Question on Naturalizing and spring Mowing

timmytwoSeptember 21, 2013


I am starting with a largish section of garden/yard (approx 45ftx20ft) I have cleared and where I have planted 3 apple trees. I am planning to plant grass under the tress as recommended by many orchard folks. About half the plot has good sun -especially in spring- and about 1/2 has only part sun. In early spring the area gets much more sun due to when the trees leaf out and our very low sun angle.
I do not expect to be doing a lot of fertilizing of the lawn -and have good P and K values

I had the idea that it would be nice to naturalize some bulbs in this area. I am short of garden color and am thinking this is an easy way to get some. Up here in Minnesota, spring comes late and I can't think of better way to improve my trip up the driveway than with a massive planting of early spring bulbs.

So my dilemma, is what to plant and how/when.

I had thought that I would plant the bulbs then put down grass seed to get it going this fall. I am concerned that Mid/late October is too late to get grass going in my climate. I would really live to put the bulbs in first since the soil is well tilled and planting will be easy. If I can get the bulbs in now (need to order them first) and it stays warm will I still be ok?

I am also a big stymied as to what to plant. Since I will want to mow, I want something that comes up early - and can be mowed early. From what I understand, that kind of leaves me with crocus. I love crocus, but think I would also like taller plants as well. If I plant something like narcissus I am worried that I will be looking at dying off leaves for longer than I want.

Any and all thoughts and suggestions are appreciated

This post was edited by timmytwo on Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 12:04

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It is too late to order for planting this season........that normally happens quite a bit earlier with the bulbs being shipped now (or already shipped). But you should still be able to find a pretty decent selection of spring flowering bulbs at any local nurseries/garden centers or even at the box stores.

If you want something taller, see if you can designate some areas that you can hold off the mowing until later in the season. This is often a practice common to those who plant meadow wildflower mixes also - they just mow wide pathways through the meadow and leave the rest to grow and flower at will.

If you have to mow it all, you are pretty much limited to the very early bulbs, most of which are pretty short - crocus, snowdrops, winter aconites.

And I think you better plan on accomplishing this right away. Even in my very mild maritime climate, the middle of October is considered the cut-off date for seeding lawns.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 4:39PM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

Van Engelen has good prices when you need lots of bulbs and still has many crocus in stock.

Here is a link that might be useful: Van Engelen

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:32PM
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