Alan Titchmarsh gives tips looking after daffodils
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Daffodils are one of the nation’s favourite spring-flowering bulbs, bringing both floral interest and a much-needed pop of colour to the garden. Planting these beautiful flowers ahead of the cold season is essential to guarantee a thriving showcase of yellow blooms at the end of winter, but when is the prime time to bury your bulbs? According to the Royal Horticultural Society, planting season is just around the corner, and it’s very “quick and easy” to get right.
When to plant daffodils
Growing daffodils from bulbs is one of the most rewarding gardening jobs, with little time and effort needed to successfully produce the stunning yellow flowers.
Not only are they able to grow in almost any type of soil, but also in smaller gardens too – so you don’t need lots of soil space.
One of the most important things to do is give the bulbs enough time to establish before spring, but exactly how long before the flowering season should they be planted?
According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the time to plant daffodils is drawing closer now that summer is on its way out.
The society said: “Plant daffodil bulbs in early autumn, ideally September, and potted bulbs in spring before they come into flower.”
Planting them so far in advance gives the bulbs the best chance to “bed in” and establish a healthy root system before producing vigorous growth in the spring.
This means that you can actually plant daffodils as early as August, according to Alan Titchmarsh.
He explained that a full autumn and winter in the ground is the key to growing a bright display.
Daffodils aren’t the only flowers you can plant at this time either.
Several other spring-flowering bulbs including tulips and fritillaria can also be grown from bulbs in the autumn.
By the end of September, the time is up for planting crocus and hyacinths.
Hardier bulbs that bloom later in spring or summer, such as lilies, alliums and crocosmia should be planted by the end of October.
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When is it too late to plant daffodils?
While planting spring flowering bulbs earlier is possible, they can also be planted later than September.
In fact, the gardening experts at Thompson and Morgan explained that daffodils can be dug into the ground right up until November.
This will work as long as the first frost hasn’t arrived.
After this time, you run the risk of a failed display if the bulbs haven’t had long enough to establish in the ground.
How to plant daffodils
Planting daffodils is very straightforward, though there are a few fundamentals to get right.
According to the RHS, organic matter and fertiliser are essential to successfully grow your own daffodils.
Before planting, the RHS recommended digging over the soil to loosen it and remove all weeds.
Fork in plenty of organic matter and add general fertiliser before digging the bulbs into the soil and burying them with more earth to grow.
Always plant the bulbs to a depth of three times the height to secure flowers for “many years to come”.
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