Daffodils are beautiful during early spring but by now they're looking a little sad and need to be cleared away. While it might be incredibly tempting to try to just run the mower over them, it’s not quite the quick-fix solution you might expect as it ends up producing a sticky purée that takes a long time to disappear and makes a slippery surface to walk over. My advice is to avoid this practice at all costs!
Tying the foliage up into bundles isn’t a great solution either, as the daffodil foliage produces food by reacting with the sunlight and this food provides the energy to put on a good show next spring. Tying the foliage up reduces the amount of sunlight that can be absorbed, which results in a smaller bulb without enough energy to produce a good bloom the following year.
The best thing to do is to wait for them to die down naturally, which will take roughly six weeks, before cutting the foliage down to ground level and taking it to the compost heap.
If you don’t like to the sight of your daffodils when they’re past their bloom and you’re waiting for them to die down, you could always remove the heads to tidy them up. By removing the developing seed within the dead flower you will actually also be encouraging the plant to conserve and store its energy in the bulb, which in turn will give better flowering the following year.
Once the flower is over you can also help the bulbs to bulk up by giving them a feed with high potash or a general fertiliser, which will help to build up the bulb and produce a dormant flower bud in preparation for next spring.