How to Plant Springtime Bulbs

Give your lawn and garden spaces new life with these colorful design tips for planting bulbs.

Naturalistic plantings of bulbs in grass can bring a plain expanse of lawn to life and look especially striking when planted under trees. The delicate, nodding white heads of snowdrops (Galanthus 'S. Arnott') and vibrantly colored crocuses ('Pickwick' and 'Yellow Giant') break up the sea of grass and create an attractive focal point. In this design the bulbs have been planted in groups so that their bold blocks of color create maximum impact. The planting scheme has a natural feel, with the different groups allowed to drift into each other. You will need approximately 30x30 feet (10x10 m) of space to grow these plants. These grasses — which are best-suited for wildlife gardens, meadows, lawn areas or under trees — prefer free-draining or slightly moist soil and full sun to partial shade.

Materials Needed:

  • 500 bulbs x Crocus bulbs
  • 500 bulbs x Crocus vernus bulbs
  • 200 bulbs x Galanthus bulbs
  • bulb planter or turf cutter
  • rotary mower

Planting and Aftercare

Crocus bulbs should be planted in fall. Scatter the bulbs randomly on the ground to make the planting look natural, and plant them where they fall. Use a bulb planter to put them in the ground, or in larger spaces, use a turf cutter to lift up large sections of turf before planting the bulbs and replacing the grass. The bulbs should be planted at about two times the depth of their height; ensure that the bulbs are planted right side up. Transplant young snowdrop plants in late spring, while they are "in the green". Allow the foliage of the bulbs to die back after flowering. This allows nutrients to return to the bulb, ensuring a good show of flowers the following year. They can then be cut back with a rotary mower.

Yellow Giant (Crocus)

Showy Spring Bloomer

Showy Spring Bloomer

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Purple Crocus

Pickwick Crocus

Pickwick Crocus

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

S. Arnott (Galanthus)

Pretty White Snowdrop Flowers

Pretty White Snowdrop Flowers

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Spring Beauty (Scilla siberica)

Blue Spring Beauty

Blue Spring Beauty

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover © 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Lawns and Groundcover , 2012 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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