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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Old style (Early) daffodils

    ..are in full bloom now on the AL/TN state line. The blooms will be moving north with the late winter decline of winter conditions. In a word, you should have your checkerboarding done when it reaches your area. When the leaves first show up, it's time to get your gear ready, like selecting suitable supers for use, and two weeks later, when first blooms appear, it's time to perform the hive manipulation. The bees and the daffodils march to the same drummer. You might not see the tree-bloom in the woods, but a daffodil in the browned-out yard by your main entry is fairly conspicuous.

    We are talking about an old fashioned, small, bright yellow daffodil that the early settlers in this area shared with their neighbors as a harbinger of spring. A clump of these bright blooms is a dead givaway to an old houseplace where there is no other indication of its existance in years past. We suspect this old daffodil is the forerunner of all the signiture, showy types available at the garden center. The old bulbs even seed true. Those showy types are 3 times larger and bloom later.

    Barry,
    This is not an ad. Grandson has none to sell this year. We took up some last year, but do not have enough to market at this time. This year, we have permission to take up a zillion more. When he has enough to sell, we will negotiate an ad.

    Walt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    rensselaer, ny, USA
    Posts
    488

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    So. I'm in northern NY (north of Albany). I moved some of these daffers from my Mother's farm in northern VA. They bloomed there in the second or third week of February. Here they bloom for me in the second to third week of APRIL. I've had them here for nearly 15 years, so I've watched them a lot. Regular hybrid daffodils start to bloom from the third to fourth week of April.

    What tree blooms do you match with the tell-tale daffodils to? I don't have any redbuds, here, too cold. I am interested in this as I have used bloom and bud expansion points for many years on my farm for horticultural task-scheduling.

    Thanks

    Enj.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    If based on daffodills---- I was about two weeks late this year. Probably so because the weather delayed me this Year. Probably should have bit the bullet and done it anyway. We had daffodils blooms peaking above our unusal 3 inch snow the last week of January.
    sc-bee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Elkton, Giles, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    1,333

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    enj,
    Your mother's place in VA is about on the same vegetative schedule as here - We are both about the same distance from the source of the polar air in western Canada. The take home message is that latitude is a poor indicator of winter severity.

    The bloom dates of this daffodil falls on the transition of the bees interest in American elm and the early maples. Here, when elm continues, the bees sometimes do not switch to maples until part way through the half-dozen or so we have. That period is when the bees are kicked into expansion mode by the pollen availability. To "get ahead and stay ahead" of the bees, the beek needs to be on the stick. The explosion in brood volume happens in a hurry.

    Walt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,426

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    First maple pollen was coming in 2 weeks ago here. Weather has finally turned back to foragable. They'll be going gangbusters, I anticipate a good spring.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Mt Juliet TN USA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    Thanks Mr. Wright for the heads up. The daffodils are just beginning to sprout here in Mt Juliet and I going to start the checker boarding tomorrow or Saturday. Actually I already started about two weeks ago during that little warm spell but I didn't know about the daffodils. So thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    rensselaer, ny, USA
    Posts
    488

    Default Re: Old style (Early) daffodils

    Well, my "old-style" northern VA daffs started blooming yesterday, April 29th, here in northern NY (north of Albany.)

    This is extraordinarily late. Many years I can mail almost-out buds to my sister in Boston before her birthday on April 5th.

    The difference from normal is about three weeks later and I have been puzzling about this. It's not just the cold weather during the winter because bulbs up here are accustomed to frozen ground for several months. That's normal. But what is characteristic for bulbs like daffodils is that they require a certain number of weeks of chilling-growth for shoot and bud initiation (10-14 weeks depending on the cultivar). Normally this happens mostly during the late fall/ early winter, before really cold weather freezes the soil and stops (or pauses) this phase. But this past winter heavy, soil-freezing cold started about three weeks early which would have interrupted this stage of development. The bulbs' development was stalled until the temps finally warmed up (the temp rise was a bit late, but not outrageously so compared to "normal" Springs) and the bulbs were only very slightly retarded by the depth of the frost that had to work itself out of the soil. Then the bulbs resumed their required development period, and only after it was completed did they start to grow above the ground.

    Woody plants that are often used for phenological indications (e.g. common lilac and trees) appear to be right on schedule because they don't need this shoot development period which was interrupted last fall.

    This illustrates a potential pitfall of using a plant like a daffodil - with it's unusual shoot development cycle - in years when the previous late Fall and Winter weather was way off norms. I imagine it could work both ways: last Fall by not allowing the bulk of the development period to happen before frost interrupted it, and in other Falls when it is entirely completed before freeze up, in which case the daffs would appear precociously at the first warmth.

    My bees have been bringing in pollen for three weeks. They are broody and expanding but our temps are still cool, going down in to the 30s/low 40 every night.

    (I have been worried for a few weeks because I had not seen any sign of these daffs at all. I even wondered if I had lost them. But fortunately they finally popped up looking normal, except perhaps a bit dazed to find themselves now blooming in almost May. It's likely I'll have lilacs AND daffs, concurrently, which will make for some unusual flower arrangement possibilities.)

    Enj.

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