Storing the Dahlia Tubas for Winter

Well, we now have had our first frosts here in England, and so it was the perfect time to lift the Dahlia,s and store the Tubas.  As promised I will show the process. Those of you who live in warmer climates will not have to do this, and even in the South of England often tubas are left in because the winters are not as cold as further North.

Here you can see in the first photo how the flowers start to blacken when the frost hits them.  ( If you click the photos, they can be enlarged ) 


Now the frost has hit the Dahlias it was time to start digging up the tubas

Hubby getting to grips with the Dahlias

After cutting off the Dahlia tops, the tubas are dug up and placed into  the wheelbarrow

My job was labelling. 

Hubby made a metal grid in the allotment greenhouse, where you place the stalks side down and tuba side up, This helps to drain the moisture out of the stalks .. And here they will stay for a couple of weeks until the soil has completely dried and can be shaken off.
Then they will be stored in the shed and covered with some hessian sacking. And they will be fine until next year when we will plant them out again.

Everything now in the allotment is more or less ship shape, Hubby has now dug where the Dahlias were, and the last of the weed has been hoed from between the leeks and sprouts. Now the frosty mornings are arriving not many more weeds will grow, and what do now will be easily hoed up. 

I took some photos of a couple of plots, just showing you how when you turn your back, or they are left alone for a while just how quickly nature reclaims them back

The plot next to ours, and only a few weeks away it and how its got overgrown with weed just showing you how you have to stay on top of your allotment even in Autumn.

A vacant plot of two years three plots from ours.



This plot was a once well-kept plot, but the person who held it became ill and could not continue.


We also have a plenty of windfall apples, these have been given us by other allotmenteers who have had more than enough for themselves. 


All of these apples you see were windfalls which we had given us. And despite their appearances, most are perfect apples beneath their skin and lots of Apple Pie’s have been made and lots more apple crumbles to make too.

And today I made another Apple Pie which goes down a treat with lashings of hot custard.

Homemade Apple Pie


Happy Gardening, and Happy Eating all that you produce.

Until next time. Sue 

51 thoughts on “Storing the Dahlia Tubas for Winter

  1. I love fall preparation. There is nothing like a little nip on your but to motivate you. I leave my Dahlias outside usually and have not lost that many. Our winters are changing however and we may have to dig them up. We had snow the first week of November which is unusual for us. It is amazing at the amount of work you put into your allotment. It makes me tired just hearing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Joseph, yes, the weather is changing and to be honest our winters here also have been milder for the last 7 years. Our last big snowfall was Dec 2010. When we had to dig each other out on our street. A really community effort, as we all live on a hill, and nothing could get up, and the snow ploughs were busy with main roads..
      The Dahlias you have been lucky with. And I dare say if well mulched and covered in straw etc, they would survive except sub-zero etc.. but We would hate to lose them after having had some for many years now..
      I guess we don’t think of it as work.. I have not been as active in it this Autumn as I would have liked. But I don’t do the digging.. lol.. well not as much these days..
      Seeing how quickly plots are reclaimed by nature and turf, making sure you keep on top of things is what counts.. Little and Often is our motto.
      So many times we see weekend gardeners, who think once and month will sort it, and next time they arrive all their hard work is covered again in weeds..
      Some take on plots thinking there is nothing to it, planting a few veggies, that is the easy part.. 😀 as you well know..
      Lovely to have you on the plot again my friend and enjoy your weekend.. 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true Mark, which I just explained to Joseph in my above comment.. Yes the pie was yummy, as was the roasted apple and butternut squash soup recipe I tried for the first time in combination, with onion and garlic, and a little chilli flakes.. Very warming.. And another way to use our squash and apples.. 🙂
      Mother Nature does her thing, especially when our backs are turned lol. And so yes, Little and often is our motto to keep to grips with the growth of weeds 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very organised! It’s amazing what happens to an unkept plot, and quite sad that no one has taken it on.
    Your apple stash is brilliant, we are down to the last couple from my father in laws plot now and have to buy apples!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mrs C.. I have I expect lots of goodies to catch up with on your blog,
      There are far too many plots now vacant, The problem being they are huge plots, The Allotment Association is run by an elderly gentleman in his 80’s and he has not been as enthusiastic because of ill health.
      There has been talk of the council halving such large plots, which would make them more manageable. But our allotments are not the best kept compared to others in the district, which are run much more proficiently by the allotments appointed managers. But I am sure it will soon change once some one with more enthusiasm get to grip with it..

      The apples so far are lasting well.. and they are so much more tastier I feel, than those we buy.. I bet you miss his apples now they are all gone. 🙂


      • I hope things do improve! Our site is the only one in the village and is run by the parish council. We have plots no one wants, but other people take on a couple and at least keep them mowed etc then they are ready for new owners if they apply. My father in law got his very quickly (we were a bit jealous as his plot had apple trees and a summer house on!) Take care x

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes I hope so too… We are surposed to take down shed etc if you leave your plot.. But people often leave sheds Polly tunnels etc.
          Thank you So enjoyed all your creations Mrs C.. And good luck at the Christmas Fare. xx


  3. Sounds like winter is settling down in your part of the world. Those tubas looked tucked safely away and off to a good sleep, so hope they will bloom next year 🙂 So generous of other allotmenteers to give you some apple and it looked like a beautiful apple pie you made there. I wonder is there still any pie left… Take care, and stay safe 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi dear Mabel, Yes we are always sharing and giving each other bits and bobs off our plots.. We gave Leeks in return, and some parsnips, And No sorry, No apple pie left.. This post sat in drafts for a few days lol and is now just a memory LOL 🙂
      I did however make Roasted Butternut squash and apple soup.. A first, and very tasty, I will be making that again for sure.. 🙂
      Lovely to see you too Mabel and I bet there is now another post from you, Last time I checked there wasn’t but I will call by later today to say Hi xxx ❤


      • So nice of you to share and care. Maybe they will come round with some leek stew for you 😀 No more apple pie…next time I need to be faster if I want a slice , lol 🙂

        Apple soup. Never heard of it. Googled it and it looks amazing. Might have to give it a go sometime 🙂

        Yes, you are right…no post last time due to taking time off. Thank you so much for the love ❤


  4. I love dahlias, so many and varied types. I grew them in NZ but didn’t have to lift them except when they needed thinning out. Unhappily I cannot grow them here as they do not like the humidity. You must get a lot of weed seeds blowing across from your neighbours unkempt plot


  5. Love the look of that Home made pie Sue, can smell it from here.
    Having read your post now need some advice, as we are in a warmer climate, would it be safe to leave Tulip bulbs in the ground, google tells me different story’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I have left tulips in the ground so long as they are deep enough. I have them come up each year and leave them.. Though in the beginning I did lift them dry them and replant them.. They do seem stronger done that way.. But they should be fine if around six inches deep in the earth.. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I see and admire the beautiful dahlias but I couldn’t have imagined how much hard work it needs to save the tubes.What happens if you leave them into the soil?Will they be able to sprout again?Thank you for sharing the procedure of storing the dahlias,dearest Sue & also this delicious apple pie made with those windfall apples.Love & kisses to you my lovely friend 🙂 ❤ xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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