Better late than never for planting daffodils Dec. 4, 2014

By Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record
My life is so full that sometimes I get behind schedule.

“Busy” sounds so much better than “procrastinator,” or worse yet, “lazy.” Sometimes being late means being wrongly accused of not caring.

I do care. I just sometimes care at the wrong time.AR-141209881

I’m that friend on Facebook who notices it is someone’s birthday when they are posting a thank-you note to all the friends who wished them a happy birthday.

My electronic note says: “When can I take you to a belated birthday lunch?”

I can’t be unique. Otherwise, marketers would have no need for a “belated” section for greeting cards.

My father knows me pretty well by now. If he ever received a Dad’s Day card on time, it was a mistake.

In fact, this week I was rummaging through last year’s left-over Christmas cards and found several Father’s Day cards. I mailed off his card with a Christmas stamp.

He’ll understand.

A perpetual state of belated can also lead to what appears to be sloth.

For example, my Christmas cards are now in the middle of the living room where they will be more difficult to forget.


All this being said (and a bit that went unsaid), I was pretty darn proud of myself for getting bulbs in to the ground before Christmas.

A good time to plant bulbs is at Thanksgiving. In August, you put new bulbs in the crisper drawer of the fridge to chill.

The bulbs are planted because after the Thanksgiving meal you need every inch of the refrigerator to store leftovers.

Factual note: chilling bulbs in this climate is not necessary.

A fact sheet from the Napa County Master Gardeners states that chilling bulbs only provides a slight difference in bloom height, and bulbs will bloom two weeks earlier.

I’m sticking with the chill. How else would I remember to plant them if they weren’t right there in my refrigerator?

If the bulbs go in late, chilling will bring me blooms right on time.

Read full master gardener tips here:


A few weeks ago I put dozens of daffodil bulbs in pots.

However, I bought two jumbo bags of daffodils for dirt cheap at Costco.

Seventy-five bulbs remained.

Did I mention that my new yard is fairly small? I don’t know what I was thinking.

As the neighborhood cat circled around my feet, I scoped out the scant terrain.

Directly outside the front door is a five-by-three-foot planting bed recently populated with wild (weed) viola and a few leftover poppies. These are the drought survivors.

Daffodils do extremely well in Chico, returning year-after-year.

Also, squirrels do not technically eat daffodil bulbs. Squirrels will still dig them up, because that’s what squirrels do.

With 75 bulbs, a cat demanding attention, and the sun drifting down below the mulberry tree, I had to hurry.

The daffodils are not spaced evenly, nor 5 inches apart, nor 6 inches deep.

I was on a mission to simply empty the bags.

The good news is by planting the bulbs, I also destroyed the wild viola and spared the poppies.

Bulbs were also planted in the crevice behind the gate, under the loquat tree and near the compost pile.

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