Plant daffodils for spring colour « garden creations omagh

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Plant Daffodils for Spring Colour

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at a glance

Plant Daffodils for Spring Colour

Daffodils are the most adaptable of all flowers but vary greatly in size, shape and colours including many variations of yellow, white, orange, pink, apricot or red in both early and late flowering varieties. There are perfect for woodland areas, bedding schemes, tubs, borders, rockeries and window boxes alike.

Exceptional Value
A daffodil, like a tulip, has a flower already formed inside the bulb but unlike most bulbs, it is possible for more than one flower to be inside. They are sold as ’rounds’ or ‘double-nosed’, the later producing two stems and flowers. The less expensive ’rounds’ are in no way inferior, indeed all daffodils bulbs are exceptional value for money as they propagate themselves by division with most yielding a 50-70% increase within a year. The skin or tunic should be clean, light brown and smooth and the bulb quite firm when the base is gently pressed with the pad of the thumb.

Botanically speaking
The trumpet-shaped types are commonly referred to as daffodils, while the shorted cupped varieties are known as Narcissi but botanically speaking all belong to the genus of Narcissus.

Endless uses
In early Spring, an area of rough grass or a lawn can be brought to life with clumps of daffodils or Narcissus. A mixture of yellows, creams and whites will give a very natural effect and the clumps will eventually spread to cover a much wider area. Remember, however, to think carefully before planting the bulbs as you won’t be able to mow the grass around the bulbs for at least six weeks after flowering, so the area will look untidy during this time. If the bulbs leaves are removed earlier, the bulbs will become weak and eventually die. Make sure to feed the bulbs every year after flowering with Sulphate of Potash, to ensure a fine display the following year.

Golden drifts
It is not only grassy areas that Daffodils and Narcissi can be naturalized, they can also make a handsome show when left to themselves in random drifts in beds and borders, forming a golden carpet between the surrounding plants. Use them in less formal areas of the garden where the leaves can be allowed to die down naturally without spoiling the overall effect.

Planting and feeding
Daffodils are greedy so a few weeks before planting dig in well-rotted manure or garden compost and at planting time add some bonemeal to the planting hole. There is a new food of bulbs called Bulb Boost that is high in potassium, helping to produce strong flowers. Plant the bulbs twice their depth making sure that the point of the bulb is facing upwards and if planting in clumps make use that the bulbs are not touching each other in the planting hole. Always water the area well after planting to ensure the soil is moist right down to the bulbs. Again it is important not to cut the leaves off for at least six weeks after flowering as the bulb stores its food in the bulb for the following year and a top-dressing of Sulphate of Potash is beneficial after flowering to ensure good flowers the following year.

Overcrowding
Daffodils and Narcissi can become over crowded so it is a good idea to lift and divide the clumps every three to five years in summer to ensure flowering. Carefully remove the soil until you find a clump of bulbs, trying not to damage any of them. Lift the clump and gently tease it apart into individual bulbs, leaving some of the tiny bulbs in small groups, which can be planted together. Dig over the soil adding a little Bulb Boost or bonemeal and space out the bulbs, 5cm (2ins) apart, then plant them twice their depth.

Don’t forget

* Daffodils look best when planted in wooded areas or at the edge of the lawns where this facilitates mowing without disturbing the daffodils growth.
* Avoid planting in long straight lines, bulbs look better set in clumps.
* If you cannot plant bulbs as soon as you buy them, open the bag to admit air and place them in a cool well ventilated location.
* Deadheading, where possible, helps the bulb to build up the necessary nutrients for the following years growth.
* Consider scented varieties for window boxes, patio containers and situations close to the house.
* Choose mini daffodils for early colour in rock gardens and window boxes.
* When planting in containers, keep compost moist to prevent flower buds going blind but never over-water to the point of saturation.

Posted on Monday, September 14th, 2009 under
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