We are happy to take orders throughout the year but only despatch bulbs between late July and early September.
Many of our stocks of surplus bulbs are small, so we prefer to pre-invoice customers for what we are able to supply. We aim to lift bulbs during June and July, and to issue most invoices by the end of July.
In addition, customers might like to consider suggesting substitutes, or to trust us to select the nearest available match in appearance and (higher) value.
We try to despatch all orders between late July and early September. The sooner you plant the bulbs the better: by August, our stocks left in the ground here will be actively rooting. However, if you really can’t plant them immediately, store the bulbs in a cool, dark, dry place and plant them before the end of October at the very latest.
Further information about ordering old daffodil varieties from Croft 16 can be found on the Terms and Conditions page.
About growing old-fashioned daffodils
All the daffodils in our Sales list were bred over seventy-five years ago; some more than 140 years ago, and a couple have been known for nigh on four centuries.
Any daffodil which has survived that long is tough.
Thankfully, the majority of such seasoned daffodil hybrids are tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, which is just as well, as we’re supposing that most of our bulbs are despatched to warmer, drier and sunnier locations.
The bulbs are grown in an area of raised beach, on acid, sandy, stony soil derived from Torridonian sandstone. Mercifully, it is well-drained, as some years the annual rainfall is as much as 84 inches (yes, that’s 7 ft – or 2.1 m – of water). Situated on the western shore of Loch Ewe, the site can be quite windy: two severe gales in January, 2015, brought down windbreaks and reduced the foliage of Escallonia shelter belts to a crispy brown.
As a general rule, even tried and tested, time-worn daffodil bulbs do not like sitting in water, so break up any hard-panned soil to improve drainage. Plant them at a depth which is two-to-three times the length of an average bulb, ideally with a sprinkling of bonemeal forked into the soil to encourage good root growth.
Daffodil foliage is best left well alone for at least six weeks after flowering. During this period, green, healthy leaves are continuing to manufacture sugars which build up strong bulbs containing flower buds for the following season. Premature cutting or tying of the leaves can weaken the stock and lead to flowers of a disappointing quality. Even better, consider treating your daffodils to a slap-up meal by scattering general fertiliser during damp conditions when the foliage is growing away strongly during early spring.
Left undisturbed for many years, daffodil clumps can become very congested and tend to stop flowering (“go blind”). It is good practice therefore to lift congested clumps periodically, split them and replant some bulbs – and then plant the surplus in another site or give them away to friends!