Plants - Flower Bulbs

Bulb strategies for continuous spring blooms

Karen York
Photography by
Cybèle Young

From gardens to pots to the front lawn, try these techniques for a colourful show

bulb-strategies-2.jpgPlanting bulbs in a lawn
Embroider a lawn with bulbs for an artlessly beautiful display. Best candidates are small bulbs that naturalize (i.e., multiply on their own), such as snowdrops, crocuses, grape hyacinths, scilla, species tulips, striped squill and dwarf daffodils (large daffs are fabulous naturalized in a meadow, if you’re lucky enough to have one).

Rather than plant the bulbs individually, cut rectangles in the turf, peel it back, dig in some slow-release bulb food and plant the bulbs following the directions on page 1, then simply roll the turf back into place instead of mulching. Don’t set the bulbs too symmetrically; toss a handful and plant them where they lie. Avoid high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer, which will encourage foliage at the expense of flowers; use a balanced organic
fertilizer (10-10-10) instead.

Don’t mow the lawn, either, until the bulb foliage has died back (this can take up to six weeks—so not for neatniks but Dagwood types will be ecstatic).

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