Naturalizing Crocus in the Lawn

April 7th, 2008

Crocuses in the LawnFinally Flowers. Michigan had an abysmally cold February and March and all the bulbs and other plants were delayed, I heard that even one state to the South things were on schedule, but up here this is the latest start I remember in recent time.

But finally, things are waking up, and up first of course, are crocuses. So I get to see the results of the in-lawn plantings I did last fall.

Planting crocus in your lawn is a great way to plant more flowers without having to make more garden beds. The bulbs sit below your sod, the crocus foliage looks like grass, and by the time you need to mow, the flowers are done and it doesn’t hurt them.

You can naturalize your entire lawn, something I’d highly recommend if you’re putting in new sod or seeding for the first time after construction. You may need to shop around to find a distributor willing to sell you thousands of bulbs in bulk for relatively little cash but I think it’d be worth it. You would have, every Spring, a carpet of blossoms where your lawn should be. People will stop to take pictures, it would be beautiful.

For those of us with established lawns though, such a thing is possible, just much much much more work as we have to remove and then replace the sod.

What I did was just two small areas totaling probably 10 square feet together. I used an edging spade to cut the grass into squares of about 12 inches and then used a flat shovel to scoop them up in one piece. I then laid the crocus bulbs (technically corms) down on the exposed dirt, replaced the sod, and tamped down. It was a good deal of work, my sod was compacted and tough to dig, but I’m glad I did it. You’ll want to plant densely for a more powerful affect, so err on the side of too many bulbs rather than too few.

You will notice in the picture some dying grass, that is to be expected, the edges where you cut the sod will brown, but that should respond and fill in within a month or two in the Spring and of course be gone entirely in future years.

Probably when I buy a new house or otherwise have the opportunity to plant BEFORE sod is laid or seed is sown, I will plant thousands of crocus bulbs for huge swaths of color. For now though, I’ll enjoy what I’ve got.

3 Responses to “Naturalizing Crocus in the Lawn”

  1. Rees Cowden  Says:

    I love the look of crocus popping up in a lawn. So many people freak when their beautifully manicured turf is disrupted. Daffodils are another bulb that look great in turf. The good part is that after they bloom you can just mow them down and they comeback next year. Thanks
    Rees Cowden

  2. James Mann  Says:

    We have a cold and very icy winter here in New Brunswick Canada but the snow did start to disappear and as soon as their was bare ground the Crocuss started poking through the dirt. A true sign that spring had arrived.

  3. se bowen  Says:

    Love this idea!
    When naturalizing some lupines seedlings in my back lawn I used a bulb planting tool to cut through the sod/soil then pour a cup of water in (this gives them a moist environment to settle in as well as losing the air pockets) ~ plant seedlings! The result is a seamless undisturbed look to the area. I think this could be used to plant crocus bulbs easily!
    Plant my daffys at the woods edge where the field (aka “lawn” lol!) meets the woods, as well as my day lilies. IMHO these fleurs do not belong entrapped in a formal garden!

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