Landscaping with Bulbs--TOW

Hamish Sloan
Sat, 15 Nov 2003 11:06:53 PST
Hello All,

Some time back Jim S wrote about his naturalizing daffs:

They look very nice when in bloom, and we do not cut the grass and weeds in 
those areas until the foliage has started to yellow off.

I don't see much increase in the bulbs so far.  I assume this is due to
inadequate fertilizer and excessive competition from grass.

I've found it only necessary here to leave the daffs for six weeks after 
the flowers first fade before cutting down the foliage. Six weeks worth of 
development seems to be enough for the following years flower crop to form. 
I have certainly found that a good dose of general fertilizer scattered 
over the whole area of the naturalization to be well worth while in terms 
of the next years flower crop. I use an ordinary general fertilizer during 
this recovery period, if I remember, I give a second or even a third dose 
at two week intervals but do water in if you are going to give more than 
one dose. We have a commonly available one here called Growmore originally 
developed for veggie growing in WW2! (I use this for the lawns generally 
rather than pay through the nose for the specialist products.) One reason 
for a lower crop of flowers in the second year is that newly planted areas 
seem to split the bulbs or form many offsets as a reaction to the trauma of 
the transplanting. They are often dug too soon by the growers in any case, 
possibly not even my suggested six week recovery period allowed, so that 
the bulb has not had time to form the next flower bud or one that is there 
aborts because of this mis-treatment. That other amaryllid, nerine, is like 
this in its reaction.

Once established, naturalized daffodils do not seem to be affected by 
competition from the grasses. Their roots go deeper. An old planting may 
seem to regress due to overcrowding. Any of my larger clumps appear to 
flower better round the edges of the clump, so I lift groups here and there 
every several years (NO, I don't count the years! time flies away fast 
enough as it is.) and replant immediately in the very early Autumn. 
Daffodils do like a long settling period to get well established before the 

Regards Hamish
Wettish zone 9 - and very wet now -
in the central south UK
(Please put where you are - it tells a lot about your growing conditions)

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