October’s Daffodil Project

BY AMANDA MOSES

Throughout October, students at PS 346 are participating in the annual Daffodil Project at Spring Creek Recreational Fund’s (SCRF) Urban Garden Classroom (UGC). This initiative was created by New Yorkers for Parks in 2001 as a living memorial to the victims of the September 11th terror attacks. Considered one of the largest volunteer efforts in the city, New Yorkers for Parks distributes over 500,000 free daffodil bulbs to various groups and individuals to plant citywide in public spaces as a part of their beautification project.

Every year, Garden Educator Jacqui Roytman registers for the Daffodil Project so that students can plant them throughout the UGC. Once Roytman picked up her order of free bulbs, she brought it to the UGC to store in a cool place until she is ready to plant them. The daffodils must be planted before the first frost; New Yorkers for Parks recommends planting when the weather is a bit cooler so that the bulbs don’t start to sprout too early.

Students will first de-compact the soil in the garden beds with trowels, and amend the soil in the pollinator sections, so that the dirt has been properly aerated. The students will use the trowel or a hand shovel to dig six inches deep into the soil and four inches apart. Each hole can hold about two to three bulbs. When placing the bulbs into the freshly dug holes, the pointed side of the bulb will be placed upwards while the roots will face downwards. The final step is to cover the bulbs with soil and to water them thoroughly.
Over the winter the bulbs will slowly root, and then when the spring arrives they will blossom. To help maintain these beautiful flowers, Roytman will show stu-dents how to trim the stems so that the flowers can bloom again next year.

Photo by Amanda Moses