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Meadow Planting with Spring Bulbs

October 11, 2013

If you would like an artlessly natural-looking  meadow with relatively little hassle then Autumn is a good time to plant up a grassed area with Spring flowering bulbs. The advantage of using bulbs is the ease with which they can be planted followed by the opportunity for most bulbs to multiply for years to come. Whilst the plant choice depends on individual taste it should be noted that the most natural appearance achieved with bulbs is if you stick to wild species or those of wild looking cultivars. I would suggest Crocus tommasinianus below…

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Wild daffodils Pseudo narcissi Lobularis  which grows to 20cms and will establish itself and spread after a couple of seasons…

Chionodoxa sardensis…

Snowdrops Galanthus ‘Elwesii’…

The other advantage of limiting a ‘meadow’ to bulbs is in the management.  The lawn area should be cut in Autumn,  the bulbs tossed together in a bucket then thrown in handfuls over the cut grass.  Plant the bulbs where they land and plant deep enough to give a soil covering that is at least twice the height of the dormant bulb. A sharp spade is easier to cut into grass than a bulb planter or a trowel and watering (or a day of rain prior to planting) will make the task easier.  If a ‘path’ is required across the lawn for access then sprinkle sand to define the path edge and avoid planting here and keep the grass cut shorter to further define it.

The bulbs will need a period of six weeks after flowering to rebuild their strength and a feed of high potash will benefit. The grass can then be cut and cut again in autumn whilst waiting for the Spring show the following year. There’s no need to limit it to bulbs but these are readily available and relatively inexpensive and as a project can be started immediately.

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