Bulbs – Planting For Quality

Q: I recently bought a home and am excited to plant daffodil bulbs in the yard. I have planted daffodils previously with limited success. My question is: do more expensive bulbs mean higher quality or is it more a matter of cultivating the area correctly?

A: I think the biggest factor is soil preparation and the bulbs’ subsequent care. All bulbs love to grow in soil that drains fast in winter. Cold soil that holds water is a recipe for bulb root rot. I mix expanded shale (PermaTill, SoilPerfector) into my bulb planting spots. You’ll do fine buying bulbs locally but the limitation to local stores is that they can’t offer many cultivars. If you want a particular color or bloom time or flower size you need to shop at a reputable online bulb source. I trust oldhousegardens.com, brentandbeckysbulbs.com, and any of the companies mentioned at Garden Watchdog, davesgarden.com/products/gwd.

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