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Planting drifts of spring bulbs under trees...help!


 
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Sive
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 18 Apr 2008
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 1:19 pm    Post subject: Planting drifts of spring bulbs under trees...help! Reply with quote

I have recently planted a small grove of trees, mainly birches. I like the idea of a mass of spring bulbs in that area, but I have never tried this before and am wondering how to maintain such a planting scheme.
If I sow grass as well, when/how can I cut the grass, remembering you have to let daffodils die right down before clearing the dead foliage ???
If I don't sow grass, will it be worse, giving me a permanent battle with weeds?
Would it be better if I sowed wild-flower seed to take over in the summer?
I need help please!
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Liparis
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you naturalise Narcissi in grass you can start cutting after 6 weeks. that's the target for the goodness to travel back down into the bulb to make next years flower buds hidden rght in the centre of the bulb. If possible, leave them 8 weeks, but your first cut of grass will be a devil! But there again, if your planting like that, you won't be making a lawn out of it anyway. By the time the Narcissi are ready to cut, other bulbs like Snowdrops, crocus etc will be well past and ready for cutting. A way I do it is, the bulbs are planted in drifts and the grass can be cut around the bulb areas, this leaves areas where the bulbs can die down completely, and rough cut, tidyish ares of grass around. The benefits of the "islands" of longer grass with the bulbs in, is scurry places for wild life, shrews, voles etc.
You can buy grass seed mix with wild flower mix already in it, or buy your grass seed and mix wild flower seed into your self.
Bill.

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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

might there not also be a problem of grass not growing under the trees due to shade?
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Sive
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your advice Liparis, that explains perfectly how to deal with the grass. Do you know, by any chance where I can buy combined grass/wildflower seed in this country? It might be better to get a professional mix rather than making my own.
Hi Medieval Knievel.....I'm sure you're right about the problem of the grass being shaded, but I can't see that happening for quite a few years as the trees are all very young still, and what's more, they are all deciduous.
Thank you both.
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Liparis
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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't tell you off-hand a supplier, sive, but I know there are some. One advantage of mixing your own is you know the ratio, plus you can add more species to it than you would normally get in a pre-mixed bag. How large an area of course would also determine the best way. Mixes can be expensive, but a bag of grass seed with a few bought packets of seed to mix in might be cheaper if it's a large area. Googling might find the Irish suppliers and give you an idea of the cheapest way to do it.
Bill.

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Sive
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Location: Co.Wexford

PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Bill....it isn't a particularly large area....maybe about 20 trees......your suggestion is actually inspiring me.....you're quite right, I could actually design my own mixture and have some fun doing it! Thanks for the idea! Do you think I should go for a fine lawn grass seed so that the flowers have a better chance of establishing???
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