April 13, 2010

Deadhead Daffodils in a Pinch

The daffodil blooms are spent and looking ragged among the new growth of other plants. Much like deadheading daylilies, I simply pinch off the wilted little blooms and leave all of the foliage. The foliage should be left alone until yellowed. As long as the foliage is green, more energy is going into the bulb to provide another beautiful spring display the following year.

My daffodils are interspersed with perennials and seed-sown annuals in the deer resistant garden. I'm careful to keep the daffodils away from the edges of the garden so that the new growth of the companions will cover the yellowing daffodil foliage.

Sometimes, I have accidentally planted on top of daffodil bulbs. Keeping track of bulbs is one of my biggest gardening challenges! I'll need to divide my daffodils this fall, so I've come up with a new idea.

I have a big box of dark green plastic utensils that were leftover from a function many years ago. I'm going to recycle those dull knives to mark the daffodil clumps. The cutting edge of the knife is easy to insert into the soil. The handle is just the "write size" to use for labeling with a laundry proof marker.

I hope these plant markers are strong enough to stay in the ground, hold up for years and be reused. After all, I'm going to have to mark the location of alliums, Dutch irises and Spanish bluebells, too!

According to the recycling information that I've read--Plastic utensils cannot go into the recycling bin. I've had the utensils in this story for about 8 years (leftover from an outdoor function) and didn't know what to do with them.

I decided to REUSE these until they break. Please don't buy plastic utensils if you can avoid it.

Thank you.
Words and photos by Freda Cameron, Defining Your Home, Garden and Travel.
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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