Are visions of sugar plums dancing in your head? Or are daffodils? Just like holidays require planning, so do the glorious Spring displays of daffodils in parks and around homes. Spring daffodils are the result of October gardeners who planned ahead. Hopefully spring bulbs are your concern now, because now is the time to get daffodils ordered and on their way. And, of course, it’s time to prepare their beds! Holiday preparations are important but first, three tips for planting Spring Daffodils in Dallas.
1. Buy Big Bulbs Now
This might sound obvious to some and foolish to others, but lets look at it. All Spring bulbs form the flower you see a good 6 months before they bloom. Daffodils are no exception. In other words, the bulbs you plant have already formed the flower you will see next spring. So, if you want big daffodils, buy big daffodil bulbs. Oh, and disease is less likely to show up with the bigger, more expensive bulbs than with the budget bulbs.
The alternative is, of course, to buy more, smaller daffodils, settle for smaller flowers this next spring, but feed them like crazy and hope you get big blooms two springs from now My experience has been that the first way turns out the best, and yes, I have tried it both ways. The smaller bulbs somehow never seem to get as big as the boughten big ones And the effort of planning and planting is the same for either one.
2. Plant Those Daffodils Now
Fall-planted daffodils will usually ship during the ideal time for planting: Sept 15 – Dec 1. That is, if you are ordering from a nursery that knows planting times for North Texas. Indeed, these are the best dates to plant between, and October is idea. Daffodils have time to get some roots down, maybe some tops up, but it cools down enough to keep them from actually blooming before their time. If they arrive in a week or two, no problem. Daffodils can be planted up to the middle of December.
If you bought the bulbs, follow the directions provided. If you were given some daffodil bulbs by a friend or neighbor who was “dividing” theirs, here are directions. Daffodils -like other spring bulbs-look better in groups of fives or tens, rather than in long, skinny lines, so dig a bed about two feet wide, and long enough to hold your bulbs. According to Southern Bulbs , space the daffodils at least 1-2 bulb widths spacing between each bulb. For dense color, you can plant 12-15 bulbs per square foot. Just realize this will mean digging and dividing sooner.
As far as sun or shade, daffodils will bloom best with a half a day’s winter sun. They can stand less sun but the flowers will suffer.
3. Feed Them Well Now
Although the flowers for this spring are already formed in the bulbs you buy this fall, to continue to have big flowers you must feed the soil the daffodil bulbs will be planted in. The classic bulb food is a handful of bonemeal placed under each bulb as you plant them. This is long-lasting nutrition. If you fertilize too much-especially with ‘lawn’ fertilizer-you are likely to get lots and lots of green leaves. Very pretty… but no blooms! Bone meal has the right kind of fertilizer in it(Phosphorus) for blooms as well as leaves. Also, it is cheap and easy to find at Home Depot , Walmart any good nursery like Calloway’s Nursery. It’s all the same stuff, so don’t go buying ‘expensive’ thinking you are getting better stuff. And mixing it with other ingredients just isn’t necessary.
Here then are the three tips for planting daffodils now for spring beauty this coming Spring. Buy well, plant well, feed well. And this just might work for other plants, too!