Plant in the fall at the normal bulb-planting time for your area.. Plant handfuls of bulbs in relatively large holes. As you may have noticed, another key to success with crocus in the lawn is to avoid mowing their foliage so it can recharge the bulbs. Here’s what he told us about their glorious Crocus Lawn: 1. Dig a little compost or manure into the exposed soil, then plant the crocus bulbs. Bulbs can be planted closer than you would normally space them in a garden, but they should be planted a bit deeper; generally, plant them four times the height of the bulbs. How to Plant a Crocus in a Lawn 1. Let's Do Lawns Differently. Anything that kills weed sedges (which grow from corms) will also kill crocus, Jason explained. I actually like the crocus better in the lawn where they have to compete with the grass and don’t make such thick clumps as they do in the bed. They are ‘Dutch’ crocus, not species, and they grow mostly in part shade, in lawn that we never use chemicals on because of the children, pets, and wildlife. In the flower beds the clumps can get so big and thick that they crowd out other plants and look messy when the foliage is maturing.”. If you’re thinking about growing crocus in the yard, there are several things to consider. We’re not kidding. My outside hose was always frozen then, and we got very little moisture from the sky ever. Don’t use weed-killers. Perhaps it is climate; perhaps it is the lack of manmade chemicals on our small yard; goodness knows I’d be surprised if the secret is the clay soil. In other words, give your crocus lawn “old-style” lawn care (see above). Buy firm, undamaged bulbs. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to mow for a few weeks, or until the tops of the crocus turn yellow. Plant the bulbs when the ground is cool in autumn, six to eight weeks before the first hard frost. Step 3: To plant, dig a hole 2-4” deep for each bulb. In other words, apply ‘old style lawn care’ which consists mainly of ignoring the lawn, occasionally remembering to fertilize it with some nice manure and convincing a neighborhood lad to give it a weekly mow in the rainier part of the summer (for a handsome fee).”, Planting crocus in low-maintenance buffalo grass works, too, says, Susan Elder of Waynesboro, VA. “When I lived in New Mexico, I planted crocuses in a buffalo grass lawn that wasn’t mowed until mid-summer, and they did well there. If you’re planting crocus bulbs in existing turf, you can lift the turf and roll it back carefully. Planting Crocus bulbs in lawn ~ Saved by Annette Whayn-Haling. Rather than planting in straight lines or small groups, throw your bulbs into the air and see where they fall. Over the years, crocuses will naturalize. Crocus is ideally suited for a spot where grass is sparse – possibly a spot under a deciduous tree or in a forgotten patch of lawn. On heavy soils sit the bulbs on a layer of sharp grit to aid drainage and help prevent rotting. Choose a spot where the soil drains well. Choose the right site. Crocuses. Crocus finish most of their food storage activities prior to the first mowing of the grass, so this combination works out very well. “Some caveats, however: I mow my lawn at the highest possible setting, around 3 1/2”. Not surprisingly, Jason endorsed C. tommasinianus, including its named forms such as ‘Ruby Giant’. But a well-draining soil is crucial. Plant their corms under a tree or in a turf lawn. They don’t get much sun, and the thin lawn over hard clay is mowed, crocus and all, at three inches.”, In zone-6 Cincinnati, OH, tommies have seeded themselves much further afield. Crocus is the herald of spring, offering 90 species of low-growing spring flowers (plus the autumn bloomer, Crocus sativus). “I took the advice of one of your competitors and planted a smiley face in my lawn with yellow and purple crocuses,” wrote Carol Bradford of zone-5/6 Syracuse, NY. Crocus requires a minimum of 15 weeks of chilling to break dormancy. The chilling period gives the corm the clue that it is not time to grow up through the soil. When planting small bulbs, such as crocuses, in areas of grass, lift or roll back sections of turf. Early-spring crocus have much to offer and they needn’t be restricted to the flower bed. Use plenty of bulbs so that when they bloom they grab attention.. Top choices include species tulips and mini daffodils. The trees help keep the soil drier and the lawn thinner, both of which are advantageous for the crocus. For a truly natural look, just scatter a handful of bulbs and plant them where they fall. 2. Crocus will thrive for years if planted in grass with a dry or fast draining soil. Planting: Plant fall flowering crocus bulbs (corms) in late summer or early fall. Find plant bulbs at Lowe's today. You might ask them how it is cared for. As Bill Andreas of zone-6 Sudbury, MA, explains, “old style lawn care” is best for crocus: “I’d say that the smaller flowered crocus can be quite successfully planted in a lawn that isn’t too thick in partial shade. Once established, the thick carpets of color require surprisingly little care. 2. I welcome the delicate little show each spring, but I’ve never given them any special care. Email us at help@oldhousegardens.com “I’ve not planted them there myself,” he wrote, “but I’ve had a few of the smaller specie crocus seed themselves into the thin, surrounding lawn from an adjacent flower bed. All rights reserved. Check out our monthly newsletter and our weekly blog. As we expected, several readers told us that crocus in their lawns had failed. A thick, lustrous lawn does not allow for the bulbs to emerge and succeed. Plant bulb pointy side up. To avoid growing daffodils that look formal – or like soldiers, as Alan says – … Perhaps the turf deters the critters, or perhaps the ‘Dutch’ crocus just taste better.”, David Enoch of zone-6 Warren, OH, had a similar report: “Crocus are a delicacy on the squirrel and chipmunk diet, and any I have planted in flower beds seem to disappear after a few years. They were glorious that next spring, and for three or four springs afterwards, though each year they were less so. We’d love to hear from you! Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Make a plan before you begin planting the crocus corms. Naturalizing, Spring Bulbs, Crocus, Narcissus, Scilla, Galanthus, Anemones Naturalizing bulbs is a terrific way to brighten up lawns. I postpone mowing the grass until the daffodil foliage starts to yellow in June. The MoBot Crocus Lawn is planted in the bright shade of mature, deciduous trees. Thanks to everyone who helped make this page possible. This gives the crocus foliage plenty of time to mature completely and build up the corms for future years. Plant those crocus in your lawn! Dig a … If you’re thinking that naturalizing crocus bulbs will provide a more natural appearance, you’re right. Here at Old House Gardens, for example, the striking C. tommasinianus ‘Pictus’ planted at the base of a hydrangea has sown itself into the surrounding lawn, and this seems to be common. They have persisted long enough now in my front yard to be considered a permanent fixture. I am carrying on this tradition at my new home, and in three short years the lines of my planting have blurred and every spring I am greeted by a carpet that is spreading across my front lawn. We learned a lot, and though we won’t tell you that all crocus will thrive in all lawns, there are more possibilities than we thought — if you know what you’re doing. Welcome spring's return with a colorful display of early-blooming bulbs. The only attention this care-starved lawn gets is a periodic close cutting, which is infrequent and starts late. or call us at 734-995-1486, M-F, 9-4 EST. This prevents early tender shoots from getting zapped by freezing temperatures. So as for allowing crocus plants to complete their growth cycle, there seems to be more than one way to accomplish it.”, And crocus typically do better in lawns that are thinned by too little sunlight, water, or nutrients. You also need to pull weeds, add compost, rake the soil, and add sand if you have clay soil. Sign up for our newsletter. There is a technique for planting bulbs in lawn that calls for peeling back the sod, planting the bulbs and then replacing the sod. Plant these bulbs in autumn and they will flower in spring for many years to come. As with most plants with bulb roots, crocuses do not like to sit in soggy soil, which can cause them to rot. First of all, it takes hundreds of bulbs to make a good face — not cheap. If possible, score the underside of the turf with a hand fork to loosen the soil before replacing it. © 1993-2020, Old House Gardens. Most seem to be species crocus, particularly Crocus tommasinianus, as well as Crocus vernus and its subspecies albiflorus. Two crocus lawns that our readers told us about are so remarkable that people flock to see them every spring. That method would damage the tree roots too much, so it was out of the question here. Just imagine a lawn filled with blooms in colors such as bright purple, white, gold, pink or pale lavender. Here in Chicagoland crocus do fabulously, especially in the lawns. So we ended up cutting them before they could bloom. So we asked our newsletter readers (including a bulb expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden), and they responded big-time. Don’t water. The MoBot Crocus Lawn is planted in the bright shade of mature, deciduous trees. Many gardeners who have successfully grown crocus lawns recommend C. Tommasinianus, often known as “Tommies.”. Choose bulbs that tend to naturalize (spreading by offsets underground and/or by seed) and that reliably come back each year. But eventually the enthusiastic claims of some other bulb-sellers made us start to wonder if maybe we were missing something. Replace the soil after planting, breaking down any large clumps and firm in gently, making sure there are no air spaces around the bulbs. Many begin blooming in late winter. Although my basic motivation for this is to crowd out weed seedlings and to resist drought with bigger grass plants, I’m assuming it also allows more crocus leaves to remain as well. “They never did find all of them,” she wrote, “but in about five years nearly all of my crocus were gone.”. “I also seem to be having some success with crocus in a very different type of lawn at my neighborhood library branch where I volunteer. Theresa Pepin of zone-6/7 Knoxville, TN, wrote: “The lawn of a historic home here (behind a beautiful curving brick wall) is such a phenomenon when the crocus bloom that we call it The Blue Lawn. Crocuses are one of the best bulbs for naturalizing in a grassy lawn area. Don’t fertilize. Fork over the soil and add a little balanced fertiliser, such as Growmore. How to grow crocuses – planting crocus bulbs in a lawn. Plant the bulbs when the ground is cool in autumn, six to eight weeks before the first hard frost. Pull the bulb planter … Rodents: I had seen squirrels, chipmunks, and voles hanging around before I planted a single corm. Many years ago a neighbor planted some C. tommasinianus in grass on a small rise across the street. I did 25 years ago and some are still blooming every spring. The best time is 6 to 8 weeks before you expect your area to have a hard frost and while the soil … Every spring, by the time the weather is warm enough to start mowing the grass, Crocus will have finished blooming. 6. The ones I’ve casually buried here and there in the lawn, on the other hand, come up and bloom nicely every year, though with no noticeable increase.”, From New England, Bill Andreas wrote: “There are several patches of what I’d guess are Crocus tommasinianus happily growing in the front lawns of several of the older farm houses here [in zone-6 Sudbury, MA]. Crocus like well-drained soil in a partial to full sun location. A surprisingly large number of perennial bulbs do well in grass, such as snowdrops (Galanthus), crocuses (Crocus), squills (Scilla), checkered lilies (Fritillaria meleagris) and plenty others charming bulbs. Crocus is the best of bulbs to plant -- it usually blooms before lawns need mowing. The third method involves inserting crocus bulbs under the thatch of your lawn, so the crocus will fill your lawn with color prior to the greening of the grass. “I plant only the very small, very early types of crocus in the lawn, such as cultivars of C. tommasinianus and C. chrysanthus. Saffron crocus and other autumn flowering varieties need to be planted quite deep – about 10cm in well-drained, rich soil in a sunny situation and 7.5cm apart. Additionally, they tend to compete with turf more effectively than larger, late-blooming types. They do very well there, indeed. The new soil is prepared and then the bulbs planted wherever they have landed after being scattered in a random pattern on the lawn. No one knows when they were planted (‘they came with the house’ is what most people say), so in at least one case they’ve been there for at least fifty years. You should prep the soil before you plant any bulbs. The best bulbs to use are the Tommy Crocus (Crocus tommasinianus). Crocus Lawn, Missouri Botanical Garden, by. But “no more lawn crocuses for me. But don’t forget that annual rainfall varies widely across the US — St. Louis gets a lot less than Boston but much more than Denver — and that all bulbs need water when they’re in active growth, from fall (when they start new roots) through bloom. Since crocus is considered a spring bloomer, you need to plant corms in late summer to early fall. C: Plant in a container with well-draining soil. They also naturalize and spread by seed. When planting in lawns, carefully peel back the turf, then dig out the soil and plant the bulbs. If you like a lawn that is luxurious, lush and heavily fertilized, planting handfuls of crocus may be a waste of time because the bulbs have little chance of competing with a stand of thick grass. They are tiny bulbs (just a few centimeters across). I've tried planting daffodils in a lawn area, and their foliage didn't start fading until the grass was knee-high, a situation that didn't make my lawn-loving husband happy. Garden Bulbs Garden Plants Back Gardens Outdoor Gardens Crocus Bulbs Plant Pictures Bulb … The crocus varieties are at least C. tommasinianus and possibly C. chrysanthus as well.” (Opinions on C. chrysanthus are mixed; see below. Plant crocus bulbs (corms) in informal groups, just three inches deep and 2-3 inches apart. Of course, when you have bulbs growing in the lawn, you do have to take care during ‘spring clean up’ not to rake, aerate, etc., where they live, and you may need to defer mowing in that area. Lawn and Landscape: Get a jump on spring by planting crocus around the yard, beneath trees and shrubs and even right in the lawn. 4. This seems to be true of the other lawns I see them in, too.”, Back east in zone-7/8 Arlington, VA, Julia Tanner wrote: “Here near the Potomac River, many lawns (including ours) sport crocus that come back year after year. “Tommies are the most squirrel-resistant,” he said, probably because they have alkaloids in their corms that other crocus lack. Step 3. Steer clear of perfect rows. Where it’s less thick, two or three crocus have persisted, but all the rest disappeared within a few years.”, Lawn overwhelmed the crocus in Nancy Crowell’s yard, too. Plan (and plant) your crocus lawn carefully; with any luck, the bulbs will last for several years. Use the bulb planter to make a hole in the lawn. One patch is at least 15 feet in diameter forming a nice lavender lawn. Plant in groups or clusters so you can mow the other area. 4175 Whitmore Lake Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48105 3. Buffalo grass grows only about 6 inches tall, so it doesn’t have to be mowed if you don’t want to. If unsure, plant the bulb on its side. Once the soil has been replaced and consolidated by treading lightly, you … 5. The lawns range from full sun to a fair amount of shade. any readers told us that small, early-blooming species crocus did well in their lawns, especially Crocus tommasinianus, affectionately known as tommies. But despite the work, I loved my ‘crocus lawn’!”. They’re not very thick, for the most part. Plant hyacinth bulbs in full sun 3 to 6 inches apart 4 to 6 inches deep. Plant bulbs in groups or clusters rather than spacing them in a single line along a walkway or … Crocus are perennial spring flowering bulbs that scream “Spring is almost here!” here in Middle Tennessee. Don’t aerate. Happily, other readers reported great success. They grow happily in scruffy, thin lawn and in lightly shaded lawn areas under high trees. By all means! Mow VERY late. We took Laverne’s advice and called our friend Jason Delaney, senior outdoor horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s premier public gardens. We found that we could not leave the lawn unmowed until all of the foliage had matured, and so we always mowed off some of the yet-green leaves.

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