This is a good description for my plot activity last weekend.  For the first time I lifted dahlia tubers and I was surprised to see how much growth the tubers had made in the 5 months they’ve been in the ground.  So much so, they look like an alien life form trying to escape from the box!

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I’m following advice given by Monty and the Beechgrove garden team to cut the stems down to 3 or 4 cm and store upside down for a few weeks to make sure no moisture is retained in the stems.

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After that, the rest of the soil should come away (clay!!) and they can be stored in some dryish compost, although Monty uses vermiculite.

The clearing involved cutting down the dahlias that were still in flower – a bit sad but after their colour they are now contributing to next year’s compost.

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This is the compost I sifted from two bins a few weeks ago.  This has filled a builder’s dumpy bag.

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The beds are cleared and ready to receive a layer of mulch.

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And mulched with lovely, crumbly homemade compost.  Hands up who else is always amazed at how leaves, stems and kitchen waste get transformed into this?

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Finally, I tipped out the bag of manure that is delivered pretty fresh and full of straw.  I mulched a bed with the new stuff in May as part of my no dig experiment – the sunflowers and squashes appreciated it.  I filled a builder’s bag and left it to mature in the corner.  It has matured very well and is now keeping the asparagus and roses cosy.

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