Bill, Tazettas and Nitrogen

October 16, 2010

Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils, Planting

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Bill, thanks for the useful information.  That gives me more leeway in fertilizing regimens if I need it.  I do like to feed trees a little more nitrogen during early growth, training and establishment of the tree’s framework.  Beyond that, whether the bulbs will compete significantly with the trees for nitrogen in a way inconsistent with my goals,or whether that can be corrected with application quantity and timing will have to remain to be seen.  I could probably rationalize it in various ways with all the information available and still get it wrong, so onward with the experiment.  Clearly the Tazettas can survive fine without a lot of nitrogen as evidenced by the quantities still thriving in 100 year old plus plantings.  I was thinking yesterday about how often I was peeing on the ones under my persimmon tree over the past couple of years and they did seem to do great (urine is very high in nitrogen along with significant P and K as well as many soluble minerals).  I’m not concerned about the cold here.  I do occasionally see frost damage on the double chinese to the flowers themselves, but only sometimes and none whatsoever to the leaves or bulbs.  I may next year hit you up for some genetic material that blooms earlier and also later than what I’ve got from you so far, but unless I get a cardboard sign that says “will work for bulbs” my budget is shot for this year 😉
I think you are right on the Double Chinese/Constantinople being what I mostly have here.  Can you, or anyone, ID this one?  If I recall correctly, it blooms after the double chinese. 

Hello Steve,

Tazettas thrive on high nitrogen–they do not rot–entirely different in this respect compared with regular daffodils.  The customary amount here on the plantings is 200#/acre of 41-0-0 slow-release urea. 

The double you have is almost certainly the Double Chinese.  These, and the Single Chinese, have been grown in China for over a thousand years, and the traditional way to fertilize them was with liquid pig manure.  The old-time grower of daffodils in New Zealand from 100 years ago, Robert Gibson, reported how his interest in genus narcissus  started when he noticed how the tazettas in the garden thrived when he dug in some manure around them, you couldn’t kill them..So fear of manure is not relevant to the tazettas.  I had a customer tell me recently of her 3 foot tall Erlicheer over her sseptic tank.  Speaking of which, I also have a  report also of some very happy red amaryllis belladonna hybrids another customer got from me and had planted over her old rotted redwood septic tank (unbeknowst to her until the ground gave way while she was digging them up to divide and spread around the yard–yes her husband had to pull her out!!). 

Golden Dawn responds very well to nitrogen–Keith Kridler has commented on that here on Daffnet in detail in the past, with photos to shows the improvements in growth with nitrogen supplementation.

Cold was brought up as an issue with tazettas.  I suggest you check out the photo on my website of the double you already have to confirm it is DoubleChinese,  even If it is Constantiniple instead, that is so very closely related it makes no difference, these along with the single Chinese form are among the earliest and most tender of the tazettas so if the double grows fine for you then you can rest assured that any other tazettas will as well.

The reason I did not recommnend Golden Dawn to you as much as the others was simply due to your wanting vareities that had heavy, broad foliage emerging early to compete with weeds–Golden Dawn being in part derived from Narcissus jonquilla so it has much narrower and very upright leaves, by comparison anyway, though they do indeed emerge earlier than the lateness of their bloom would imply. 

Best wishes,

Bill the Bulb Baron (William R.P. Welch)

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