Sod Bulb Planting


New bulb shoots poking through the soil are usually the first sign of spring in a flower bed. But bulbs don't have to be confined to a flower bed. Some bulbs, such as crocus and daffodils, can be planted directly into your lawn for a naturalized appearance. Naturalized bulbs will poke through the sod in spring while the grass still lies dormant. The flowers can be mowed back once the grass begins to grow.

Step 1

Select a lawn where the sod is healthy for planting bulbs. If the grass in a lawn is struggling to survive, the lawn does not have adequate nutrients to support naturalized bulbs. Lawns for naturalizing bulbs should be low-maintenance, meaning that you don't have to water it in the summer or fertilize it twice yearly. Your lawn should also receive six hours or more of sunlight daily.

Step 2

Place bulbs on the ground in patterns that you wish to plant them. Bulbs look pleasing when massed in odd shaped numbers such as clumps of three and five. You can also scatter bulbs by tossing them into the air and planting them where they land. To plant in drifts, place bulbs close together. You can place as many as 10 tulip bulbs, five daffodils or 15 crocuses per square foot.

Step 3

Plant bulbs by peeling back the sod and digging a hole as deeply as the bulb's recommended planting depth. Bulbs should be planted two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall.

Step 4

Place the bulb in the bottom of the hole with the flat side pointed downward. Cover it with dirt. Then place the sod back over the hole. Water well to reestablish the sod and tamp down on its surface to force the roots into contact with the soil. To plant drifts, remove sod and soil in layers. Then place the bulbs into the planting hole and layer the soil and sod back over the bulbs.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulbs
  • Shovel
  • Garden hose


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Planting Hardy Bulbs in the Lawn
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension: Planting Bulbs for Spring Flowers
  • North Dakota Extension Service: Questions on: Tulips
  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs and More

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Helper: Planting, Growing and Caring for Spring Flowering Bulbs
  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Bulbs in the Florida Garden
  • Echters: Plant Bulbs in Drifts of Color
Keywords: bulbs under grass, bulbs under sod, bulbs in sod lawn, spring lawn bulbs

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."