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Bulbs come in many varieties and will sprout without much work, making them an excellent feature for your yard or garden. You can also find bulbs that will bloom at various times throughout the growing season, adding splash of color from spring through fall. Why not add a bit of whimsy to home and feed bees at the same time by “naturalizing” bulbs throughout your lawn?

Allow your bulbs to go wild

Bulbs will often multiply and spread on their own once they’re planted. To “naturalize” them—that is, allow them to propagate without human intervention—you simply need to plant some bulbs and let them be. If you want to keep them in a particular area, you will need to weed out stragglers occasionally, but aside from that, adding flowers that sprout from bulbs to your lawn is as easy as planting the first set.

Spread your bulbs evenly, though

To get an even spread of flowers throughout your yard, using around ten bulbs per square foot of grass is a good place to start. You can allow the pattern to appear more natural by tossing the bulbs out into the space you want to fill, and then just planting them wherever they fell. I like that method to help ensure the bulbs are dense enough to look good the first year they sprout, while also allowing some space for new bulbs as the plants multiply.

Plant your bulbs at the right time of year

Almost all bulbs should be planted in autumn after the soil temperature is consistently around 55 degrees. Soil cools a little slower than air, so the temperature should be about right once the air temperature has been at or below 50 degrees for at least two weeks. If you need some summer-blooming plants, there are many varieties that can be planted in the spring once the danger of frost has passed. When you’re choosing spring bulbs, just make sure to consider the amount of time the bulb will need to grow leaves and bloom. Plants that bloom in the spring will do better if the bulbs are in the ground by autumn.

Plant your flower bulbs deep enough

Bulbs should be planted about 2 ½ to 3 times their height deep to give them a good base to grow from. You can use a trowel to dig the hole for your bulbs, but if you’re planting a lot—like a whole lawn’s worth—then a bulb planter will come in handy. While some people will do just fine eyeballing the depth that their bulbs should go, if you’re not confident in your estimating abilities, a gardening tool with measurement markings on the blade can help.

How to care for your bulbs

Once your bulbs are in the ground, keep them well watered, but not so damp that the grass becomes spongy. Once they’ve sprouted for the first time, you won’t need to water them as much because the winter months allow them to store up fluid. Keep the foliage attached to the plant until it turns in the late summer or autumn.

Since the leaves are the bulb’s only source of nutrients from the sun, it’s important to let the plants absorb as much as they can while the leaves are still green. Once they wither or turn yellow or brown, it’s okay to trim the leaves back. These maintenance tasks are all that your bulbs should need to thrive.

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