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Pots of gold

Wednesday, 18th September, 2019 4:08pm

By Margaret Griffin

The bright yellow blooms of daffodils are a wonderful sign of spring but do you know how and when to plant them properly?

Daffodils are sown usually from September to November as bare daffodil bulbs but can be planted until the ground starts to freeze. Daffodils like lots of sunlight, all day long preferably. They need a very minimum of six hours direct sunlight. Select a site that offers full sun or partial sun, at the least.

Daffodils will bloom best when given adequate exposure to early spring sunshine! Most daffodils tolerate a range of soils but grow best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist during the growing season.

They are susceptible to rot when kept too wet, so make sure that you plant them in a well-draining spot.

If you are looking for a traditional yellow daffodil, then it’s the Dutch Master. It's great for naturalising and creates the perfect early burst of classic yellow colour. This tall daffodil has strong thick stems which makes it able to cope with our bad weather conditions.

Ice follies is a favourite large trumpet daffodil of the spring garden. They last for years and require little care, increasing in spread and beauty each year. It’s an extremely popular daffodil variety that starts out yellow but soon turns white after opening.

This is a vigorous, dwarf daffodil bearing one to three flowers in early spring, on average between late February and April.

The golden-yellow flowers are perfect to lighten up dark areas and are beautiful in mass plantings. It is easy to grow and compact, making it ideal for smaller gardens and areas where the traditional size daffodils can be too much. It has been bred to have multiple flowers per bulb for a fantastic bright display.

Some of my favourite daffodils are the ones that exude a wonderful fragrance in spring and early summer. Some of these scents are so nostalgic, bringing me back to my childhood and wonderful walks through fields and gardens. There is something about the fragrance from a flower, it's like a time machine has been switched on and has taken you back to your childhood.

The variety of double fragrant narcissus this year are amazing.

• As always, buy early to get the best choice.

• Soak your bulbs overnight in diluted tomato food as this will give you a much longer flowering period. In spring, when your bulbs have finished flowering, give them some slow release feeding and this will keep them in top condition for another year.

• It's a great idea to plant your bulbs in a plastic pot and then plunge them in the ground.

• When flowering is over and you have got all that these plants have to offer, lift the whole pot out of the ground and hide it somewhere in your garden, so that you won't have to look at the dead foliage of the daffodil.

On 21 September, The Kids Club will be teaching children about bee friendly gardens. To book, visit griffinsgardencentre.ie or phone 021-7334286.

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