Experienced gardeners who scan the landscape searching for the first signs of spring are nearly always fortunate to find the appearance of tiny crocus blooms poking up through the remnants of snow and slush. Crocuses grow low to the ground and display a variety of bloom colors for early spring enjoyment. Crocuses are also an ideal flower to use for naturalizing a lawn. Naturalizing a lawn involves planting bulbs amid the grass for a natural and beautiful effect. Plant crocus bulbs in the autumn prior to a hard frost and then you can look forward to your early spring crocuses.
Prepare a growing area that receives either full sunlight or partial shade. Plant the crocus bulbs two months prior to the first hard frost of the autumn; soil temperatures should be less than 60 degrees for best results. Work the growing area with the garden spade down to a depth of at least 1 foot. Add between 2 and 4 inches of compost to the top of the soil and work this in with the garden spade. Rake the soil smooth to finish preparing the growing area.
Dig holes for the crocus bulbs with the trowel or use the dibble to push holes into the soil. Make the holes so that the bulbs will be 4 inches below the soil level with each bulb spaced approximately 3 inches apart. For a pleasing growing display, plant the crocus bulbs in groups of at least 12.
Alternatively, use the dibble to penetrate the soil and plant the crocus bulbs 4 inches beneath the soil instead of digging the holes with a trowel.
Place the crocus bulbs in the prepared holes with the pointed end of the bulb facing up. Cover the crocus bulbs with garden soil and pat the soil down with your hands.
Water the newly planted crocus bulbs generously immediately after planting. If the autumn weather is dry after you plant the crocus bulbs, provide a weekly watering to keep the bulbs moist prior to winter.
Cover the planting area with 4 inches of shredded mulch to protect the bulbs from winter cold and to conserve moisture in the soil.
Watch for crocuses to be among the first flower to bloom the following spring.
Naturalize a lawn by tossing the crocus bulbs randomly throughout your lawn (using as many or as few bulbs as you desire). Use the sharp blade of the trowel to cut through the grass at the point where each crocus bulb landed. Then use the dibble to insert the crocus bulbs beneath the soil and replace the grass over the crocus bulbs. Water the entire lawn generously after naturalizing. By the time you are ready to begin mowing the grass for the season, the crocus plants will be finished blooming and you can safely mow the crocus foliage without harming the plants.