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Fall is Time to Plant Hardy Spring-flowering Bulbs

Fall in love with the look and then organize your favorites by their specific bloom times for early, mid or late spring.

Fall is the time to plant daffodils and other narcissus bulbs, according to Ron Smith, North Dakota State University Extension Service horticulturist.

“For gardeners, the joy starts early by selecting what to buy and plant,” Smith says. “Choose different types for a variety of looks and to create a staggered spring-season bloom schedule. When picking out daffodils, the classic trumpet types are a good place to start. They’re the must- haves for that archetypal ‘big yellow’ appeal. Trumpet daffodils come in crisp solids or mixed colors, including yellows, whites, oranges, reds and even peachy-pinks and greens.”

How to choose from so many choices? First, fall in love with the look and then organize your favorites by their specific bloom times for early, mid or late spring. Daffodils (narcissi) are perennials that will naturalize when planted in full sun and soil that drains well. This makes narcissi a sound investment because they’ll come back to bloom year after year and even multiply through time.

This kind of staying power is a major bonus for gardeners. Also, narcissus bulbs and plants are pest-resistant. Deer, squirrels, voles, groundhogs and other foraging animals don’t eat them. This is an important factor in selecting bulbs for spring blooming.

Tulips, as much as they are loved by gardeners, are among the favorites of nature’s early spring nibblers such as voles, rabbits and deer.

“Once the temperatures drop in the fall and sweater wearing becomes a regular wardrobe selection, it’s time to plant daffodils and other spring-blooming flower bulbs,” Smith says. “This fall, if our local conditions are unusually hot and dry, which they have been for most of our region, one can plant a bit later than usual to give the soil sufficient time to cool off. However, to get a good selection at local retail garden centers, make your selections early to get top quality.”

NDSU Agriculture Communication – Sept. 19, 2012

Source:Ron Smith, (701) 231-7971, ronald.smith@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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