planting crocus bulbs in lawn

The only attention this care-starved lawn gets is a periodic close cutting, which is infrequent and starts late. If the lawn is lush and gets lots of high nitrogen fertilizer it will stunt the flowering process of the bulbs. Mowing probably holds them back, too. Here’s what he told us about their glorious Crocus Lawn: 1. The MoBot Crocus Lawn is planted in the bright shade of mature, deciduous trees. First of all, it takes hundreds of bulbs to make a good face — not cheap. Crocus is ideally suited for a spot where grass is sparse – possibly a spot under a deciduous tree or in a forgotten patch of lawn. Don’t use weed-killers. The MoBot Crocus Lawn is planted in the bright shade of mature, deciduous trees. Plant bulb pointy side up. They have persisted long enough now in my front yard to be considered a permanent fixture. B: For a more natural look, plant crocus bulbs speckled throughout a garden, or under trees. Many begin blooming in late winter. Once the soil has been replaced and consolidated by treading lightly, you … Have fun, and keep us posted! Just imagine a lawn filled with blooms in colors such as bright purple, white, gold, pink or pale lavender. Here at Old House Gardens, for example, the striking C. tommasinianus ‘Pictus’ planted at the base of a hydrangea has sown itself into the surrounding lawn, and this seems to be common. 2. The traditional, larger, later-flowering “Dutch” crocus, C. vernus, seem to have a harder time in lawns, though see the advice below from the Missouri Botanical Garden. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! If you’re fussy about your lawn and you like it perfectly manicured, you may not be happy with the little guys popping up all over the place. So now you know as much as we do. I welcome the delicate little show each spring, but I’ve never given them any special care. See what you think, maybe experiment with a handful in your own lawn, and if you’d like to add to the discussion, email us at help@oldhousegardens.com. How to plant bulbs in lawns Step 1. Fork over the soil and add a little balanced fertiliser, such as Growmore. Grass that’s well-fed can out-compete crocus, and aerating runs the risk of damaging corms. The chilling period gives the corm the clue that it is not time to grow up through the soil. This is a great deal higher than most people like to cut their lawns. I did 25 years ago and some are still blooming every spring. any readers told us that small, early-blooming species crocus did well in their lawns, especially Crocus tommasinianus, affectionately known as tommies. Janet Cushman of zone-6/7 Oak Ridge, TN, wrote: “Though I haven’t planted crocus in lawns, I’ve had Crocus tommasinianus in a flower bed above a low retaining wall seed itself into the lawn below. “I also seem to be having some success with crocus in a very different type of lawn at my neighborhood library branch where I volunteer. How to grow crocuses – planting crocus bulbs in a lawn. 4. or call us at 734-995-1486, M-F, 9-4 EST. Plan (and plant) your crocus lawn carefully; with any luck, the bulbs will last for several years. 4175 Whitmore Lake Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 No one knows when they were planted (‘they came with the house’ is what most people say), so in at least one case they’ve been there for at least fifty years. Plan (and plant) your crocus lawn carefully; with any luck, the bulbs will last for several years. Here in Chicagoland crocus do fabulously, especially in the lawns. They were glorious that next spring, and for three or four springs afterwards, though each year they were less so. I first noticed two flowers about five years ago, and they’ve slowly increased to about eight scattered plants. Some years it is more spectacular than others, but in February every gardener in town is very grateful for the sight.”, And Laverne Boehmke of zone-6/7 Saint Louis, MO, tipped us off to a celebrated public planting: “I have never planted crocus in my lawn, but each spring I enjoy the Crocus Lawn at the Missouri Botanical Garden in Saint Louis. Buy firm, undamaged bulbs. If you’re thinking about growing crocus in the yard, there are several things to consider. They are tiny bulbs (just a few centimeters across). By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. They grow happily in scruffy, thin lawn and in lightly shaded lawn areas under high trees. The MoBot crocus lawn is never watered. “Ruby Giant” blooms are reddish purple, “Lilac Beauty” boasts pale lavender crocus with pink inner petals, and “Whitewell Purple” displays reddish-purple blooms. The crocus varieties are at least C. tommasinianus and possibly C. chrysanthus as well.” (Opinions on C. chrysanthus are mixed; see below. Garden Bulbs Garden Plants Back Gardens Outdoor Gardens Crocus Bulbs Plant Pictures Bulb … Crocuses are one of the best bulbs for naturalizing in a grassy lawn area. Steer clear of perfect rows. Planting: Plant fall flowering crocus bulbs (corms) in late summer or early fall. Tragic, really, but the grass was just too vigorous.”, In dry, zone-6/7 Boise, ID, the species crocus in Margaret Lauterbach’s lawn faced a different problem: squirrels. Small, early blooming crocus varieties have fine-textured foliage that blends well with lawn grass. In the lawn of my 1916 Craftsman bungalow, the crocus are in full sun, but the lawn is kind of thin in that area. On heavy soils sit the bulbs on a layer of sharp grit to aid drainage and help prevent rotting. You may even grow them in your lawn where they will add a bright twinkle to the awakening grass. The best time is 6 to 8 weeks before you expect your area to have a hard frost and while the soil … Not surprisingly, Jason endorsed C. tommasinianus, including its named forms such as ‘Ruby Giant’. Over the years, crocuses will naturalize. Crocus requires a minimum of 15 weeks of chilling to break dormancy. Crocus like well-drained soil in a partial to full sun location. Plant the right crocus. Plant the bulbs when the ground is cool in autumn, six to eight weeks before the first hard frost. By all means! Swerve a formal look. “I took the advice of one of your competitors and planted a smiley face in my lawn with yellow and purple crocuses,” wrote Carol Bradford of zone-5/6 Syracuse, NY. Anything that kills weed sedges (which grow from corms) will also kill crocus, Jason explained. “Unfortunately, in our wonderful, wet climate [in zone-8 La Conner, WA], the lawn grew too fast — faster than the crocuses! Use plenty of bulbs so that when they bloom they grab attention.. We love crocus and plant them everywhere — except in the lawn. Additionally, they tend to compete with turf more effectively than larger, late-blooming types. Crocus is the best of bulbs to plant -- it usually blooms before lawns need mowing. But “no more lawn crocuses for me. “It seems to work best for the earliest bloomers. For a truly natural look, just scatter a handful of bulbs and plant them where they fall. Welcome spring's return with a colorful display of early-blooming bulbs. You should prep the soil before you plant any bulbs. Happily, other readers reported great success. So here’s the evidence and advice. You also need to pull weeds, add compost, rake the soil, and add sand if you have clay soil. But don’t forget that annual rainfall varies widely across the US — St. Louis gets a lot less than Boston but much more than Denver — and that all bulbs need water when they’re in active growth, from fall (when they start new roots) through bloom. Secondly, they lasted maybe 2-3 years, compared to the crocuses in my flower beds, some of which are going on 25 years.”, Across the country in zone-5/6 Spokane, WA, Jean Hollar also reported sad results. The ones I’ve casually buried here and there in the lawn, on the other hand, come up and bloom nicely every year, though with no noticeable increase.”, From New England, Bill Andreas wrote: “There are several patches of what I’d guess are Crocus tommasinianus happily growing in the front lawns of several of the older farm houses here [in zone-6 Sudbury, MA]. This gives the crocus foliage plenty of time to mature completely and build up the corms for future years. “I’ve seen old lawns in the [zone-8] Seattle area covered with crocus,” wrote Deirdre Zema. Time the planting of your new lawn for September or October when the bulbs will be readily available from the wholesale supplier. Cut a rectangular flap about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide into the lawn with a sharp knife, leaving one end... 3. I've tried planting daffodils in a lawn area, and their foliage didn't start fading until the grass was knee-high, a situation that didn't make my lawn-loving husband happy. Crocus Lawn, Missouri Botanical Garden, by. But eventually the enthusiastic claims of some other bulb-sellers made us start to wonder if maybe we were missing something. Saffron crocus and other autumn flowering varieties need to be planted quite deep – about 10cm in well-drained, rich soil in a sunny situation and 7.5cm apart. Let's Do Lawns Differently. If you like a lawn that is luxurious, lush and heavily fertilized, planting handfuls of crocus may be a waste of time because the bulbs have little chance of competing with a stand of thick grass. We’re not kidding. “I have been successful with the species crocuses I have planted in two lawns. 2. They are getting sparse now, but 25 years is a long time for these rugged little guys.”, And Mark Biggus of zone-5/6 Lockport, IL, practically crowed: “The lawn is the ONLY place I recommend planting crocus, as they get lost elsewhere. My outside hose was always frozen then, and we got very little moisture from the sky ever. When planting in lawns, carefully peel back the turf, then dig out the soil and plant the bulbs. The new soil is prepared and then the bulbs planted wherever they have landed after being scattered in a random pattern on the lawn. Although my basic motivation for this is to crowd out weed seedlings and to resist drought with bigger grass plants, I’m assuming it also allows more crocus leaves to remain as well. Determine planting depth of Crocus bulbs, typically 2" to 3" Space bulbs 3 inches apart for smaller varieties and 6 to 10 inches apart for larger varieties. Plant crocuses in full sun or light shade in November, 3 inches deep and 3 to 4 inches apart. They have increased to fill in that corner of their yard and have traveled across the street to bloom in a corner of my flower bed — but not in our lawn, which is mostly that dreadful, crabgrass-like zoysia grass.”, In zone-7 Farmville, VA, David Folkes actually prefers the self-sown crocus in his lawn. Most seem to be species crocus, particularly Crocus tommasinianus, as well as Crocus vernus and its subspecies albiflorus. Hopefully it will inspire and guide you in planting a long-lived, ever-more-beautiful crocus lawn of your own. Replace the soil after planting, breaking down any large clumps and firm in gently, making sure there are no air spaces around the bulbs. Early foraging bees appreciate their nectar as well. Sign up for our newsletter. As you may have noticed, another key to success with crocus in the lawn is to avoid mowing their foliage so it can recharge the bulbs. If you mow too soon, the bulbs may not have the get up and go for another season of blooming because the foliage absorbs sunlight that converts to energy. 6. Crocuses. Daffodils, crocus and snowdrops add a beautiful splash of colour to grassy areas in spring. There is a technique for planting bulbs in lawn that calls for peeling back the sod, planting the bulbs and then replacing the sod. They grow beautifully in zones 4 to 10 and produce wineglass-shaped flowers in so many color combinations of purple, white, yellow and even striped, it’s hard to decide which color and variety to grow. The trees help keep the soil drier and the lawn thinner, both of which are advantageous for the crocus. Plant the bulbs when the ground is cool in autumn, six to eight weeks before the first hard frost. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. If unsure, plant the bulb on its side. Shop plant bulbs and a variety of lawn & garden products online at Lowes.com. Crocus finish most of their food storage activities prior to the first mowing of the grass, so this combination works out very well. Plant in the fall at the normal bulb-planting time for your area.. Plant handfuls of bulbs in relatively large holes. The owners do not use any herbicide, of course. The trees help keep the soil drier and the lawn thinner, both of which are advantageous for the crocus. Many gardeners who have successfully grown crocus lawns recommend C. Tommasinianus, often known as “Tommies.”. Naturalizing, Spring Bulbs, Crocus, Narcissus, Scilla, Galanthus, Anemones Naturalizing bulbs is a terrific way to brighten up lawns. Pull the bulb planter … Lawn and Landscape: Get a jump on spring by planting crocus around the yard, beneath trees and shrubs and even right in the lawn. They’re not very thick, for the most part. That’s because in our experience the only lawns they ever thrived in were (a) in photos, (b) in Europe where lawns are often as short as putting greens, or (c) in thin, scruffy lawns shaded by trees — and only Crocus tommasinianus seemed truly happy there. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in grass, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), squills (Scilla), checkered lilies (Fritillaria meleagris) and plenty others charming bulbs. Step 2. 5. The lawns range from full sun to a fair amount of shade. Snowdrop, crocus and daffodil bulbs are inexpensive and make a … As Bill Andreas of zone-6 Sudbury, MA, explains, “old style lawn care” is best for crocus: “I’d say that the smaller flowered crocus can be quite successfully planted in a lawn that isn’t too thick in partial shade. Rather than planting in straight lines or small groups, throw your bulbs into the air and see where they fall.

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