Daffodils are one of the easiest flower bulbs to grow, and their appearance heralds the first sign of spring. These hardy flowers are pest- and deer-resistant and are available in several types, including shorter varieties, like miniatures, or taller varieties such as double-cup, which refers to the size of the petals, and split-cupped, which refers to the split in the petals.
To naturalize daffodils, which means to plant them in a random way so they look natural, plant the daffodil bulbs in groups of three, planting each group 12 inches apart, recommends "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gardening," by Jane O'Connor and Emma Sweeney. Over time, the daffodils will multiply naturally to fill in the 12-inch gaps, or more bulbs can be planted in the gaps.
Plant the bulbs as soon as they become available in the late summer, before the ground freezes, suggests James Underwood Crockett in his book "Bulbs." The earlier the bulbs are planted, the better the roots will grow before the cold, leading to well-nourished bulbs in the spring. Plant the bulbs in well-drained soil and add organic fertilizer, such as bone meal, to the hole before planting.
There are two times to fertilize, according to "1,000 Gardening Questions & Answers"--spring, when there is new growth, and fall, when the roots are storing food. In both situations, the plant is using a lot of energy and will benefit from either a well-balanced fertilizer or compost to maintain nutrition. Cut the foliage only when one-third of the leaves are yellow, which means the bulb has stored enough food.