Mass plantings of spring bulbs, facilitated by in-grass bulb planting machines have been popular in Europe for many years and thanks to recent efforts by the Flower Bulb Research Program, are gaining in popularity in the USA. In-grass plantings offer a number of unique features and advantages, the most obvious is greatly reduced labor costs for planting large quantities of bulbs versus installation in traditional beds. Dutch companies have taken this to a high art with beautiful promotional materials for plantings that attract bees and butterflies, have monochromatic or mixed color schemes, long flowering periods and so on.
But there is a lingering question, and that is “how early can you mow” in-grass bulbs? Most landscape managers like their turfgrass to be uniformly mowed and take pride in perfectly manicured and well-groomed turf. So we set out to try to discover just how early can you mow bulb foliage without adversely affecting future years’ bloom.