Planting bulbs is as much a part of the fall as raking leaves for me. And the arrival of this first bag of daffodil bulbs tells me it's time to start thinking about spring.
It always astonishes me that from a dried brown bulb such a wonderful flower can emerge. The daffodils embody spring with their fresh, simple beauty.
Over the years I've discovered some simple techniques that help me make the most of my fall planting and spring display.
First, while daffodils will grow throughout most of the country, some varieties perform better than others in any given area. With over 13,000 daffodil hybrids to choose from you might want to experiment and compare notes with other gardeners to find the bulbs that will perform best for you.
Next, when you plant, be generous. Plant in large drifts using the same variety for the strongest visual impact. I like to plant in groups of 25 - 50. And you'll find planting daffodils with a dark green background such as a lawn or shrubs is the most effective.
While these flowers are some of the easiest to grow and most dependable, you'll want to plant daffodils in areas of good drainage and plenty of sun. Planting the bulbs at the drip line of trees is better than placing them under the tree. And always avoid planting daffodils around shallow rooted trees. You see the tree will take up the nutrients from the daffodils making it difficult for them to return next year.
I hope you'll find a place in your garden to plant some of these beauties this fall you'll be glad you did in the spring.