Dear Dahlia Doctor, My Tubers Are Squishy

Dear Dahlia Doctor,

I stored my tubers in plastic bags with vermiculite in my basement at approximately 43 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why are some tubers squishy and shrunk and others are firm and normal?

Squishy Tuber

Just look at how squishy they are!!

Squishy tuber mysteriously damaged even when stored correctly

How did these get so squishy when they were stored in the correct manner?!

Help me, Dahlia Doctor! What went wrong to make me lose these tubers?! Did I do something wrong when storing them? I followed the common storage methods and they have worked successfully for me in previous years.



Unfor-squished Circumstances


Dear Unfor-squished,
It looks like the tubers that are squishy were put in storage when they were still damp; too much moisture in the packaging will cause rot.  

The ones that are shriveled were probably allowed to dry too long before they were stored.  It also happens that some tubers that are narrow and/or flat will not keep because they dehydrate from the storage in dry vermiculite.  

After cutting, the tubers should only be allowed to stand before packaging and storing for a few hours. During that period the outer skin and necks will dry sufficiently for storage.  Thicker/larger tubers will retain a little more moisture and tend to rot when stored in plastic or saran wrap if not properly dried before storage.  

Tubers should always be checked a couple of times during the storage period. With regular inspection, tubers that are starting to rot can be discarded and will not spread rot to other tubers within the storage container. 

- The Dahlia Doctor