Saturday, November 30, 2013

Welcome, Farmer Fred listeners!

I was talking bulbs with Farmer Fred on his Get Growing with Farmer Fred radio show, Sunday, December 1 from 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Listen to us on the podcast.

I'm a garden writer, a California Master Gardener, and a daffodil nut.

Here are links about topics we discussed on the December 1, 2013 show.

How to plant daffodils: Choose a well-drained site that has full sun all year, or has full sun when the leaves are off the trees. Dig a trench or hole 6" deep, add phosphorus mixed with the soil at the bottom of the hole, add compost to the soil you have removed, plant the bulbs pointy end up, tuck tulips in next to them if you don't have deer, add 2 inches more amended soil then layer in small bulbs, add soil to bring the gently tamped-down soil even with the rest of the garden. Label the bed with the names of the bulbs. Do not water. 

Sources of phosphorus can be soft rock phosphate or bone meal if you have acid soil, and high P packaged guanos or worm castings if you have neutral or alkaline soil. Highly concentrated sources of phosphorus like Super Phosphate should be used with caution and applied only after reading the label carefully -- it is easy to over-apply these products and although phosphorus does not move vertically through the soil it does move laterally and excess phosphorus can lead to water pollution and algae bloom.

Not all daffodils need to be pre-chilled for USDA zone 9; there are many daffodils that do well in warm climates.

The Northern California Daffodil Society has excellent information about growing daffodils. NCDS organizes free daffodil shows each spring so you can see which bulbs you'd want to grow in your garden. Some of the members are busy hybridizing green daffodils.

Answers to listener questions:

White daffodils to plant in the shape of a moon in Garden Valley, CA at 2,500 feet: 'Mount Hood' we mentioned but also consider 'Misty Glen'. Plant just one variety so that the blooms will show a solid, moon shape.

For a piney area in Texas in USDA zone 8a, plant any daffodil but be sure the site is in full sun and is well-drained.

Thanks for visiting. Please leave a comment and let me know what bulbs you are planting.

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