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How to Plant in a Street Lawn

A planting idea for you or your landscape professional is to add bulbs into your street lawn. A street lawn, road verge, or as it is often known, hellstrip, is the strip of grass between the sidewalk and a roadway.  This area actually has many different names, depending on where you live.

This can be a good area for early spring flowering bulbs like crocuses or daffodils. Here are some tips to help you be successful.

  1. First check if soil in the hellstrip is relatively plantable and has good drainage. The soils in this type of location can vary from very good to rocky and unplantable. There may also be a lot of tree roots to contend with.
  2. Plant in clumps of about 25 bulbs (a circle 20-24 inches in diameter) and leave space in between the clumps if people use the hellstrip to exit the car. The space will allow them to walk between the plantings.
  3. The planting should have an 18 inch buffer away from the roadway side of the strip to avoid any salt spray or people getting out of their car and stepping on the blooms. On the sidewalk side, keep a 12 inch buffer away from the sidewalk particularly if you use salt on the walkways during the winter.
  4. After flowering in the spring, allow all the green foliage to die back. This can last as long as seven weeks after flowering.
  5. Place a sign near plantings after flowering to explain that grass is not being cut to allow the bulb foliage to die back so the bulbs can recharge for next springs flowering. Mow the grass around the plantings to maintain a sense of neatness.

If the area meets the parameters above and you follow this guide, you will have a great spring display and beautify the neighborhood.

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