DAHLIA ‘HAPPY SINGLE WINK’
Article by David Marks
Dahlia ‘Happy Single Wink’ is normally grown as an annual in the UK although in warm climates it will overwinter successfully. With a height and spread of 60cm / 2ft it grows equally well in containers or flower borders.
Mainly light pink flowers with a deeper pink and yellow centre are produced from June through to mid autumn. The flowers are very attractive to bees. The leaves are a very attractive dark green colour. They will grow in all soils as long as it retains water but also drains well.
KEY FACTS DAHLIA ‘HAPPY SINGLE WINK’
|Loam, clay and sand, moist but well draining
|Acid, alkaline and neutral
|June to mid autumn, lots of them
|Attractive dark green
|Down to -3C / 27F
|Full sun to partial shade, avoid windy areas
|Yes, no special knowledge required
|Support / staking
|no, this is not required
|Yes, excellent choice
HOW TO CARE FOR DAHLIA ‘HAPPY SINGLE WINK’
Only plant out containerised dahlias after all danger of frosts has passed. See the last frost date in your area at the top right of this page. Dig a hole larger than the container and trowel in some well-rotted organic matter or multi-purpose compost. Remove the plant from the pot and place it into the hole to the same depth as it was in the pot.
If growing this variety from a tuber, you have two options. The easiest option is to plant the tuber outside around one week before the last frost date. The foliage will appear above ground in a week or two. The danger with this method is that slugs will eat the emerging leaves and this can be fatal for the plant. Plant the tuber so that the top is about 3cm / 1in below the soil surface.
The second option is to plant the tuber in a pot which is at least twice as wide as the tuber. Use multi-purpose compost to fill the container. Keep it well away from frost (a cool room indoors is suitable) until shoots start to appear. At that point it needs to be placed in a position where it receives good light.
Keep it protected from frost, an unheated greenhouse or against a house wall in a protected position is ideal. Plant it out into the open when the shoots are about 25cm / 10in high. At this stage of its development it is much less likely to damaged by slugs.
Gently firm the soil down and water the plant / tuber in well. If planting more than one, space apart at 60cm / 2 ft.
Watering when conditions are dry is important. To judge if the plant needs water stick your finger about 3cm / 1in below the soil surface and if it feels dry then watering is needed, if it feels damp then no water is required.
All dahlias do best when fed well and ‘Happy Single Wink’ is no exception. Feed each fortnight with a balanced liquid fertiliser according to the instructions on the pack.
Throughout the growing season pinch off dead flowers, this will greatly increase the number of new flowers produced.
PESTS AND DISEASES
The biggest pest of Dahlia ‘Happy Single Wink’ will be slugs and snails. This is especially true when they are first planted. The larger the plant the less danger there will be of slug and snail damage.
Aphids can also be a problem, however under good conditions the plants will shrug off an aphid attack.
WHERE TO BUY DAHLIA ‘HAPPY SINGLE WINK’
There are many varieties of this type of dahlia, so although this variety is popular it may well not be available in your local garden centre. It is available online from several suppliers. From hard experience we have leaned that Crocus supply good quality plants of this type. Click here to go to their website.