Can I water my dahlias yet?
I recommend not watering your dahlias until they are a couple inches above the ground. But, there does need to be moisture in your soil for the tubers to thrive, just not a saturated soil. In my area, we have a very dry climate and I have to overhead water once a week at the beginning of the season because we get little to no rainfall. If you live in an area that gets regular rainfall you likely will not need to water until your plant is about 2-3” tall.
Once dahlias are up they love water! After they are established and getting taller they are going to need a lot of it. When the plants are about 3” tall, you can start watering gradually. Start with once or twice a week and then continue adding days throughout the summer. In the heat of the summer they may need to be watered daily. The frequency and amount of water your plants require depends on the climate where you live, the current weather, and your soil type.
Getting water to your plants is vital for good growth and lots of blooms. There are many options for watering, I highly recommend getting an automatic timer for whichever method you choose!
A few options for watering are:
- Drip line- This is the method I use and prefer. It gets the water right to the base of the plant, has emitters spaced evenly throughout the tube (most drip line has options for different emitter spacing, I recommend spacing 10” or no more than 1’ apart). Can be set with an automatic timer.
- Soaker hose- These hoses can be found at garden centers and many home-improvement stores. This system is similar to drip line, and works by water coming out of small pores all over the hose. Works well for small gardens. Hoses can be added together to create a longer soaker hose if needed. Can be set with an automatic timer.
Overhead sprinklers– Overhead sprinklers work well and many commercial growers use overhead water. If your dahlias are part of your landscape and already get watered by overhead (yard) sprinklers that works just fine. Overhead watering can sometimes help with deterring pests, but it can also lead to stem rot if water gets inside of the plant stem after a flower has been cut. Can be set with an automatic timer.
* I use overhead water at very beginning of the season when plants are small and to help keep the dust down in our fields. After I pinch the plants I start using drip line.
- Hand water– A standard hose or a watering can will work as well. It’s necessary to make sure each plant is consistently getting enough water once it’s established.