Spacing of crocus in lawn

Katxena(z7 MD)October 13, 2005

I am a new homeowner, and a new in-the-ground gardener (my previous gardening has all been in containers).

This fall, i'm planting crocus in my lawn. I have a patch of lawn that is about 200 square feet, with a walkway along one side and the neighbor's lawn on the other. There are a few shurbs against the house, but that's all that is in the front yard.

I have puchased 80 bulbs (mostly purples, some white, some yellow). But I can't figure out what the best spacing for the bulbs is -- I don't want to make a design, but I don't want them to be so spaced out that they look stragely, and I don't want them to spread over into the neighbor's lawn.

The options as I see them are: a) cluster the bulbs along my walkway, or b) spread them all over the lawn, but keep a healthy margin (a foot?) from the neighbor's lawn.

Which of these will look better with this number of bulbs? Do you have any other suggestions for how to space them?

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merrygardens(z5 MI)

I've seen the strategy of taking a large handful of bulbs and gently tossing them, planting them where they land. Gives a natural spacing, not planned-looking.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 10:20AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

80 bulbs is very very few for that space. You should really be looking at a minimum of 10 per square foot to get a good display in the first year, and anything less than a couple per square foot will look very thin. They will clump up quite quickly but then you'll have a wide scattering of clumps so you still don't weant to spread them too thin. You can always add more later, of course. If you wait long enough, like five years or more, you will start to get self-sown plants from some of the species crocus.

So I guess its up to you whether you want them very widely scattered over much of the lawn, or fairly widely scattered over just an edge. Either way, expect to be a little disappointed the first year. Until you start putting in silly numbers of bulbs, it is hard to get a really full display. Single crocus flowers are very delicate anyway and tend to get flattened by the first wind or rain, they are a little more robust when they clump up.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Katxena(z7 MD)

Thanks very much for the feedback. I had no idea that 80 wasn't enough! That's ok though -- I don't at all mind buying more. I'll use the 10 per square foot guideline. I think I'll also use the suggestion of tossing them on the ground and planting them where they land. I think that will look very pretty.

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 2:43PM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

I have several varieties of crocus and other minor bulbs in my lawn. As for planting, since the bulbs were easily small enough to get lost if tossed into grass, I faked a natural scatter. Basically 3 to 4 near each other, but in unsymmetrical arrangement, and then something like a comet tail of single or paired bulbs drifting downslope. I planted about 600 total minor bulbs in a area of about 300-400 square foot, but not dispersed over the entire lawn so they form pockets and drifts of color. They have grown for 4 years there now, and the various species give a longer bloom time. I just wish I had put in more yellow to hilight the purples and whites.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 8:14AM
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monarae_gw(z4 IOWA)

I am doing basically the same thing here. I have around 800 crocus in my lawn. I add more each year. They are finally really starting to "take off". Right now - I have another 200 to put in. My son runs away when he sees me comming with the electric drill with the auger on it! lol!
He knows that he will be helping! hehe!

George - what other types of bulbs do you have, when you say other minor bulbs? Just curious!!!


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:18AM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

I have Scilla siberica, Pushkinia, Hyacinthoides (spanish bluebells) Muscara, and a few Fritilliaries (Uva vulpis).

Besides there is a very large colony of Snowdrops which have been there for over 30 years and litterly blanket one area. I'm very happy with all of these except the Frits which are just a bit too delicate in structure and color to make a show from any distance. Pushkinia have naturalized best, as they seed very well and develop to flowering size rapidly.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 10:44AM
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