The Olde Creamery



Growing Dahlias in a modern world of technology, where information is available to us at a moment’s notice, it it may feel that growing of Dahlias is overwhelming to the novice or even the well-seasoned gardener!
When do I plant? When do I feed? Does this look like gall/virus? Must I sing to them on a warm spring day? (optional – but recommended!) are all questions we regularly see on various social forums.
On this page, we will give a layout of how we successfully grow our Dahlias here on the farm. 
From their humble beginnings in the mountainous regions of Mexico, explorers from Spain discovered the original two specimens in 1570. From these cultivars, some skill, and a lorra lorra luck, the infinite varieties of Dahlias we have come to know and love were born…


Whilst this might initially sound odd, for us at The Olde Creamery, the Dahlia growing season commences in Winter. When the tubers are lifted for storing over winter, this is when we commence preparing our beds for the forthcoming season. We believe that if you focus on feeding your soil, then you’re 1/2 way to having a successful season of blooming! 

So winter is the time for feeding the soil! 

For the home gardener, now is the time to visit the “green church” on Sunday and buying some bags of compost and/or manure. Perhaps consider trying a microbe stimulate too. Better still, if you have access to a local supply of manure/compost use this and cut the plastic!

Here on the farm, due to the amount we use,  we order compost from a local company, which we then top dress our flower beds with, rather than tilling (digging in). We find this feeds the soil naturally (in nature no one comes along to dig poop into the soil) and reduces the amount of weed germination, due to the soil not being as disturbed – win-win! 

In our own gardens, we aim for a closed loop system i.e we allow weeds to come up, they get fed to the livestock as treats, we then collect their offerings and put this onto our gardens/into our compost mix.

We also keep our population of composting worms – all individually named by Jamie – which provides us with castings and juice.

If your beds are to be left bare until re-planting consider planting some green crops – Rye Grass, Wheat or Peas.  These will happily keep the soil micro activity busy, and come spring the plants are easily pulled out and laid on the surface as mulch to continue feeding the soil. This overwintering crop helps as the soil never becomes stagnant and the nutrient cycle is ready for your plants the moment they are planted. 

If you are establishing new beds, make sure that they are at least 20cm deep and where possible raised. Dahlias thrive best when they can be planted to a depth of 10 cm, with room for them to form new tuber clumps throughout the season. Raising your beds will help significantly with drainage, Dahlias hate wet feet and will soon rot and die when not yet established.

If wet soil is an issue, consider buying our garden ready plants in Spring. These young plants from cuttings we have propagated, so they have strong root systems, but no tubers yet, so are not suspectable to rotting! Don’t worry they will form a nice clump of tubers for you by the end of the season.

Winter is also the time for mulled wine and hot chocolates, cozed up with the fire going inside, you can plan your gardens for the growing season – which varieties grew well this year, which would make better bedding ones, which need a lot more space around them (Urica!!!)

Start looking at the online catalogs of sellers and start a wishlist and price list. You could even set a budget haha but we all know that will be blown when it’s Dahlia shopping season!  Some now even do pre-ordering. This way you are partly ahead of the game when the “silly season” starts and hopefully can get your next season’s must-haves!

If you lifted your tubers for storing, don’t forget to check on them regularly. We set a reminder on the phone. If they are drying out (shriveling), spritz them with some water. Remove anything which is looking suss or rotted, which can prevent spreading to other tubers, and you can spritz the area with a bleach solution too. 



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Our Rates

  • Monday - Thursday $140

    Price per night. Public holidays require 2 night min stay. Pets welcome at $25 per stay.

  • Friday - Saturday $150

    Price per night. Public holidays require 2 night min stay. Pets welcome at $25 per stay.