12 January, 2009

Are Your Daffodils Showing Green Shoots Yet?

I know many of you won't be seeing daffodils for weeks yet but for gardeners in the Deep South the early daffodil season has now begun. Some of you have daffodils that are already in bloom. In my own Alabama garden I don't have any blooms yet but the unseasonably warm December caused my early season bulbs to sprout a few weeks early. My Carlton large cupped daffodils and the Tete-a-Tete as well as some of the jonquillas are already showing green.

Make Sure Your Sprouting Daffodils Don't Get Thirsty
So if your daffodil bed is showing green your daffodil growing season is here. Make sure that your bulbs get plenty of water for the rest of the winter and spring. This means that if you don't get any rain or snow you'll need to give your daffodils a good deep watering at least once per week. Daffodils like moist soil while they are growing and blooming.

Should I Feed My Daffodil Bulbs When They Start Growing?
If your bulbs are newly planted you don't need to feed them before they bloom. If your bulbs are well established it helps to give them a dose of bulb food when you see green. You can use a balanced powdered fertilizer or a liquid. Just make sure whichever bulb food you choose is low in nitrogen and high in trace minerals.

If you're using powdered food spread it out at the rate recommended on the package and scratch it lightly into the soil with a small garden fork. Be careful not to damage emerging shoots. Give the bed a deep watering after you incorporate the fertilizer. For liquids you can mix with water at the prescribed rate in a watering can or use a hose end sprayer. Just follow the directions on the package. I encourage the use of organic fertilizers but of course it's your choice what you use in your own garden.

Next, we'll talk about what to do with bulbs you may still have that didn't get planted in the autumn.

Narcissus Bulbs Sprouting, January

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1 comment:

  1. some of ours are raising their little heads here in nw nc.


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