Lifting daffodils

November 9, 2009
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Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Planting

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Hello everyone,
We often get questions on Daffnet about people moving house and wondering when they can lift their bulbs. Here is an experience we had.
About five years ago I was playing golf with Sam, a teenager, who bemoaned the fact that he could not enter tournaments as he had no money so I offered him a job helping lift the bulbs. He did so with the help of a cousin.
They left half (literally) the bulbs in the paddock. As I wanted to use the paddock for planting this year I needed to clear the old bulbs out. We lifted them during and immediately after flowering in September 2008 and replanted them in a different patch. Replanted is not quite true as we dropped them in a spade hole a few inches deep with the leaves poking out. This September we had almost 100% flowering with some large, show quality flowers. It may be that a cool summer helped the transition but I guess the message is that daffodils are remarkably resilient and can be moved at any time of the year. It may not be good for the bulbs but it sure helps us to keep the cultivars we want.
Sam is still playing golf, was senior club champion last year and I still see him at least once a week. He regularly plays sub par rounds so I guess I invested in a good cause.
As to Erlicheer. It is my view that tazettas have foliage almost twelve months a year. In autumn (Fall) people often say ‘Goodness my daffodils are through the ground already’ My guess is that it is the tazettas and there is actually no indication of an early spring.
Dave

One response to “Lifting daffodils”

  1. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover says:

    Hello everyone,
    Like Dave, I’ve had to dig bulbs at the “wrong” time, because a house was sold and the daffs had to go.  I dug while the poets were still in bloom, laid the bulbs out flat under the deck of the new home and planted in the fall.  It was amazing how many bloomed the next year.  They’re tougher than we think.
    Mary Lou