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Naturalising snowdrops

I've got a lovely big bag of snowdrops, in the green, and I want to put a few in a border but the majority I want naturalised in an area of lawn under a birch tree. Everything I've seen so far about how to plant in grass shows people planting just the bare bulbs - what technique should I use for planting them in grass at this time of year? Do I just make a slit with a trowel and poke them in, leaving the leaves and buds above ground? I've never planted anything in grass before so all advice / tips very welcome :)



  • dig the hole twice the depth of the bulb, you want three or five bulbs together in a little clump, put them in the hole, you can put a little bit of fertilizer in the hole but I never bother. At this point remove any flower buds as you want them to focus on growing this year not flowering.

    Fill it in with the snowdrop leaves sticking out of the hole, don't cut the lawn until the leaves start dying back.

    one note is randomly dig the holes, nature doesn't do straight lines

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,991

    Yes, just make a slit, might need a spade, easier to push in than a trowel. Also you can dig out a lump of soil with that and do a few small groups as well as singles

    Try and get them in a natural looking arrangement, thinner and thicker patches. It gets them off to a more natural looking start. You should be able to see how deeply they were planted before

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Thank you, Treehugger and Nutcutlet - you've given me the confidence to go and tackle it later today, if this wretched wind calms down a bit!

  • I don't think snowdrops do very well in grass, although under a tree you might be OK. Under the shade of deciduous trees & shrubs is better where the growth of grass and other competing plants is suppressed.

    I'd plant the bulbs a bit deeper, maybe 4", in small clumps of a few bulbs each.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,314

    We had a long run of them along the boundary at my last house, in the grass with daffosils. The rabbits didn't eat t hem so it was lovely for late winter and into spring. Ground was good an wet from the rain, but also because it was the run off from the spring feeding the ponds. They thrived in it.

    If you plant underneath trees they should be fine as long as the ground's moist enough. Not usually an issue if  the trees are deciduous, or you get alot of rain. They don't like dry soil long term   image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • We're in North Devon, Fairygirl, so yes - plenty of rain!

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 968

    Rabbits mightent eat snowdrops but mice do as we have found to our cost, planted now under trees in a glade, no mice there.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,314

    They'll be fine then TTC image

    Rodents (and other creatures) will often eat or dig up bulbs, cornelly, but it depends where they are and what the ground's like etc. We had loads of mice there too, but rabbits were always the main issue with plants. The snowdrops were well established in the grass, and quite deep. Not quite so easy for them to get at  image

    A layer of chicken wire over them will also help prevent anything digging them up. Again, depends where you put them and how much effort you want to go to in preventing anything getting at them. Some losses are inevitable now and again, as with anything planted en masse. 

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Funny you should say that, Cornelly, because these are the second lot of snowdrops I've planted in this garden. The first were all in a border and I'm sure they were miced! That's partly the reason why this year only a few are going in the border (I'm a chancer!) and the rest are going under turf where, as Fairygirl says, hopefully they will have a better chance. I'm really excited about this particular part of the garden. It's only small - around 30' x 15' - and has been a summer meadow in the past, last year was just scruffy lawn, but this year I HAVE PLANS for it! I'm going to turn it into a mini-woodland clearing. Last year we planted a mixed native hedge on the southern border, overlooking a beautiful valley with just one other house in view. I planted a silver birch and a rowan on the eastern border and there's an old Christmas tree (Nordman) that nearly died planted at the north-western corner. The other sides are about to be planted with a hornbeam hedge. With the turf I dug up to make the planting trench I've built a big fire pit in the middle of the 'clearing' and the hornbeam will curved around so you can't see into the clearing until you enter it, kind of like the start of a labyrinth at each of the two entrances. I'll let a hornbeam grow up a bit and will plant some smaller shrubby trees next year, once I've got a better feel for the space. The snowdrops are going under the birch. I'M SO EXCITED!!

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,314

    It sounds terrific TTC  image

    Good luck with it and hope you enjoy it all

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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