Daffodil Bulbs Are Mushy

Q: I had several clumps of daffodils that did not bloom this year. When I dug some of them to inspect, I found the bulbs very soft and mushy. 

A: You were smart to dig them up to see what’s going on. If the bulbs are mushy, the soil around them is very likely too soggy. The interior of any bulb is delectable to soil bacteria and fungi. The only way to keep these creatures at bay is for the soil to drain rapidly after a rain. When the daffodils’ leaves have turned yellow, I think you need to dig out the entire bed. Keep any firm bulbs and throw away any mushy ones. In a wheelbarrow make a mixture of 2 parts original soil plus 1 part soil conditioner and 1 part very gritty sand. Fill the bed to a level 3 inches below the surrounding soil. Place the good bulbs, pointy end up, on the soil mixture and then complete filling the bed. This should make a good spot for your bulbs to enjoy for years to come.