How to plant these Narcissus bulbs?
Forget all those little holes. You don't need a separate hole for each bulb, just a few large holes to enable planting in groups, where they will look much better. Be sure to soak the ground the day before or you'll never want to plant bulbs again. Using a shovel, make a hole 5 to 6 inches deep and about 8 to 9 inches across for each 6 to 12 bulbs. (4" is deep enough in hard clay or for small bulbs such as Golden Dawn.) If 5 to 6 inches is impossible due to hardpan or rock, go as deep as possible and they will still do quite well, or compensate with an inch or two of mulch on the surface. If planting late in the season (December or beyond), a 2-3" covering of soil over the bulb is enough, so dig a bit shallower. Leave a foot or preferably more between these holes.

Look in the bags and get an idea of the sizes and numbers of bulbs that I have given you, then decide on how many you would like to plant in each group. Each group should consist of one kind only, so they can give the full visual effect of blooming all at once. Note that bulbs do not care a whole lot about spacing within the group, as long as there is at least a foot or so between groups to enable the roots to spread out. Established clumps in old gardens often contain 25 to 50 or more bulbs wedged into a solid mass from about a foot deep to near the surface. In each hole I suggest 6 to 8 of the largest ones, or 12 or more of the smaller varieties such as Golden Dawn.

As a bonus (helpful, but not essential) you can break up the soil in the bottom of the hole and mix in some basic granular fertilizer, such as you use on your other flowers, or dig in a handful or two of fireplace ashes, which are an excellent source of fertilizing minerals for bulbs in general (much more nourishing than bone meal.) Now set up the bulbs in each hole, possibly in a circle against the edges, with one or more in the center. If there is a sprout on the bulb, make sure it points up, even if that means laying the bulb on its side. Fill in, and you are done, or if it's September or beyond, pour on a good dose of water. If you wish to use a mulch, now is the time to put that on to prevent weeds and mud spattering later on.

Copyright by Bill the Bulb Baron