Brent is a second-generation farmer who spoke to a gathering of master gardeners recently. He mentioned that his grandmother sewed daffodil bulbs in the hem of her dresses when she came to America.
I have ordered bulbs from the Heaths for a long time and have been happy with their products. Daffodils will brighten your garden and landscape with yellow smiles in early spring. They are affordable, require little maintenance and are tolerant to pests. Daffodils contain a narcotic alkaloid that is distasteful to deer, squirrels and voles. Daffodils bloom in February in Virginia when ours are sound asleep.
Now is the time to order your bulbs for next spring, but don’t plant them until early November, when the soil temperature is somewhat lower. Loosen the soil down to 3 times the bulb’s height then plant with the pointed side up. Cover the bulb with a mixture of soil and compost.
After the blooming season is over, apply a fertilizer high in phosphate. Do not remove the stem or leaves for at least eight weeks as they are key to the bulb blooming in full again next year. The bulbs should be divided every five years. When replanting do not remove the smaller bulbs from the mother bulb.
Other spring flowering bulbs that enhance yards and gardens are crocuses and anemones. These bulbs are small and can be planted one or 2 inches deep directly in your lawn. Since it is difficult to determine which side is up, Brent recommends to plant them on their sides. These bulbs will bring you surprises next spring. The blooms and the plants will disappear before you need to mow the lawn.
“In the garden, autumn is indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in daffodil time, do we get such superb color effects as from August to November.”
— Rose Kingsley, “The Autumn Garden,” 1905.