Hard work now will reap its rewards in future years

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HERE it is – spring bulb-planting time again.

I’m about to plant more narcissi, bluebells and crocuses in the grass at the Patch.

These naturalise particularly well, and, providing you allow six weeks after the flowers fade before the leaves are trimmed off, they will spread and bloom more magnificently every year.

This can be a nuisance when naturalising some bulbs in a lawn as it may delay mowing, but early-flowering crocuses, snowdrops, chionodoxa and the like aren’t usually a problem as their leaves will be starting to die by the time the mower comes out.

It’s probably better to confine later flowering kinds to the wild garden and corners where late mowing isn’t a problem.

This is easiest way to plant spring bulbs in grass, and the one that will give you the most natural effect:

nPeel back thin sections of turf and fork over the soil underneath

nAdd a handful of bonemeal and place the bulbs on the soil, with enough distance between them to allow them to spread each year without becoming overcrowded – at least 15cm for small bulbs, more with large ones like daffodils.

nPlanting depth varies according to the size of bulb. As a rule of thumb, you need at least as much soil over the top (nose) of the bulb as the depth of the bulb itself – i.e. 2.5cm for crocuses and other small bulbs, 5cm or more for large ones.

nReplace the turf over the top and firm down gently.

Then – roll on spring!