Donations for dahlia tubers raise $780 for the Senior Center

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

John Hibbs and a happy 'customer'
Photo by Gina 

By John Hibbs, Shoreline resident

The Dahlias For Seniors season opener tuber event was a great success! We had 47 visitors and sold out; people took home about 450 tubers of 70 different dahlia varieties. We generated $780 for the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, tripling the sum raised at last year’s May tuber event! (See previous article). Thank you so much, friends and people of Shoreline!

With cold drizzle falling the morning of the event, it moved indoors to the Conference Room of the Senior Center. Some people came for a variety or two, some came for 20-40 varieties, jumping into dahlia gardening whole hog. It was exciting to hear that some folks have found their inspiration from purchasing our fundraiser dahlia bouquets at the Ridgecrest Pub or the Senior Center last summer.

John's dahlias are growing
Photo by John Hibbs

We are getting a strong start to this dahlia season. I planted the first weekend in May, and with plenty of sun, some light drizzle, and nights between 50 and 60 degrees all but one of my tubers are up; most of them already 6”-12” tall. With some further good fortune we’re on course to see bouquets in mid-July.

If you are just getting your tubers into the ground, that’s fine; you’ll see lots of flowers in about 10 weeks, and they’ll produce heavily through October. Plant your tubers about 4” deep in fertile, well-draining soil into which you’ve worked a few tablespoons of bone meal, with their little growing “eye” or tip pointed upwards. Until the green shoot breaks ground in a week or two, don’t let the soil dry out, and don’t overwater. At this point they are like little sponges and soak up water like crazy, can waterlog. Once they’re growing vertically, they can handle and need lots of water, because they’ll then be growing bigger quickly.

I’ll keep you posted about the Dahlias For Seniors bouquets. Once again they will be available for a donation at the Shoreline - Lake Forest Park Senior Center (18560 1st Ave NE, Shoreline 98155) and at the Ridgecrest Public House (520 NE 165th St, Shoreline 98155), beginning mid-to-late July.


John Hibbs, ND, supervises the Bastyr University naturopathic medicine clinic held at the Senior Center on Mondays. Clinicians see children and adults for a fee of $15 to the Senior Center. For appointments, call the Center at 206-365-1536.


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