Do not pick the same ole daffodils!
Most of us are familiar with the yellow trumpet daffodils that appear in our gardens in the spring; however, there are so many different varieties from which to choose -- many with different forms and in different colors.
Fall is the time of year to plant bulbs for spring blooms. They can usually be planted as early as September or as late as December, depending upon where you live. You want to allow the ground to cool before planting, which means that you should wait until after you have had at least a week of temperatures 55 degrees Fahrenheit or lower or until after the first light frost of the season. How deep you plant the bulbs will depend upon the size of the bulb. A good rule of thumb is to dig a planting hole 2½ times the diameter of the bulb. Daffodils like to be planted in well-drained soil enriched with lots of organic matter. They also prefer a sunny spot. They look lovely planted in groups at the front of borders, among rock formations, and even around and in old tree stumps.
Consider, too, planting your daffodils among summer-blooming perennials. Once the blooms have faded, you do not want to cut back the foliage. (Do not, under any circumstances, tie them up with rubber bands!) Allow the leaves to die back naturally. While they are doing so, they will be taking in nutrients for the next year's blooms. In the mean time, they will not look very attractive. Summer-blooming perennials, such as daylilies and coneflowers, will grow and cover the dying leave of your daffodils.
Now that you have decided to plant daffodils, let me suggest that you find some different types other than the ever-so-popular solid yellow trumpet daffodils. There are numerous varieties available that are in different colors and have different forms. These also tend to bloom at different times, which means that you can have daffodils blooming from very early spring through late spring. Following are just a few of my favorites, which you might like to try in your own garden:
'CumLaude': This variety is known as a collar daffodil. In other words, the trumpet or corona is split and folded back onto the petals. The split corona on this particular variety is a salmon-pink color with pale-yellow to white petals. 'CumLaude' is one of the first blooms to appear in my garden in the spring. (I live in Northeast Tennessee in Zone 6. This daffodil will usually appear about February.) The blooms last for quite a long time -- at least one month.
I ordered my bulbs online from Brent and Becky's Bulbs, located in Gloucester, Virginia. (I later met Brent when he taught one of my Tennessee Master Gardener classes. Also, if you live in the area, you can visit their shop at 7900 Daffodil Lane.) I have always had good luck ordering from them. The bulbs are always large and healthy. They are also not shipped until planting time, which means that you need not worry about how to store them while you are waiting on the right time to plant them. The only problem that I have ever had with Brent and Becky's is that they may not have a particular variety available; therefore, I suggest that you order as early in the season as possible.
'Ice King': This is another early-blooming collar daffodil. It has a pale-yellow ruffled split corona and white petals. The blooms are also huge, being at least 6 inches across. Look for this bulb online at Colorblends in Bridgeport, Connecticut, if you are unable to find it available at Brent and Becky's Bulbs. (Both companies, by the way, will mail you catalogs at no charge.)
'Tahiti': This is a double yellow with bright orange-red specks in the middle. It blooms mid- to late-spring. In fact, it is one of the last of my daffodils to bloom. I also found a miniature version that I included with 'Tahiti.'
You can look for 'Tahiti' and many other varieties online at John Scheepers, Inc. (Once again, you might want to request a free catalog.) This company tends to be a bit more expensive than the other two previously mentioned, though not prohibitively so. (They are usually only about 50-cents to a dollar more.)
Order catalogs from the companies mentioned here to discover hundreds of different varieties of blooms for your garden. I have dealt with all three companies and find them to be quite reputable, delivering a good product that will soon be blooming in your garden.
Tahiti with Miniatures
Joined:Sep 7, 2010
I have been gardening for most of my life and completed the TN Master Gardener course a few years ago. Since then, I have been writing gardening articles online in addition to being published in local magazines. I also give gardening talks around my area, helping people to realize that there is no great mystery to being a successful gardener and that even those with brown thumbs can have beautiful gardens.
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