M&Co, Sounds like you will be anything but late this year with your dahlias. Even if you don’t start extra-early, it’s good to pinch the dahlias to promote a really bushy plant with lots of flowers. When the plants are a foot or a foot and a half tall, you’ll have about three sets of leaves already fully developed, so pinch out the growing tip above the third set of leaves (leaving all three sets intact below that). Hopefully this will prove a quick fix. Meanwhile make sure they have plenty of light so they don’t get any leggier than necessary. Margaret
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.