Suburban Hobby Garden 2022: Weeks 2 & 3 (Starting the Garden Remodel and Dahlia Tubers)

My love for flowers comes from my love of the garden, and I can't help but share all this wonderful natural goodness with you this gardening season 2022! I thought it would be fun to share my suburban hobby gardening adventure this year to provide encouragement and inspiration particularly if you find yourself in this category too. I learn from many skilled gardeners online, so I'm not so much teaching gardening as I'm just sharing my experience, learning (and messing up) as I go right in my regular suburban backyard.

Catch up here with Week 1

Garden Remodel

The garden remodel has begun! I replaced the two existing raised cedar beds and put together two new raised cedar beds. I kept going back and forth with the garden plan and where I wanted the two new beds. As I mentioned in Week 1, a main concern for the garden is the shade cast by a growing tree on one of the raised beds. After a little research, I learned that some crops actually like some shade form the afternoon sun, so I have decided to keep the garden in its place (instead of shifting the entire garden out of the shade ) and have two part-shade beds. Here I will be growing all my carrots, radishes, beets, mizuna greens, lettuce, kale, cabbage, parsley and turnips. Exact garden plan coming hopefully next week. 

Next up: map out the squash bed and get the garden soil to fill everything! 

Seedlings Started Indoors


Well, the seedlings are doing ok.

My celery is not coming up.

I think I planted my squashes too early. They have at least 5 weeks before they can go outside, so they will need to be potted up in larger pots so the roots don't become root bound. 

I forgot you have to water the seedlings from the bottom in a water-filled tray. So now the seedlings finally have enough water! 

Cucumbers look great- yay!

I think of starting seeds indoors as a bonus to get a jump on the garden growing season. It's not a necessity as you can always just direct sow the seeds in the garden after the last frost. No need to put pressure on myself with the seedlings!

Dahlia Tubers

Last garden season was the first season I finally had success growing dahlia tubers after two failed attempts. My yard is clay soil which is super wet when it rains, and dahlias need good draining soil. My tubers either never came up, or the one that did sprout a little green quickly died.  Last year, I planted Jowey Winnie and Cafe Au Lait varieties in two vintage wash tubs used as raised beds, and it worked like a charm!

After a successful growing season, I then made my first attempt at digging up the tubers, dividing them, and storing them over the winter to plant again this coming season. It's definitely a daunting task the first time you try it. The Jowey Winnie clump was so densely packed with tubers! The Cafe Au Laits on the other hand, suffered from rotting. I attempted to divide them and really struggled to find the eyes, what dahlias need in order to grow next season. I think I maybe found two for sure, and the rest I either did a hack job on and destroyed, or I kinda just guessed and we'll find out if it does in fact have eyes. I covered them in peat moss in a storage container and kept them in my basement all winter.

Now that spring is approaching, I read that you can get a jump on the growing season and pre-sprout your dahlia tubers indoors. I think I will try that this year! I also read that the tubers may even start sprouting while still in storage, so of course I ran downstairs to the basement to see. I have 4 Jowey Winnie tubers sprouting! Cafe Au Laits - not so much. I had one Jowey Winnie plant grow last year, and I received 4 viable tubers from it, which is the magic of dahlias, if you can get all their needs right! I feel so accomplished that I tackled dahlia storing. Here's hoping these tubers continue to grow well this year too!

Suburban Hobby Garden 2022: Week 1 (The Past and the Future)

See you next week!

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