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Tips & Growing Instructions: Daffodils
A successfully naturalized daffodil field can bloom for up to 30 or even 50 years! First, choose an area with good drainage and sunlight. An area where grass can be left unmown until the foliage has matured is ideal. Hillsides are excellent spots. The edges of woods are also good, if you are planting an early-blooming variety which will have a chance to mature before the trees come into full leaf. For best impact, plant drifts of like kinds and colours. Many gardeners “arrange” their drifts simply by taking handfuls of bulbs and throwing them about for a natural-feeling distribution -- just dig where the bulbs land!
When naturalizing daffodils, you will get the best results and many years of blooms by taking the time to plant properly. For most naturalizing projects, you will be working in uncultivated soil with thick sod, so it is necessary to give each bulb a small custom-cultivated hole. Usually, this means lifting out soil with a spade. One clever way to make precise bulb holes is to use a battery-powered drill – a half-inch drill with a 3” bit usually does the job.
Work up the soil from the hole with some peat moss, sand and about a tablespoon of low nitrogen fertilizer. Refill the hole to just below the planting depth with this mix. Next, add one handful of sand and then the bulb (you do not want the bulb in direct contact with the fertilizer). Then fill the hole the rest of the way with sand and replace some of the sod. With a sub-layer of rich, fertilized soil to send roots into, your daffodils will grow even stronger and bloom for years!