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How to plant bulbs


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

Cutting an H shape in the turf


Use a spade or lawn-edging tool to cut an H shape into the turf, pushing the blade vertically through the turf.

Pushing spade to cut roots below turf

Push the spade under the turf to cut through the grass roots, and start easing back a complete layer of turf. Do the same on the other side.

Folding back the flaps of turf

Fold back the flaps of turf created by cutting through the H shape.

Placing bulbs on the surface of the soil

Fork over the soil to break it up and spread out the bulbs, pointed-end up, randomly over the surface.

Push the bulbs down firmly and fold back the flaps of turf of soil to cover the bulbs completely.

Walk over the turf to firm it down, making sure it's level with the rest of the lawn. Then water the area generously.

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Talkback: How to plant bulbs
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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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