Jim McKenney jamesamckenney@verizon.net
Fri, 11 Mar 2011 10:28:06 PST
Dahlias are problematic in our East Coast gardens. They are easily grown, but flowers produced during the summer can be a disappointment because the heat fades the colors. In my experience, there is no advantage to be had in starting them early because they also slow down during the hot weather. 
I have a friend who grows dahlias for show (we have a thriving local dahlia group) and she prefers late planting so that the plants come into bloom late in the summer during their first full flush of growth - and with luck, early enough before the first frosts to give a month or so of bloom to make it worth while. 
The dahlias I've seen in cool summer areas (lush growth, loads of bloom and saturated colors)  are nothing like the ones I grow. 
Jim McKenney

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