Rocking the bulbs in the lawn

This is a rockery trowel
People ask, "How do you plant bulbs in the lawn?"

I answer, "With a rockery trowel."

They nod knowingly. Of course, they should have thought of using a rockery trowel.

As if they knew what a rockery trowel was.

Show of hands... who knew what a rockery trowel was before reading this post?

A rockery trowel is a trowel with a long skinny head which allows me to plant hundreds thousands of bulbs in my lawn.  I merely thrust the trowel into the ground, push it forward, plop a small bulb in the hole behind the trowel head, pull out the trowel, wipe off any dirt that stuck to it, and pat the hole closed.

Then I move on to the next one.

And it is more of a slap than a pat because I move pretty fast.

How fast can I plant bulbs with my rockery trowel? Sunday afternoon, I planted 500 crocus corms in 59 minutes, which means I planted approximately 8.47 bulbs per minute.

Last week, working several evenings, and finishing up on Saturday morning, I planted 1,000 Chionodoxa gigantea bulbs in the lawn.

And then I ordered more bulbs for the lawn.  Why not?

Between the 500 newly planted crocuses, 1000 Chionodoxa bulbs, plus the 2,000 crocus corms I planted last year and the year before, I should have a nice display.  Especially after I plant 1,000 more Chionodoxa bulbs.

People will ask, "Do the bulbs come back each year?"

I am tempted to respond, "Well, technically the bulbs don't go anywhere from year to year, so they have no where to come back from."  But what people really meant to ask is do they flower each year.  The answer is yes, they do.

Do they multiply? Hard to say.  I don't count them in the spring.

Do chipmunks eat them?  Not in my yard, but I've heard chipmunks especially love crocus corms.

What about weed killers? I don't use weed killers on this lawn so I don't have to worry about weed killers being the cause of their disappearance, should these flowers disappear.

What about dandelions? And clover?  Oh yes, I have plenty of dandelion blooms, too.  I consider them Mother Nature's contribution to the floral display.  And just so I don't show up Mother Nature, I don't plant yellow crocuses in the lawn.

And clover? It's really the best thing that's ever happened to my lawn. I even sowed clover seed in my lawn to be sure I had plenty.  The clover stays green even during periods of no rain, fixes nitrogen in the soil and has pretty white flowers. Bees come from everywhere to feast upon the clover blooms in my yard.

What other flowers am I going to plant in my lawn?  For now, this is it. Crocus, Chionodoxa and clover.

I can hardly wait for spring...


  1. Why have I never seen such a thing? I use the same method but with my stubby little trowel which explains why I never planted more than a dozen crocus in my lawn. Which, being yellow, looked unfortunately like dandelions in the grass. I'm impressed!

  2. I'd never heard of a rockery trowel before - thanks! I can't wait to see pictures of your spring display!

  3. I've never seen a rockery trowel either - but it looks very useful. I have a lawn with crocuses on it (none added this year), but I never thought of chinodoxa - you've encouraged me

  4. What a cunning tool to use - I shall look out for one - as will all your other readers, I suspect ! It will look totally wonderful in spring!

  5. it will be a beautiful Mother Nature floral display greatly/enormously/magnificently aided by you!

  6. Sounds like it will be beautiful. I am wondering how the balance ends up between the bulbs and the grass height in the spring. My grass starts growing in the early spring so I would have to mow down flowers or have them overwhelmed by grass. This might work well in my area (S. Oregon) for crocus or other very early bulbs. Thanks.

  7. I can't wait to see the results of this planting frenzy next spring.

  8. Thank you for the tip on the rockery trowel! Just purchased one, as well as 500 crocus. Can't wait to add crocus to my dandelion and clover. I've been meaning to do this for years, and your post encouraged me to get a move on!


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