Naturalizing Bulbs in Grass

When naturalized, bulbs create a spectacular splash of color on the lawn. See these two methods for making the planting look natural.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Naturalized Daffodils Give Woodland Effect

Most bulbs, including daffodils and bluebells, bloom in the springtime, but with careful planning you can grow flowers in the lawn all year round.

Method 1: Remove soil plug

Scatter the bulbs across the lawn and plant them where they land. Use a bulb planter to take out a core of soil; bulbs should be planted at two to three times their depth.

Plant Bulb in Hole

Place the bulb in the bottom of the hole with its growing tip facing upward. If the soil is poorly drained, grit or sand can be added. After planting, backfill the hole with soil and replace the plug of turf.

Method 2: Peel Back Turf and Plant in Clusters

Use this quick technique if there are a lot of bulbs to plant, or if they are small and need to be planted close together. With a half moon cutter or a spade, cut an “H” shape in the turf, and then slice under the turf horizontally. Carefully peel the flaps of turf back. Lightly loosen the soil in the hole, and add grit or sand if the soil drains poorly.

Scatter Bulbs

Scatter the bulbs on the soil, ensuring that their placement looks natural. Plant them at the required depth, which is usually two to three times their height, with their growing tips facing upward.

Roll Turf Back in Place

Once the bulbs are planted, roll the turf back into place, ensuring that they are completely covered. Firm the turf down well with the back of a rake, checking that the area is level with the rest of the lawn. Water in well.

Be Careful With the Mower

When the bulbs are in flower, be careful when mowing the lawn around them. Patches of flowering bulbs nestled in unmown grass look attractive when surrounded with a contrasting, neatly mown lawn.