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"Daffo-Deal": Planting Daffodils in Fall for a Spring Bloomin' Bargan!

It’s fall y’all and I still have a gardening bug in my bonnet. Do you feel like that too? Last month’s blog post mentioned boosting your home's "street cred" with porch curb appeal ideas. Today’s post will help spark ideas for a lasting investment in your home's outdoor spaces without breaking the bank. The cooler temps are a perfect time to add value to your home with a few gardening projects. I adore digging and piddling in my yard especially when the humidity drops. Here, in the foothill mountains of North Georgia, the air begins to shift from warm and sweet to crisp with subtle hints of woodsy, tall pines. My autumn olfactory memories reach way back to being a kid. You know those fun nights around the fire pit roasting s’more’s or maybe your Dad tending the smoker for all the delicious football food to come?

One of my favorite childhood memories is picking daffodils with my Mama at an abandoned farm property, just down the road from where we lived. It was always in full spring bloom just in time for my birthday and to this day, whenever see daffodils, it reminds me of those days spent with her. So this fall, I’ve decided that I’m going to round up the kiddos to do some last minute planting now, for an explosion of color next spring. Not only will this display this stop neighbors in their tracks, but it will add value to my yard for years to come! You see, daffodils are perennial bulbs, meaning they come back year after year. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid them and they can be planted just about anywhere, even in the shade. During the winter, the trees that loose their leaves allow light in just in time for the daffodils to bloom. By the time the tree's leaves fill in, the show is over as summer approaches. These mighty little bulbs need at least 12 weeks of cold weather (think 45i-sh and below at night) to get party ready for spring, so planting in the months of September-November is preferred. You can even plant these little bulbs in pots and move them where you want to highlight areas anywhere at home. Just make sure your vessel is at least 12 inches deep and equip with drainage holes. Simply fill it with good potting mix and plant away! When the show is over, make sure not to remove the foliage that remains until it turns brown and dries out. The bulbs take time after their bloom explosion to gather strength through photosynthesis in order to multiply for next year’s display.

Remember to have fun, create some memories of your own and who knows, maybe it will become one of your fondest too!

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Here are a few pointers for planting day and care:

  • Order high quality bulbs. They will bloom bigger and more prolific. I ordered mine and had them delivered the same week. There are tons of variety to suit lots of growing conditions, and more colors than you would think, like these, or these, or these.

  • Make sure you look up your area’s frost date. For all daffodils, fall planting is preferred up until two weeks before your region’s frost date. For some places this can be up until December. For those in warmer climates like zone 9-10, you can often find pre-chilled bulbs too.

  • Daffodils don’t like wet feet. When planning your display, hillsides, raised beds, pots/containers or in ground are all okay as long as there is adequate drainage.

  • Plant pointy side up. The roots grow down and are located on the plump end of the bulb. Space them 3”-6” apart depending on the size of your bulb to give each one room to spread out and prevent overcrowding over time. Also plant at a depth that is twice the size of the bulb. For example, if your bulb measures 2 inches, plant at a depth of 4 inches. This and this make it much easier to dig holes.

  • Plant in mass for the biggest impact! Whether you are going with a single variety or lots of different ones, these guys look best in a crowd. *Bonus tip: if you’re planting different varieties together, it extends the bloom time to the max. Each variety blooms independent of the others, so the more variety you add, the longer the blooms will be on display.

  • Planting style doesn’t matter with these naturalizing bulbs. You can literally scatter them for a very organic, like “they just planted themselves” look or stack them like little solders all in rows.

  • Daffodils appreciate feeding of bone meal after flowering too. It will help to nourish the bulbs to multiply into clumps and produce big blooms next spring. It will take a few years but the clumps can become quite large. If you find your daffodils are getting too dense you can dig them up, divide the clumps, and replant. After the foliage tops begin to dry is the best time to do this. If they are staying put and all the foliage has turned from green to brown, you can cut them back and await the next show-stopping display. Happy Fall Gardening Y'all!

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