Growing Daffodils for Your School

The garden is an excellent teaching tool.  From a single flower many subjects can be taught including geography, science, art and literature.  That was my inspiration when I created a partnership with two local schools.  Students come to the Garden Home Retreat in the fall to plant daffodil bulbs on a special place called Daffodil Hill.  The following spring they return to pick bundles of flowers that are sold to help raise funds for their respective schools.  We call the event Daffodil Days.

This project has been going on for a while and the students have been very ambitious. Over the past several years they have planted over 50,000 bulbs and raised a considerable amount of money.

Of course not every school or organization has the ability to plant daffodil bulbs on such a large scale, but the idea can be scaled down to fit any sized group.

I suggest you take the concept of Daffodil Days and convert it to containers.  Each child can pot up 5 daffodil bulbs this fall to sell next spring.  To further your fund raising, find sponsors for the bulbs similar to a walk-a-thon or book reading marathon.  If parents and friends of the school would provide $5 dollars per bulb, with a class of 30 students each planting one pot of 5 bulbs you could raise $750. 

Allen talking with students about growing daffodils. Keep front end costs at a minimum by joining forces with a local garden center.  Ask them to donate the 1 gallon black nursery pots used to plant the bulbs and if they would help you get the bulbs, fertilizer and soil at a discount, if not free.  You can suggest a field trip to the garden center where the children can pot up the bulbs.  They may even store the planted pots for you until spring.

Alternatively you can send the planted pots home with the children to care for over winter.  Be sure and send instructions home with the children so they will know how to care for them. The containers should be kept outdoors or in an unheated garage/shed, and the soil should be checked occasionally to make sure it isn’t soggy, or too dry.

In spring when the daffodils begin to emerge have the children make decorative container sleeves with construction paper.  Slip a card with care instructions into the pot and the arrangement is ready to sell.  I think $10 is a reasonable amount for something that as been so lovingly cared for and can be enjoyed for years to come.

What You Need:

  • 1 gallon plastic nursery pots (1 per child) 
  • Daffodil bulbs (5 per pot)
  • Potting Soil
  • Slow Release fertilizer (1 bag should be plenty for 30 pots.)
  • A place to store the pots outdoors over winter
  • Construction paper, pens, glue, glitter
  • Cards with care  instructions

Steps for Planting the Bulbs

  • Fill the soil to 6 inches below the top of the pot.
  • Sprinkle the soil with about a teaspoon of slow release fertilizer.
  • Place the bulbs, pointed end up, on top of the soil.  It doesn’t matter how far apart they are spaced.
  • Cover the bulbs with soil.  They should be buried about 6 inches deep.
  • Water just enough to moisten the soil.

Instructions to Include with the Blooming Daffodils:

  • Place pot in a sunny location.
  • Water when the soil is dry.
  • After the blooms fade, transplant the bulbs with the foliage intact to the garden.  Plant in a sunny spot with good drainage.  Allow the leaves to die back on their own; this will give the bulb energy for blooming next year.

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