New Dahlia Plants Have Barely Grown And Older Ones Are Distorted

Question From: L. McMillan - OHIO
Q: I have two dahlia plants that have comeback for the third year this year. They have always had beautiful blooms. I planted two more this spring, but they have barely grown, and the original two plants are terribly distorted. They started to bud, but I don't think I will see any flowers. What happened?
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A: They don't look diseased or show insect damage so my guess is the weather. This year we have suffered inconsistant and unseasonable temperature swings that have taken their toll on our garden plants. I would fertilize them with Neptune's Harvest fish emulsion every couple of weeks and see if they pull out their funk. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy