Spring-flowering bulbs are easy to plant and easy to grow. They require a chilling period to initiate flowering. Plant some this fall and enjoy the view from your window next spring. When planted properly in a sunny location, you'll enjoy colorful spring blossoms for decades.
If hungry deer visit your garden looking for a buffet of greens, then plant daffodils. Deer do not bother these hardy, carefree plants. However, deer love tulips and eat them like candy.
The many varieties of daffodils are all members of the Narcissus genus. You'll find trumpet types, long and short-cup, doubles, miniatures, and more. Daffodils come in shades of yellow, white, orange, greenish, and pink to reddish.
Some of my favorites are trumpet daffodils, such as Carlton, Dutch Master and February Gold with large bright, yellow blossoms and a long trumpet in the center. These "traditional" daffodils have large blossoms and a long blooming season. They are most effective when planted in large clusters and groupings. If you prefer white trumpet daffodils, try Mount Hood.
Trumpet daffodils are excellent when naturalized meaning they multiply and return each year. What could be better? I like plants that you plant once, then enjoy forever.
Let's talk quantities. Just when I think I have enough spring color, I want more—in both my front and back yard. The large bright blossoms are an intoxicating sight after a long winter. Also, plant enough to pick for bright bouquets. I suggest ordering bulbs by the hundreds if you want enough color for both indoors and out.
Planting Tips for Daffodils
Loosen the soil to plant daffodil bulbs about four to six inches apart and at least six inches deep in well-drained soil. Make sure to plant them with the pointy side up. The ideal time to plant bulbs in our area is in September and October, however, if the ground is not frozen, you can still plant into November or later.
Cover the bulbs with mulch such as shredded bark, pine needles, or leaves. Daffodils look best in a natural-looking planting scheme, so don't crowd them into straight rows. Give them plenty of room to grow and naturalize over the years.
After they bloom next spring, leave the foliage until it starts turning brown. The foliage helps produce enough food for next year's blooms. If untidy foliage bothers you, just cut off a few leaves from each plant so you don't weaken the bulbs.
Purchase Daffodil Bulbs Locally
In our own community, Bucks Beautiful, a non-profit organization is selling daffodil bulbs this fall. To support their efforts and enjoy beautiful daffodils in your own garden, contact Debbie Hays, program administrator. If you order now, you will get your bulbs in time to plant this fall.
For a donation of $24, you'll receive 50 bulbs. For larger bulb quantities, the prices are as follows: 100 for $51, 250 for $122, and 500 for $240. Contact Hays for quantities larger than 500.
To learn more, visit the Bucks Beautiful website or call Hays at 215-348-3913, ext. 114. You can pick up the bulbs at the Bucks Beautiful office in Doylestown, or have them delivered to your home.
Bucks Beautiful's goal is to plant one million daffodil bulbs. Through the two-year-old "Bulbs for Bucks" program, volunteers have planted 330,000 bulbs in our area. Take a walk along the canal towpath next spring and you will see the lovely displays of 300,000 bulbs from Bristol to Reigelsville. In addition, 30,000 were planted along the Rt. 611 bypass. This year's funds will be used to plant 170,000 bulbs along the new Rt. 202 parkway.