Planting Guide and Additional Important Information
* KEEP BULBS COOL AND DRY TO PRESERVE THEIR ABILITY TO BREAK DORMANCY AND GROW AFTER PLANTING.
* IT IS ILLEGAL TO PLANT IN PROTECTED AREAS SUCH AS THE STATE PARK AND ECOLOGICAL RESERVE.
* DO NOT PLANT ON OTHERS’ PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE LANDOWNER.
Pick up will be at the Bonny Doon School bus barn on Ice Cream Grade on the following days and times only:
- Please park on Ice Cream Grade and walk down to the bus barn. Please do not pull down the driveway.
- Everyone must wear masks and follow the markings onsite to maintain a COVID safe environment.
- Contact us ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org if these times won’t work for you.
- Bulbs that are not picked up will be offered to others for free after Jan 30th.
- Pick up is on:
- Saturday, January 23, 9am - 3pm
- Sunday, January 24, 9am - 3pm
- Saturday, January 30, 9am - 3pm
Bulbs should be in the ground by mid-February for best results:
- Valentine’s Day, Sunday Feb 14 will be our last big push to get bulbs planted. It is also the exact 6 month anniversary of the incredible lightening storm that started the fire. The symbolism of this just fits.
Daffodils thrive with sun, adequate soil, and good drainage
- In too much shade, infertile soil, or clay soil they may do well the first year but peter out over time.
Plant in already disturbed areas like yards and roadsides to protect undisturbed native plant habitat.
- The more pristine an area, the more valuable for natives.
- Daffodils are non-invasive and meet the local California Native Plant Society criteria when planting non-native species in the wildland urban interface.
Planting a lot of bulbs will work best with a good plan:
- Working in pairs is helpful. Please be COVID safe.
- For best long-term results plant about 3 times deeper than a bulb is tall, pointy side up.
- A bulb auger on a powered drill is an option for mass planting but take care of wrenching your elbows and wrists and make sure your batteries are charged. Barry Blanchard recommends this one. The Chicago Tribune recommends this one.
- A cylindrical bulb planter is another option. The kind with a soil-release mechanism is recommended by Jan Nelson, author of the Mountain Gardener column in the Press Banner.
- A good shovel is always a solid choice. We recommend a full sized shovel rather than a hand trowel for ease of use and to get them deep enough.
- The American Daffodil Society puts out planting information including on naturalizing (mass planting for more permanent establishment in a landscape.)
GIVE NATIVE PLANT COMMUNITIES A CHANCE:
- Project Daffodil adheres to the guidance of the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society for the wildland urban interface: besides natives, plant only noninvasive cultivars that can not hybridize with native plants. Daffodils are not native but they are also not invasive and have no native relatives in our area making them a categorically responsible landscaping choice.
- The greatest threats to native plant communities are disturbance and invasive weeds which proliferate out of control. Unlike weeds, daffodils stay where planted so we want to limit them to appropriate settings. Follow our recommendations so we can have our daffodils and protect our native plant communities too.
- Our recommendations for ecologically responsible planting:
- Leave more wild areas wild to avoid crowding out native plants or disturbing the native seed bank and baby seedlings in burned areas. The more pristine an area, the more important to leave it be.
- Protected areas like the State Park and Ecological Reserve are strictly and legally off-limits for daffodil planting. Just don’t do it.
- Do not plant in ecologically sensitive areas like sand hill habitat.
- We recommend limiting planting to ecologically disturbed areas already impacted by human activity. Invasive weeds tend to be dominant in such areas and natives already badly impacted. Yards and roadsides often fit this description and are where your daffodils will be visible anyway. Consult your own experience and judgement on your own property to give natives a chance.
- In burned areas, be mindful of a native seed bank that has been waiting for fire to germinate. Many fire-adapted native plants leave dormant seeds in the soil for decades waiting for fire to germinate, grow, and reseed. Native plants play essential ecological roles including as food and supporting native pollinators. Fire can be a healthy ecological event and the California Native Plant Society recommends leaving burned areas alone to see how well the native seed bank has survived and grows. This is it’s big chance at renewal so let’s take care! We support the Native Plant Society’s recommendations, and especially in relatively undisturbed burned areas. Again, consult your own experience and judgement on your own property.
- The CA Native Plant Society publishes an excellent Fire Recovery Guide.
- The local chapter is active in education, planting natives with best practices, and organizing weeding brigades. Contact them through their website: https://cruzcnps.org/
- Native bulbs can be sourced from Telos Rare Bulbs: http://www.telosrarebulbs.com/
- Other native plants can be locally sourced at Central Coast Wilds - http://www.centralcoastwilds.com/ and Norrie's Gift shop at the UCSC Arboretum - https://arboretum.ucsc.edu/shop/.
- (Our research concluded that there were no native varieties that could be sourced at adequate quantities or adequate prices or that would visually meet the goals of this project. Daffodils are a responsible, spectacular, and hardy choice.)
- Daffodils are an exceptionally popular cultivar with few problems reported but they are toxic to animals including humans and can cause illness. Luckily they taste repugnant which is why wildlife leave them alone.
- Keep bulbs out of reach of children and pets. Call the poison hotline if any of these symptoms arise: drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, abdominal pain, abnormal breathing, cardiac arrhythmias, or hypotension. Pet Poison Helpline: 800-213-6680
- Toxicity is a common plant defense and naturally present in many environments.