Sept 11, 2020: “Plant bulbs soon for early spring color”

by Steve Boehme of the Chillicothe Gazette

In this article, Steve encourages readers to plant Narcissus bulbs, more commonly known as daffodils. He states that late summer and early fall is the best time to plant the bulbs to have a nice show of color in early spring. He also states that daffodils are a good choice because they “rapidly multiply into large clumps” and because “they aren’t attractive to rodents or deer” so they “can be ‘naturalized’ in wooded areas”.

My wife and I certainly agree with that advice. After moving into our newly finished house in August 1994, we began planting spring bulbs. The first few years we planted about 6,000. While there were some tulips and others kinds of bulbs, many were different varieties of daffodils. And just as Steve reports, the daffodils have been the most successful. Having planted early, mid and late varieties, now each spring we get between 30,000 and 40,000 blooms over a five to six week period. They also make great arrangements for the house.

But that’s only half of the story. When you get large clumps it is best to dig them up and “split” them. When you do you get a great return on your original effort. Where you might have originally planted five or six bulbs you might now be digging up 50 to 75. So after you replant five or six bulbs you’ll have as many as 45 to 70 bulbs to plant somewhere else. And it won’t materially impact your spring display!

I began splitting our daffodil bulbs as far back as 2010. I’ve been replanting them in new areas of our property, especially in the words. Over the years we’ve also been sharing bulbs with friends and family. In 2013 I started planting bulbs on the grounds of Adena Mansion. I did that for four years and over that period of time planted approximately 2,000 bulbs. Now there is a nice show of daffodils at the museum and in some of the woods around it.

I estimate this year we’ve dug up at least 1,000 bulbs. But even with that number taken out of our yard we’ll have another great display next summer. We’ll be giving some of the bulbs away and planting others at the graves of some of my wife’s relatives. We’ll also be planting many of the others at the Millennial Grove. And next summer or the summer after I’ll most likely be splitting some more. It becomes a never ending source of new spring color!

So if you like spring flowers that give you years of pleasure, I strongly recommend you take Steve’s advice and plant some daffodil bulbs this fall.

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