are looking for winter reading or a book for a dahlia-friend, there are two new entries available on Amazon: Dahlia Breeding for the Farmer-Florist and the Home Gardener, Kristine Albrecht (2020). The title may be somewhat off-putting; but it has a wealth of information about growing dahlias. I have tinkered with hybridizing for years. The portions of the book dealing with hybridizing have convinced me I am still an amateur. Visit Kristine, talking about her book, on Instagram.
The Joy of Dahlias, Linda van der Slot (2020) is a book written by the owners of a prominent Dutch dahlia farm. They clearly love dahlias. The book has beautiful photographs and a European perspective on sustainable dahlia growing.

A great gift giving (maybe to yourself) choice is tools. Dahlia growers and gardeners generally never have too many tools. Swan Island sells a specialized knife for cutting tubers from a clump.  If you are more mechanically inclined, a battery-powered multi-knife vibrates its way through clumps with ease.
I have used one for two years. It is safe and a time saver. They are available in the tool departments of most big-box stores.

Finally, membership in the American Dahlia Society or the local society in your area is a great gift.

I still have to dig and cut dahlias. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thankful for dahlias,
Harry Rissetto