Artist Frances Palmer, well-known for her pottery, is also a passionate dahlia gardener. After teaching us how to plant dahlias, she returns to GardenDesign.com to show us how to dig up and store dahlia tubers for the winter.
Before you start digging the tubers, pull out any supports you used during the growing season, such as tomato cages, stakes, and string.
Using a pitchfork, start to dig outside the circumference of the tubers. The size of the flower will give you an indication of the size of the tubers in the ground. (For example dinner plate dahlias will have larger tubers and pom pon dahlias will have smaller tubers.) The larger the plant, the larger the distance of the tuber from the center of the stems.
Gently push the pitchfork deep down and under the tuber bunch. If one or two get snapped off while pulling up the plant, this is fine and will not damage the plant.