plant bulbs on lawn?????

chueh(7B)October 25, 2012

There are several new approaches about throwing small bulbs on the lawn to have a natural look when the plants and flowers grow during dormancy of the lawn.

How does that work? I cannot imagine how the bulbs would grow without being buried 2 or 3 times deep of their widths. Basically, the bulbs are just going to sit on the lawn only with their bottoms touching the soil, if the lawn is not thick. With thick lawn, how would it possible to have bulbs touching the soil; the bulbs would probably just touch the bottom of the lawn.

Even if the bulbs would grow by sitting on the lawn, wouldn't it be bumpy to walk on the lawn or mow the lawn in growing season?

How does that work????

Thanks

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kristiepdx(8b, sunset 6)

Last year I planted 1000 crocus in a 10X10 sq/ft patch of lawn. It was 5 different varieties. What I did was bag up 10 bulbs per variety in plastic bags (100 bags total) then I mixed up the bags in a basket and tossed the bags on the lawn about one foot apart Then I took a spade shovel and sliced the lawn to make crescent shaped "pockets" (or flaps) about 3 inches deep. I then emptied the baggie of bulbs into the pocket trying to spread them out and push as deep into the pocked as I could. I did not worry about placing them right way up since they were crocus (they all righted themselves by the following spring) Then I pushed down the lawn flap with my hands. It went way faster to cut the lawn flaps/pouches and then place the bulbs. It probably took about 2 hours.
I am sure there will be someone more knowledgeable than me to come along. But this is the method that worked well for me.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:10PM
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kristiepdx(8b, sunset 6)

Added to clarify:

By pockets 3 inches deep I meant deep into the ground. I tried to get the spade to go as far lateral as I could for bulb spacing. For me, my hand could disappear into the pocket. And I dug many pockets first and then placed the bulbs so I would not have to do the stand up-sit down thing ;-) Depending on what kind of bulb you are planting, you will need to modify the size and depth of your holes.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 4:17PM
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gardengal48

Are you sure they meant to just toss the bulbs on the lawn and leave them there? Typically tossing the bulbs is an efficient way to achieve a very natural placement but the bulbs still have to be planted. And it is even recommended a slight bit deeper in the lawn than in the ground (accounting for the turf and roots).

Too many things would limit any sort of success at just leaving the bulbs on the surface. The squirrels and other varmints would think it was banquet season; the roots must be in contact with soil to grow and and to provide the bulb with moisture and nutrients; and any sort of freezing weather would also freeze the bulbs.

I think they must not have explained themselves very clearly -- you can't just leave the bulbs sitting on the ground. No, no, no :-)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 5:35PM
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chueh(7B)

Yeah, gardengal48, that's what I thought! The bulb planting video from Home&Garden just showed the gardener tossed the bulbs, and she explained "this makes a natural look." That's all about it, but no further explanation. That's why I was wondering how it is possible to have them grow by just tossing them on the lawn...

But then, I read another short article about bulb, and it talks about the same thing "tossing the bulbs onto the lawn."

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 6:25PM
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chueh(7B)

Yeah, gardengal48, that's what I thought! The bulb planting video from Home&Garden just showed the gardener tossed the bulbs, and she explained "this makes a natural look." That's all about it, but no further explanation. That's why I was wondering how it is possible to have them grow by just tossing them on the lawn...

But then, I read another short article about bulb, and it talks about the same thing "tossing the bulbs onto the lawn."

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 7:39PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

chueh - I'm pretty sure that the throwing of the bulbs is just to get the distribution natural-looking. You are certainly meant to plant them after they have been spread out. Note the information under 'Naturalising bulbs' at the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Naturalising bulbs

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 11:56AM
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chueh(7B)

LOL I think i just took it too literally and visually; I believed what I saw and heard was ALL.....too funny.. thank you all

It would be a lot of digging for a lawn though....

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

FWIW, I would try a few the first year, make sure critters don't eat them. Then add more if you get flowers. It's a bummer to buy critters an expensive meal (and do all of that work and get NO flowers!)

I haven't done this but have wondered before why people don't put tiny bulbs in those little holes after having that aeration thing done to their lawn.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 12:00PM
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rigelcaj(z5 VT)

PSA re tossing small bulbs onto the grass: it's hard to find them all to plant afterward! :) I like the idea of bags.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 12:15PM
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kimpa(z6b PA)

I have planted at least 400 crocus bulbs in my lawn and it is a lot of work. Wondered why they never naturalize (spread around) and find that the flowers are being eaten. So they don't go to seed...Could be deer or rabbits. Disappointing project.. I should spray with repellant.

My deer eat things they shouldn't more and more. But I have never seen daffodil, allium or leucojum damage.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:03AM
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mmstiner(6)

I love reading the postings bout y'all. I'm a newbie to the site and so happy to have found it. When planting crocus or other small bulbs I've found it quicker to use a masonry hammer than any other form to plant with. Controlled strike, pry, drop the bulb, press soil with heel of hand move on. Three or four a minute........specially iffen you get a youngen to help with the small fingers. My boy is now 17 and much to involved with school and games to plant. He does still admire the colors and styles. Kimpa...I too am bothered by rabbits and rats on stilts (deer) and the occasional squirrel. Specially in the Winter when not much is growing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 10:38AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

mmstiner - Thanks for the masonary hammer tip. Planted over 300 crocus in the lawn in just a couple minutes.
I did end up with a blister.
...not that I can blame anyone but myself for that!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:13AM
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