First Aid for Non-Blooming Daffodils

April 2, 2012

THE TIMELY TOPIC OF DAFFODILS CAME UP THIS WEEK, when a reader asked “Why don’t my daffodils have flowers?” Actually,  these Narcissi have a number of requirements. If their needs are not met, the bulbs will deny us their bright bouquets. And here is my list of causes and cures for poor- or non-flowering daffodils:

Too much nitrogen. If your soil is naturally nitrogen-rich, or if you sprinkle a high-nitrogen fertilizer around bulbs, you can bet the spring picture will be all leaves, no flowers. Cure. Feed your bulbs with a high-phosphorous formula. I feed mine with a granular, 5-10-10 mix. This I apply three times each year: first in early autumn; then in spring when leaves emerge; then immediately after flowers fade.

Too much shade. If, in spring, deciduous trees leaf out and shade your daffodil’s ripening foliage, the bulbs will not produce the embryo flowers needed for next year’s show. Cure: Prune lower branches from trees to admit more sun.

Lack of moisture. Keep in mind that daffodils require abundant moisture (though not soggy soil) when they are actively growing. Cure: Give them supplemental water in times of spring drought, or if the bulbs are growing in the vicinity of trees.  Tree roots will steal available moisture and food for themselves.

Leaves removed before ripening. After flowering, bulbs rely on their foliage for photosynthesis. Consequently, if leaves are removed before they have ripened, there will be no flowers the following year. Cure: Remove faded flowers, if you wish, but do not remove foliage until it withers and becomes loose .

High Heat. Daffodils love cool weather, and will not tolerate a heat wave. I well recall April 2008, when temperatures here soared into the 90s for several days. The following year my daffodils made a very poor showing. Cure: I’ll admit I do not have one.
Crowding. Bulbs usually divide themselves every year or two, eventually forming a large clump. Such crowding puts the bulbs in competition for food and moisture, which in turn mitigates bloom. Cure: Dig clumps after foliage has withered, and replant the individual bulbs 6 inches apart and 6 inches deep. Do not provide supplemental water until autumn.

Are your daffodils a delight — or a disappointment — this spring?

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Comments

  1. Yolanda says:

    Kevin, thank you, thank you, thank you! I planted 50 yellow daffs in fall 2009, and they bloomed spectacularly in spring 2010. This year, the leaves came up but NO FLOWERS. They get plenty of sun, but I didn't know to fertilize them. I will feed them now.

    You said to feed again after the flowers fade. But since I have no flowers, when should the next feeding be?

  2. Yolanda – feed again in late May, while foliage still looks fresh. Be sure to water the bulbs, too, if Nature doesn't do this for you.

  3. Adele says:

    Hmmm…for the last two Aprils we did hit 90 degrees. This might be the reason most of my daffodils haven't bloomed in 2 years. Bummer.

  4. Betty819 says:

    I never knew you should fertilize daff..I planted 90 daffs in 2009 and I didn't get a lot of blooms last year but this year, we've had so much rain and a cold Spring so far, and they are more blooms this year..one more year and I will be dividing them probably. Thanks for all the helpful gardening information. During the summer, I use Liquid Miracle-Gro..throughout the summer. So I need to look for some grandular high phosphorus fertilizer, right? Do you prefer one brand over another as far as getting better results?

  5. Betty – There is no single brand I prefer. But I do try to use only organic fertilizers. Presently I'm using one Espoma's “for bulbs” mix.

  6. Chris says:

    Kevin, I think I may have cut my daffodils back to soon last year which is making for a year of no blooms. If I wait longer this year will they come back next year? Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Chris

  7. Chris – nice to meet you. Yes — if they receive ample sunlight, moisture and food (don't forget this last item), and if you let their foliage wither naturally — your daffodils will most certainly greet you with blooms next spring.

  8. I was so disappointed this year when all the beautiful daffodils I expected (had last year) came up but didn't bloom! Last year before they were all dried out, my goats got out and ate most of them down. I guess that is why they didn't bloom this year. I am glad to know that I should be able to expect them next year, if I allow the stalks to dry out before I cut them off. Thanks! :)

  9. Laurie – Very interesting…deer won't eat daffodils, but goats will! I learn something new every day.

    Be sure to feed your bulbs now — while they are forming embryo flowers for next year's show.

  10. Dan says:

    Kevin, thank you for creating such an outstanding newsletter. I have several daffodils coming up under a tree that I'd like to move. Only the leaves are currently up; can I move them now, or should I wait until after they start flowering? Alternatively, should I wait until after they have passed and their foliage has withered?

  11. Dan – nice to meet you. If you move your daffodils now, the bulbs will shut themselves down. This will result in no blooms next year.

    The best plan is to wait until the foliage withers, for this signals dormancy. Then you can safely dig and transplant the bulbs. They should bloom for you without a hitch next year (especially if you feed them now, while the foliage is growing.)

  12. Laurie (with he naughty goats) here again! What should I feed my daffodils with? We have a farm and lots of manure available (goats ARE good for something!), would that be as good as commercial plant food? Thanks! :)

  13. Laurie with the naughty (but loveable, I am sure) goats – do not use manure for bulbs. It's too high in nitrogen. To be safe, use a commercial mix which is high in phosphorous. Espoma makes a granular mix that is intended for bulbs. “Blossom Booster”-type fertilizers will also work.

    You are lucky to have goats. Their composted manure is best reserved ideal for vegetable and ornamental beds.

  14. Tiffany says:

    After my blooms have wilted is it safe for the bulbs if I let my goat eat the green that's left over?

  15. Tiffany – welcome. If you let your goat eat the green leaves, you will definitely not have daffodils next year. Bulbs use the leaves to store food, and also to make the embryo flower for next year.

  16. jill says:

    I have daffodils planted in three different locations. Usually they all flower, but this year, not one produced a flower. All received enough water and sun, two lots were regularly fertilized, but not one bloom. For us in Perth, Australia, it's been a cooler and wetter spring than usual, but in no way boggy wet, for this time of year, but apart from that I have no clue as to what went wrong? My Fressias, however, in two of the same areas, flowered prolifically.

  17. jill – Nice to meet you.

    If the bulbs are several years old, it might be time to divide them. The dividing-directions are outlined above.

    Otherwise, my guess is that your daffodils received too much nitrogen. Feed them now with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorous food. This will encourage embryo flowers to form within the bulbs.

    Stay in touch, okay?

  18. Joelle says:

    I ALWAYS struggle with the fertilizer thing on every plant!! I just don’t get it. Thankfully my daffodils like what’s going on cuz they have been blooming! I have a few tulips too,but there used to be more. I just found out that after they die off this season, I just break up the bulbs and spread, and that should help them come back.

  19. Gen says:

    This has got to be one of the most common springtime questions we get asked at my nursery, and you have created a wonderful, concise explanation for it. I now no longer have to send people to 3 or 4 different sites with half-explanations. Thank you thank you thank you! Hopefully you will have some new visitors to your blog soon… :)

  20. Joelle – It helps to plant tulips where they can be dry during the summer. I have mine on steep slopes throughout the property. The only summertime moisture they receive is from rainfall — and on a slope this water drains very well. These tulips have returned spring after spring for me, and some are going on 10 years!

    Gen – That is music to my ears. Glad to be of service!

  21. Colleen says:

    Mine are buried under our current building project (I kind of doubt that the daffodils under the dumpster will show up…). A few showed up the other day and rather than letting them be crushed by lots of boots/shoes I dug them up and they’re in a pot. I hope they survive. If not, then I’ll put more in this fall. I miss them…

  22. Colleen – Good news — since your daffs have already received their cold-treatment, they’ll probably bloom in the pot you gave them. Give them food, water and sun, and be sure to let the foliage wither naturally. Then you can store the bulbs some place dry, dark and cool over summer. In autumn the bulbs can be planted out again, but this time, not under a dumpster!

  23. Lissa says:

    None of mine have bloomed booo. The tulips in the same planter are doing amazing, Hmmmm. I may have overcrowded them. I am going to try giving them some more room and try some fertilizer.

  24. Tara says:

    Mine “regular sized” daffodils bloomed for the first two or three years after I planted them, but now not at all. I realized that I have the too much shade problem. I’ve found a solution that doesn’t require cutting back my tree limbs. I switched to all miniature daffodils instead. It seems, they don’t require as much light to regenerate and are still going strong for 5 years now.

  25. Lissa – Yes, fertilize while the foliage is still green and fresh.

    Tara – I love miniature daffs, too. So reliable. And like small flowering houseplants, they tend to do okay with less sun.

  26. despina says:

    Thank you, thank you, Thank you. Michael teases me and says that my “scallions” look real good. My “daffydils” bloomed the first year, then they went dormant!

  27. Andreas says:

    Hi Kevin,
    great tips there!! I have a border of daffodils which are planted below the kiwi vines in my garden and they usually flower great (south of France), except for some clumps, which seemed to have gone out of sync – their leaves start appearing in November, and they have not flowered for a couple of years. I dug up one clump, which consisted of a fair number of smaller bulbs, and re-planted them elsewhere, but no joy. This year we had an exceptionally dry spring, and flowers came up early, on shorter stems and wilted pretty quickly. I sprinkled bone meal along the whole bed, but now I’m not sure if that was the right fertilizer to put on them?
    Love your blog!
    Andreas
    P.S. have just started my own blog at http://www.midihideaways.wordpress.com

  28. Joetta Fort says:

    My daffodils are a delight this year. We did have a heat wave, 3 or 4 days in the 80s. I hope next year’s blooms won’t refuse to show.

  29. Rachel says:

    Kevin, I don’t usually comment on the blogs I frequent, but have wanted to share that I LOVE your blog!!! I have followed you for a few years now and always look forward to the next installment :) My daughters and I are enjoying the gallon jug “greenhouses” on our deck too!

  30. yarnball says:

    Hello! None of my mom’s iris bloomed this year. May I follow the above directions for daffs?

  31. Judy Pennington says:

    My daffodils bloomed better this year than last, BUT some of them are strange! I only planted these bulbs a few years ago, so I know they aren’t bound yet, but the past couple of years they were only about 6 inches tall and the blooms were perfect, but only about an inch big. They looked like little miniature flowers. I planted regular size bulbs and the first two years, they were beautiful, then two years ago,……………… mini’s! ???? This year, about half of them bloomed regular size and the other half were mini’s. Do you have any idea why they would do this?

  32. Joy Muray says:

    Kevin’ Is it good to break off the (look like seed pods) after the daffodils have finished blooming? Or should it stay on for nourshment for next years bloom like the leaves? thanks for all your help.

  33. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the post! I learned a lot and mine I think is the shade problem.

  34. Despina – That made me chuckle — I guess daffodils without flowers do resemble scallions somewhat!

    Andreas – Bone meal is a good choice for bulbs, because of its high phosphorous content. I peaked at your gorgeous blog — it makes me want to visit France again!

    Joetta – We had a weird March heatwave here, too. Hopefully the daffodils didn’t notice :)

    Rachel – Thank you for the kind words. My collection of “greenhouses” is multiplying, too!

    yarnball — Iris rhizomes, like Narcissus bulbs, need full sun and division every 3-4 years, too. However, never scatter fertilizer directly over the rhizomes. Instead, spread it around them, or dig it into the soil beneath when dividing. Make sure the top half of each rhizome is above ground. Too-deep planting will mean no flowers.

    Judy – Based on my own experience, shrinking stem- and flower-size is an indication that division is in order.

    Joy – You can cut off the seed pod along with the faded flowering stalk. Only the leaves are needed for photosynthesis (the conversion of sunlight into sugar.)

    Debbie – So glad you found this article useful. I once planted dozens of daffs beneath a huge, sweeping, 100-year-old arborvitae. How gorgeous the flowers were their first spring! Of course there were no blooms at all the following year, as the location was too shady. Daffodils are prima donnas when it comes to sunlight!

  35. valerie says:

    As always, gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, Kevin. Your advice is always so down to earth and inspiring that I am putting on my gardening clogs as I type this. Who is the bodacious beauty in the third picture? I have never seen a frilly daff before and would love to track some down. My favorite bulb purveyor is John Scheepers. Yours?
    Happy digging!

  36. valerie – Thank you for the kind words. The frilly doubles are ‘Rip van Winkle,’ purchased (as I recall) from Easy to Grow Bulbs (dot) com.

  37. stacey says:

    Mine have been delightful, though they are done blooming right now. As if on cue, my tulips have taken their place. I love my bulbs!

  38. Carole says:

    Would the same reasoning apply to non-blooming iris. Have beautiful foliage but no flowers.
    Live in SW Mississippi and needless to say we have extreme heat, sometime well over 90. How will this affect my iris blooming? Have close to 50 blubs and have seen only 3 flowers in several yrs.

  39. Carole – Iris rhizomes, like Narcissus bulbs, need full sun and division every 3-4 years. However, never scatter fertilizer directly over the rhizomes. Instead, spread it around them, or dig it into the soil beneath when dividing.

    Also – make sure the top half of your rhizomes are completely exposed. (If you can’t see the rhizome, it is buried too deeply.) Covered rhizomes will not bloom.

  40. Eleanor says:

    Hi
    Iplanted daffodil bulbs 2 years ago, along a border and in a few groups, none of he border ever appeared last year, if i planted too deep will they ever come up or will i haveto go bac and redigthem up, the ones in groups came up last yr but didnt flower, i will fertilise themnow. is there any hope for the ones in the border?

  41. Hi Eleanor – Were the bulbs in your border of the same variety you planted elsewhere in groups? If so, they should have at least sent up top growth. I’d dig a few up a few bulbs, and inspect them. If they are still plump and firm, they ought to grow. If they are mushy, they are goners.

  42. liza says:

    Kevin, I LOVE the blog. Have been lurking about here for a year. I have a bed, that gets mostly intense afternoon sun, that is filled with daffodils, tulips and hyacinth. I have recently added some gerbera daisies and a few other flowers that survive NC winters. My daffodils have been getting worse every year and this year I had ONE bloom. I always plant annuals over top of the bed of bulbs after the foliage fades naturally. I do use Osmocote for the annuals and I water frequently in our high heat summers. Could the annuals’ treatment cause problems for the bulbs? Could the acidic pine trees nearby be a problem? I have a few I can “de-clump,” but many are not showing enough foliage to be “clumped.” Will add bonemeal now and in May, of course. But I thought I did that when I planted some new ones and still got nothing but green.

  43. Lisa – Nice to meet you. Yes, it’s highly possible that your annuals are interfering with the bloom-rate of your daffodils. That’s because annuals want plentiful moisture during summer, while daffodils do not. Like all Dutch bulbs, daffodils prefer dryness during summer dormancy.

    As an experiment, dig up some of your well-fed bulbs after their foliage naturally withers. Then store the bulbs in a bag of dry sawdust, peatmoss or vermiculite over summer. Set the bag some place cool, dark, and dry. In autumn, replant the bulbs. If they bloom next spring — as I suspect they will — you’ll know that excessive water was the reason for your lack of flowers.

    Hope this was helpful to you!

  44. Nan Elliot says:

    This is the second year a clump of daffodils haven’t flowered. There are loads of leaves but they are brown tipped. They are on the grass, and other daffodils, crocuses and snowdrops are flowering well in the same area. Please help as I love my spring flowers.
    Nan.

  45. Patty says:

    After many years of my husband cutting the foliage off way too soon, I started planting daffodils behind daylilies so their spent foliage would blend in with the daylilies as they emerge.

  46. Denise in NJ says:

    I’m LOADED with blooms this year! I have done nothing differently, so I can only assume that it is due to the weather we had this winter. Last year I had very few, but this year my house has a low yellow wall all across the front. Every bulb has a bloom!

    FYI: In the past when I had an aquarium in the house, I would dump the water from a water change onto my garden. I had the most beautiful, biggest, most fragrant hyacinths during those years. Now that the aquarium is gone, they’re puny, look like they’re missing petals, and the fragrance is there, but not as heavy.

  47. ArtistryFarm says:

    In response to posts about goats: this herd is 40 years old and for as many years, the manure has been being applied every few years to daffodils and tulips and they bloom beautifully. It’s chicken manure which burns because of high nitrogen. Goats are well worth the time and effort for far more than their manure: milk is made into cheese and soap; whey is worth its weight in gold for nutrition and feeding acidic-loving plants; goats are watchdogs as well as companions and if I had to choose one animal to be with me in the wilderness, it would be a goat!

  48. Rachel Arney says:

    Hello there! Your blog is so very imformatioand helpful as well as beautiful! Thank you for sharing your insight! My daffodils are under a tree and doing so-so but my irises I’m thinking need help more than the daffodils. There seems to be tons of green but no blooms. They’re under a redbud tree so there’s lots of light. I am thinking they need to be dug up and divided…when is a good time for this? Any other things I could try? Thank you!

  49. despina says:

    I was always at war with my daffodils. Sometimes they did not bloom at all. They looked like scalliions………

  50. Carol says:

    We bought this house a little over a year ago.. there were some daffs growing under some trees that were not blooming. I dug them up last spring, and moved them to a sunny spot closer to the house, when I planted them I gave them some Bone Meal, they didn’t bloom this year either… How long does it take for them to bloom again? (after who knows how long they were in the old shaded spot.) Most of them were on the smaller side (Robin egg or smaller)

  51. Andreas says:

    Hi Kevin,
    I have daffodils that sprout their leaves in November/December (it doesn’t get too cold int he south of france) and they never bloom. It’s just the odd clump and so far feeding has not made any difference. Do you think there is a remedy or should I just dig them up and replace them with new bulbs?

  52. Rachel Arney – Autumn is the best time to plant or reset iris tubers.

    Hi Carol – If your narcissus (daffodil) bulbs receive the cultural conditions described above, they should bloom for you the very next spring. They need abundant food and sun while the foliage is growing in order to produce embryo flowers.

    Andreas – I wonder if your daffodils are the Dutch-types that require at least 12 weeks of cold in order to bloom. Maybe it’s just too warm where you are. Lucky you. Tropical narcissi should do very well in your region.

  53. Bettyann says:

    Hi Kevin! I, too, have been a “lurker” for about a year, and I always look forward to the arrival of your blog notice in my Inbox. Thank you — for your copious amounts of information (condensed into bite-size, intelligent but understandable, pieces), your flair, your humility, and your unfailing sense of humor! I’m a complete novice home gardener (except for some small success with houseplants many years ago), and my problem may be a bit different, I think.

    Last Summer I began a complicated, phased, rehab project on my little home — the first I’ve ever owned (I’ll be 70 next Tuesday). In anticipation of the rehab completion by November, I succombed to the temptation to have a gorgeous front and back yard this year, too, and bought HUNDREDS of terrific bulbs to plant in the Fall.

    Just at the point I’d have begun this happy planting project, LIFE intervened (astonishing how that seems to happen, isn’t it?): the rehab wasn’t finished; family members got sick, the holidays came and went almost unnoticed, snow- and ice-storms appeared, etc., etc. And of course, while I was dealing with crisis after crisis, my stash of beautiful bulbs languished, unplanted (not even out of their mailing boxes!) in the garage.

    I live in rural SW Missouri, whose seemingly never-ending Winter this year has finally busted out in Spring just this week — today we’ve even hit 71 degrees! Though Spring is definitely welcome, now I’m worried my unplanted bulbs will get too warm, perhaps even try to grow inside their boxes — I can imagine all sorts of disasters.

    So do you have any suggestions about how I might save as many of my bulbs as possible, to be planted NEXT Fall? Or should I try to put at least some (or all?) of them in the ground this week, although that’s 6 months late? Help, please! And thanks again!

  54. Bettyann – Happy birthday to you! I’m afraid that next fall will be too late to plant your bulbs. But here’s an idea: Throw a bulb-planting party! This way, you can sip a cocktail while your friends do all the work.

    I suspect that most of your bulbs will have sprouted in their boxes. But if you get them in the ground now, they might surprise you with flowers in only a few weeks time. A fine birthday present, yes?

  55. Jude says:

    My daffodils were planted by four little children twenty five years ago. Trenches were dug and bulbs were tossed in randomly. It was an unplanned Thanksgiving acativity to keep the kids outside. I now have hundreds of shinny yellow faces all over my one acer yard. They have bloomed every year and have never divided even though some may have been spread when accidentally pulled up during weeding and been tossed with the weeds. Some have been moved when plants dug up for Spring display indoors and were replanted. Some have just taken it upon themselves to mosy into the woods. Joggers stop and admire them and question how they got into the wood by the side of the yard and the woods across the street. Since I really have no answer, they must find and ask the true caretakers of my gardens, the Flower Fairies. Good luck, they are a secretive group. I have learned to sit back and enjoy what grows on 150 year old soil which has never seen modern fertilizer, is rained on when ever. will be respected as long as I am.

  56. Jude – The flower fairies are indeed a secretive group. But they are also a generous clan. This year, they “planted” Chiondoxa all over the property. I can’t complain.

  57. Carol says:

    DO winter temps have to get below freezing for bulbs to bloom the following year?
    I live in the south and it is not as cold as “back home” and I was told this was the reason the leaves come but no flower. Thanks!

  58. Hi Carol – In my experience (which includes forcing the bulbs), Dutch Narcissi require 12 weeks of below-40-degree temperatures in order to bloom well. So yes — if your winters are on the warm side — Dutch bulbs may not flower for you. On the other hand, tropical or “tender” Narcissi do not have any cold-requirement, and will perish where winters are severe.

  59. Louise McPhillips says:

    We have months of 90+ days and it rarely drops below freezing in Alabama. Yet our narcissi have bloomed well year after year…many of the varieties must be at least 30 years old, as they predate our living here.

  60. Across the road our daughter’s jonquils are blooming nicely, but down the hill from our house, our’s have the greenery but not the blooms……we had a horribly hot summer in Springfield, IL last year …. that must be the reason….thanks for your wonderful full of info column…love it!

  61. Mark says:

    The deers ate the first 10 inches of my 150 tulips. We had a beautiful show lat year. Do they have any chance of survival? Anything I could do now to save them? Thanks

  62. Judy Pennington says:

    KEVIN, I have a doozey for you, I planted my daffodils about 4 years ago, and they bloomed magnificently for two years in a row. Then the next year it was like a quote from the movie, “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids”. The green stems are only about 6 inches high and the blooms are not quite that tall, and they’re not much bigger than the tip of my pinky finger. I’ve asked several people about them, but no one seems to know why they miniaturized. A few stayed the normal size and my narcissus are normal size, but not producing more than 2 or 3 blooms. My hyacinth and tulips are doing great and they are all in the same place. Any suggestions?

  63. Judy Pennington says:

    LOL well, guess I should have read the column BEFORE I posted!! I asked you this question before and never got back to see the answer. Since it is too late now, I will certainly dig my bulbs and replant them this fall.

  64. Angeleena says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I planted daffodils bulbs last August and they all sprouted, but seems not growing. The leaves are bearly a finger length above ground while the daffodils on my friends house and all around here in Stavanger, Norway already bloomed. Some of the leaves show some yellow colour. Does this pointing to anything, like I should water it or not water it or add fertilizer, anything like that.

  65. Shirleen says:

    My daffodils are just lovely this year. But have not always been like that. I just wish they would bloom right at Easter but they always seem to bloom afterwards. I just patiently give them a lil lovin tender care and the results are phenomenal! My garden conversation piece.

  66. Regina says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Omigosh…. I really goofed up! Today I trimmed all the green foliage off my daffodils, and somehow came to this webpage and realized—–oh no!!!—-I should not have done that! Is there some way I can remedy the situation with adequate phosphorous to help these poor hacked-off plants bloom next year? I feel terrible about this…
    p.s. I love your website!

  67. Stacy says:

    This is our first year on our property in the spring. There is greenery
    Across 2 acres but not a single one bloomed. (Old property)
    All down our street neighbors have beautiful flowerings.
    Any clue which fix it to try first in this situation?
    Thanks!!

  68. Bonney says:

    My daffodils haven’t bloomed much if at all since I planted them several years ago. They are on the north side of the house, within a few feet of the house. We are located in the SW US, but at high altitude, so we get enough cold weather, and, in general, a lot of sun. I will try fertilizer, but do you think they get too much shade? It is quite hot and dry on the south side of the house, although some grape vines there do well.

  69. Debbie says:

    this is our first year in our new home. The Tornado of 2011 ripped this neighborhood apart ~ everything has been rebuilt, but my yard is VOID of everything except a couple Arborvitae the previous owner planted (in the wrong place). It’s bitter sweet – in one way I have a clean canvas and I can paint it anyway I wish… on the other hand, it sure is BORING right now :-/ Spring has sprung. We have already fertilized the grass and have been researching Part sun flowers for the front. The back is ‘mine’ for building raised beds: rough cut lumber has been ordered, 5 cy of organic composed order, Straw bales (just) located and will check on these this week. Yesterday we fenced off the rear of the property ~ OH HAPPY DAYS! A total organic garden for our bellies – hope to gave extra to share ~

  70. Hi Kevin,
    The one thing that irritates me about spring bulbs is when I want to change perennials in the gardens I almost alway dig up bulbs. Is this a problem for you?

  71. Linda C says:

    Just received your much anticipated blog, and suspect you are finished reading, but will try anyway. Your answer to Lisa above makes me wonder if moisture is the culprit for my disappearing tulips. They are located in the sun, part-shade “island” in my front yard, where they are watered every other day by the lawn sprinkler. One year I even made little wire cages to plant the bulbs in, suspecting they were being eaten over winter by moles or voles. Still no luck with the tulips. The daffodils do well, but the hyacinths wane and tulips are a no-show every year.
    As a side note, my late mother-in-law had a beautiful prolific bulb garden and she used to say you had to “thank” the bulbs after blooming with a handful of fertilizer. I always thought that was a sweet way to remember the task and her, of course.
    Love your blog, as usual, and always learn something, Kevin.

  72. Lori G. says:

    The first of my daffodils just flowered this week. They are my favorites, the tiny Tete-A-Tete variety. I plantted them in 2012 in a sunny spot protected from mowing activities amongst my perennial border and they’ve flowered nicely. This year the blossoms are fewer so I will try adding fertilizer as you suggest. Thanks for all the growing tips!

  73. Karen Burks says:

    Mine are beautiful. We have many varieties on our old home place. When my father purchased this home and acreage, there was a man who raised flowers living in a little frame house behind ours. It was in the deed that he could live here rent free until he died. He had no utilities and got water every day from the outside faucet. He had an old potbellied stove that he used for heat and to cook on, but he raised daffodils, iris, day lilies and peonies. There is also every kind of flowering shrub in the yard. When he passed, my parents tried to keep up with the flowers, but it became to much. Now that I am back in this house, I am trying to tame some of the flowers and shrubs, but they are just all over in the field and the back of the property, plus the ones that I have transplanted. All are starting out to be wonderful this year, although we have been in the 60s & 70s it is suppose to drop into the 20s with a high tomorrow of 37. I hope it doesn’t kill all of the daffodils, muscari, redbuds and lilacs, plus the dogwoods are just starting to bloom.

  74. Gwen Feiten says:

    Hi Kevin, I finally divided my daffodils last summer so am hoping there will be a spectacular display this year….they are just popping up their little heads. Want to share a tip with you and your readers that I learned when I was a young gardener from the Japanese gardener who tended the gardens at a house in which I was employed. Thought the gardens were so neat and tidy with their little knots of leaves. He would take the clump and then tie them in their own leaves. Looks great and when they become dried, you can just pop off the entire little bundle. Thanks for all your great tips; just love your blog!

  75. Ava lansbery says:

    Kevin I adore you and your common sense gardening. I must deal with heavy clay soil in central Illinois and my daffs do very well but I cannot get tulips to come up the second year. It might be the squirles (sp) ??. The price of the bulbs is a little high for annuals. I haven’t planted them in cages, but. Might give it a try. What do you think about cages? Also, I have a couple of hostas that have grown out of the ground???very strange sight. The roots are on top of the soil. I guess they need to be dug and planted deeper but the sprouts are coming thru this root mess. I guess you would need to see it.

  76. Thanks Kevin! I was wondering why only 1 flowered this year and they are my favorite Spring flower! I will make sure to water them better and do the high-phosphorous formula.

    My Hyathis were very crowed this year and yesterday just separated them out. I started with 8 blubs last year and this year have over 30! I going to have an abundance next year!

  77. Alicia O'Neal says:

    I was wondering why my daffodils have no flowers and you answered my question.
    Thank you, Alicia

  78. Linda says:

    Hi Kevin! Love your blog. One thing you haven’t mentioned is the daffodil fly. I have yet to accurately identify it, but the larva of the fly chews into the center of the bulb and eats from within. It is apparently fairly common here in the Pacific Northwest, unfortunately. I speak from experience. If I find a clump with leaves and no flowers, I will usually dig even while in full growth to determine if it has been invaded. Even with all this, I have over 400 hyacinth, over 1000 daffodils and thousands of smaller bulbs that bloom each spring. Because of ground rodents and squirrels, the only way I can enjoy tulips and crocus other than the tommasinas is in pots. Happy Spring!

  79. LindaBee says:

    Hi Kevin!
    Love your blog and all of your helpful tips and recipes. As far as spring-flowering bulbs go, all hail the glorious daffodil!! I shake my fist at the deer, which mow down just about anything, but in the spring the joke is on them. They simply won’t eat a daffodil! I have many varieties I put in several years ago from a grab-bag type of deal, everything from tiny 2 cm flowers to pink cups to doubles and more. A neighbor nearby planted a bunch on a hillside last year, spelling out the word SPRING. He or she must have somehow known how awful our mid-Atlantic winter would be.

  80. Behold says:

    Earliest daffodils are just starting to show color around the NH Seacoast.

  81. Barb says:

    Some of my daffodils get a flower head but never bloom out. The paper like cover doesn’t come off and if I pull it off they still don’t flower. What could be the problem

  82. Val says:

    Last year the daffodil leaves never faded instead they just kind of overlapped all over the area. This year we had a frigid winter and now lots of rain. There are only five blossoms and lots of leaves. What would you suggest?

  83. Wanda O'Reilly says:

    Wonderful site,thank you.This year none of my hydragaes bloomed we did get a few frost days in early spring…..perhaps this is the reason,would love your input.

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