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How to plant bulbs in lawns


Spring bulbs look particularly impressive when planted informally in lawns. Many varieties of daffodil and crocus are perfect for growing under turf, and will multiply over the years to produce even bolder displays. For the greatest impact, use a single variety, planted in large drifts.

In damp areas, try planting snake's head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris), an early flowering bulb that looks stunning when naturalised in grass.

How to do it


Bulbs look best when they grow naturally - or at least when they look like they do. Rather than planting in straight lines or small groups, throw your bulbs into the air and see where they fall. Then simply plant them where they land.


Use the bulb planter to make a hole in the lawn. Push firmly, using the gauge on the side to ensure that it reaches a depth of 5cm.


Pull the bulb planter out of the lawn and remove the piece of earth that comes up with it. Put this to one side as you will need to replace it after you have planted the bulb.


Place one bulb in each hole, making sure the growing tip is pointing upwards.


Replace the piece of turf and soil over the bulb. Make sure it is flush - use your foot to firm it in place if necessary.


Water the area generously.

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Talkback: How to plant bulbs in lawns
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rosemary2000 19/09/2013 at 18:07

I always get it wrong when planting daffs. A large proportion don't flower, just end up with leaves. What is the exact measurement you bury the bulbs please. Sandy x

BobTheGardener 19/09/2013 at 19:20

You want twice the depth of soil above the bub as the bulb is tall.  That is, if a daff bulb is 5cm tall, dig a hole 15cm deep and place the bulb at the bottom which will then have 10cm of soil above it when you fill the hole in.

peter kelly2 12/09/2014 at 11:24

I thought it was4 inches in the ground forbulbs.

Fairygirl 12/09/2014 at 12:08

Totally depends on the size of bulb peter, and they can vary enormously. Four inches or so will suit smaller daffs, but would be too deep for  crocus, and too shallow for most lilies for instance. Bob's description is the way to go - you won't go far wrong if you follow that.

In pots you can plant more closely together, and also less deep as it's a different medium altogether, and many people feel tulips will perform and survive better if they're planted more deeply than the recommended 'twice the height' system  

Dordogne Damsel 12/09/2014 at 12:56

How do you prevent mice getting at them, someone suggested covering in chilli powder, but not convinced?

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