Gardening Advice: Drifts of Bulbs

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Gardening Advice: Drifts of Bulbs

October 4, 2001
09:48am

Q: How can I create drifts of small bulbs under my trees without digging a million individual holes? Al Boice, Towson, Md.

A: Squills, glory-of-the-snow, snowdrops, and winter aconites all naturalize freely, so ask a neighbor with an abundance of these early-spring flowers if you can collect seed. It will take about three seasons before flowering starts, but no digging will be required. Check the dying flowers regularly for tan or black ripe seeds. These seeds mustn’t dry out, so plant them immediately. Lightly rake them into the soil where you want them to grow. A thin litter of leaves will help keep the area moist. Too shy to ask for horticultural handouts? Plant a few dozen bulbs next fall and start spreading your own seed crop each succeeding spring.