Tool for planting bulbs

Visions of spring-flowering bulbs dance in my head as bulb-planting time is just around the corner. While I flip through catalogs, I can’t help but dread the tedium of digging holes to nest the beloved bulbs. This year I promised myself a bulb planter to make the job easier.

Bulb planting tools help reduce the hard work by grabbing dirt in their cone when they are pushed into the soil and leaving a bulb-ready hole. Simple short-handled hand bulb planters are perfect for small planting jobs. For bigger jobs or particularly hard soil, get off your knees and consider a foot-powered long-handled bulb planter.

Above: The simple rule of thumb I was taught is that bulbs need to be planted in a hole about three times as deep as the bulb is wide.

Contents

Hand Bulb Planters

Above: Made of boron steel with a hardwood ash handle, the Small Bulb & Crocus Planter by DeWit measures 10 inches in length and creates holes about one and a half inches in diameter. DeWit Tools has been producing hand-forged Dutch garden tools in the north of Holland since 1898; $24.75 at Garret Wade.

Above: The Burgon and Ball Bulb Planter is endorsed by the Royal Horticulture Society. It features a deeply serrated edge for easy insertion into dirt, as well as convenient depth markings; $25.99 from Life and Home.

Above: The Sneebeor Hand Bulb Planter is hand-crafted in Holland of solid stainless steel; $78.30 at the Garden Tool Company.

Above: Fiskars Bulb Planter creates holes like other planters, but also has a spring-loaded handle that releases bulbs for planting. Crafted of rust-resistant steel, the 2.25-inch diameter planter comes with a lifetime warranty; $5.49 at Fiskars.

Long Handled Bulb Planters

Above: The DeWit Double-Handled Bulb Planter enables you to make a hole and deposit the bulb in one step. “Simply place a bulb into the cone-shaped reservoir created by the blades, drive the blades into the ground, and open.” The ash handles are 30 inches long, and the hinge doubles as a step for foot-driven power; $56.50 at Lee Valley.

Above: The hand-forged Sneeboer Ash Handled Bulb Planter features a one-piece stainless steel digging end and a wide T-handle made from FSC Certified ash. It has a convenient footstep to help power the tool into the soil; $109.20 at the Garden Tool Company.

Above: The Smith and Hawken Solid Forged Bulb Planter is 39 inches tall and has an ash handle; Now own sale for $44.50 (regularly $89) at Target.

Above: The Joseph Bentley Long Handled Bulb Planter features easy-step tread edged wings for foot-driven plantation into the ground; $48.49 through Amazon.

(N.B.: Wondering what to plant this fall? See “Squirrel-Proof Crocus.”)

(NB: See our earlier Garden Tool Posts for more gardening helpers.)

Van Engelen

Planting Tools

There are many different bulb planting tools from which to choose. One’s personal selection should be based on physical ease of use, the size of the bulb to be planted, and perhaps most importantly, the actual characteristics of the planting site.

If flower bulbs are to be planted in well-prepared garden beds, virtually any tool can be used that is comfortable. You may refer to our sections on Soil Good for Flower Bulbs and .

One may choose from slender hand-held trowels or bulb dibbles for small bulbs measuring 3 to 7 centimeters in circumference. The bulb dibble, or dibber, is good for planting varieties including some Allium, Anemone blanda, Brodaiea, Chionodoxa, Corydalis solida, some Crocus, Eranthis hyemalis, some Fritillaria, Galanthus, Gladiolus communis ssp byzantinus, Ipheion, Ixiolirion, some Muscari, Rock Garden Iris, small Ornithogalum, Puschkinia and some Scilla.

A bulb dibble or dibber often has measurement markings for planting depth accuracy, has a simple wooden handle and a pointed, graduated steel or wooden spike. The spike pokes a hole in the soil, making way for the small bulb. Soil should then be pushed over and around the bulb, removing any air pockets or indentations. Other bulb dibbers or dibbles may have a larger handle atop an open tube with a serrated cutting edge that is turned into the soil, to pull out a tube full of soil. Once the bulb is planted, the removed soil core should be replaced, with any air pockets or planting indentations removed.

For larger bulbs in prepared beds, one may choose from short-handled bulb planters and planting or transplanting trowels, and shovels of all sizes, shapes, lengths and degree of pointyness. These tools would be used while kneeling in the soil, hopefully on a foam garden mat or while wearing garden knee pads. There is nothing worse than kneeling on a yet-to-be-discovered stone. If kneeling and planting, it is a good idea to wear flexible shoes for balance and comfort. Garden gloves are always a good idea.

If you intend to stand while digging bulb planting holes, there are long-handled trowels, shovels and bulb planters as well as bulb augers that may be fitted to standard electric or cordless drills. One should wear more sturdy, protective shoes with stronger, harder soils. If a bulb auger is to be used, safety glasses should also be worn.

If flower bulbs are to be planted in a spot where the soil has not been well-worked, a good, strong garden shovel with a pointed tip can be used. Individual or large central bulb planting holes may be dug with the soil loosened 3″ beneath the planting depth. We do not recommend using a bulb augur in unprepared beds or woodlands due to rocks and root systems. Plus, an augured hole in densely compacted earth may fill with water without adequate water drainage.

After all bulbs are planted, it is a good idea to go through the bed with a short-handled or long-handled garden cultivator or scratch to smooth out the soil and remove any planting hole indentations. Then, walk over the bed to tamp it down. This is good for even water drainage.

Make sure that the tools you choose are strong and durable. To avoid losing your favorite tools in the garden, you may want to paint the handles a bright contrasting color when you clean them and put them away for the winter.

The right tool can make the task of planting bulbs and other plants very easy for you. Many people who do not have extensive experience with gardening are often not able to choose the right tools for this task. The downside is when you do not have the right tools, the time and effort required to plant those bulbs increases significantly. It becomes a tedious task. That is why; you have to try and select the right tools from the start. The best equipment to go with is the long-handled bulb planter.

While there are quite a few long-handled bulb planters on offer but choosing the best long-handled bulb planter is difficult. So, before we go into the best options, let us understand what exactly it is and how it can help you.

What is Bulb Planter and Its Benefits?

The long handled bulb planter is a tool which allows you to dig holes and plant bulbs in them. After this step, you can easily cover the hole with the soil. It will enable you to plant the bulbs which need similar-sized holes and depth. It significantly reduces the effort to dig those holes. Moreover, since these bulbs are depth-sensitive, you can be sure that you can plant them with precision. That is why, when planting bulbs in your garden, it is a must-have tool.

The Benefits of The Bulb Planters are:

  • Helps you in creating precise holes
  • Reduces the effort to create holes
  • Aids in the plantation of bulbs
  • Can help you fill up the gaps with soil
  • Enables mass cultivation of bulbs
  • Makes the entire process easier

As you can see, the long-handled planters can help you in more ways than one. If you want to create a garden with less effort, these bulb planters are the perfect option for you.

Now that you are aware of their importance, we will share with you the best long handled bulb planters which will make your buying decision easy. Before that, let us look at the methodology which we have used to compile this list.

How We Picked and Tested?

While compiling this list, we have considered tens of different long handled bulb planters. We have compared them on a variety of metrics to ensure that only the best make it to this list. With over 40 hours of research, you can be sure that these bulb planters are the best on offer. You don’t need to worry about researching them yourself since we have done all the hard work for you.

Why Trust our Review?

We have compiled this list after in-depth research and taking into account the user feedback from different sources. We have ensured that every specification and factor is taken into consideration while compiling this list. At the same time, we have compared all the specs side-by-side to bring you a review which you can trust. With hours of research, you can be sure that the list is highly accurate and precise.

Power Planter Bulb & Bedding Plant Auger

The bulb planter which we are discussing now has dimensions of 3” x 7”. It is ideal for creating a bed for the plants.

The advantage of the bulb planter is that it is nonslip which ensures that you can get the operation done in no time at all. It is compatible with 3/8 inch drill which provides high efficiency. With the help of a steel shaft, you can be sure that it will last for a long time.

It can deal with any soil which is a definite advantage. You can use it for not just planting the bulbs but also for fertilizing and adding polymers to the soil. Thus, if you plan on using the long-handled bulb planter along with the drill, this one is a strong contender.

Features:

  • Compatible with most drills
  • 3” x 7” dimensions
  • Works to create a bed for plants
  • Nonslip nature
  • Steel shaft
  • Suitable for not just planting but also fertilizing

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Highly durable
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with most soil types

Cons:

  • Not suitable if the soil contains a lot of rocks

ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool

Gardening requires a lot of tools like Loppers, Lawn Gardening Machetes, Aerators, Hand Weeder, Garden Forks. Instead of buying all of these tools separately, it is better to buy a multipurpose tool. The one which we are discussing now is not just a long-handled bulb planter, but it is a 5-in-1 tool. It can work as a weeder, annual plugger, garden tool, and a bulb planter. The advantage of using this tool is that you will not have to worry about keeping all the other gardening tools handy. It can dig holes of diameter 2 1/8 inches. The advantage is that it can do so quickly and therefore, it is easy for you to create multiple holes in no time.

A unique feature of this tool is that it stores the soil. That is why; you can use it to collect soil testing samples. Depending on your requirement, it can dig holes at 2 inches, 4 inches or even 6 inches. It can handle dry and saturated soil without any problem. With the help of carbon steel construction along with powder coated finish, it can last for a long time.

If you want to use it for weeding out or fertilizing, it is suitable for those functions as well. The sturdy grip means that you can hold it and use it for a long time. It is perfect for those who have mild arthritis. Thus, if you want to reduce your arsenal of tools and instead go for multipurpose ones, you can consider this option.

  • 5-in-1 tool
  • Digs holes of diameters 2 1/8 inches
  • Can dig holes with depth 2 inches, 4 inches, and 6 inches
  • Can handle dry and saturated soil
  • Suitable for weeding and fertilizing
  • Excellent grip
  • Highly versatile
  • Can vary the depth of the holes between 3 settings
  • Compatible with most soil types
  • Easy to use
  • Bulky

Edward Tools Bulb Planter

If you’re looking for a small and portable tool, you can consider this option. With the help of this bulb planter, you can dig holes between 1 inch and 4 inches. The easy soil release feature means that you don’t need to worry about putting a lot of effort to release the soil.

The reinforced steel construction ensures that you can use it day in and day out. It is suitable for heavier soils as well. The depth marker makes it easy to use it as per your requirement. The chrome plated construction enhances the visual appeal of the tool.

The adjustable handle range means that you can customize the tool as per your requirement. It enhances the grip further. You can use it for planting not just onions and potatoes but also flowers like tulips and daffodils. The versatility of this planter makes it a good option.

  • Suitable to dig holes between 1 inch to 4 inches
  • Has easy soil release feature
  • Reinforced steel construction
  • Chrome Plated
  • Ideal for vegetables and flowers
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Works with heavier soils
  • Excellent grip
  • Highly versatile
  • Does not work with Rocky Soil

Power Planter 3″ x 24″ Extended Length Bulb Plant Auger

The dimensions of the long-handled bulb planter which we are discussing now are 3” x 24”. The patent pending design is unique and increases efficiency when planting the plants.

The non-slip feature means that you don’t need to worry about the precision of this bulb planter. The steel construction enhances its durability. The length of the bulb planter is 24 inches, and the diameter of the holes which it digs is 3 inches.

You can use it with Rocky soil, clay, and sand. The heavy-duty tip reduces the abrasion and minimizes the wear and tear. It is compatible with most of the drills which allows you to use it easily. The combination of these features makes it one of the best bulb planters.

  • Dimensions of 3” x 24.”
  • Unique design
  • Can dig holes of 3 inches
  • Non-slip design
  • Works with Rocky soil, clay, and sand
  • Highly versatile
  • Compatible with most drills
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Heavy duty construction
  • Tap is not fire-hardened

Yard Butler RP-3 24-Inch Roto Planter

The length of this bulb planter is 24 inches. It is suitable for not just planting bulbs but also for loosening the soil.

The advantage of this bulb planter is that you can easily dig up to 24 inches deep holes. The width of the holes can be 2 inches. You can use it with different drills including the cordless ones which make its operation smooth. The metal construction further adds to its durability.

The advantage of this long-handled bulb planter is that it is suitable for aeration, fertilization of not just bulbs but also shrubs. You can use it for loosening up the soil and spraying the insecticides. The applications are endless. Since; it is compatible with the drills as well; you will not have to worry about how to use a long-handled bulb planter. If versatility is one of your primary concerns while choosing the bulb planters, this one fits your requirements perfectly.

  • Length of 24 inches
  • Suitable for multiple applications
  • Can dig holes of 24 inches deep
  • Digs holes of 2 inches
  • Highly versatile
  • Easy to use
  • Suitable for bulbs and also shrubs
  • Works with corded and cordless drills
  • The packaging is not satisfactory

Yard Butler Bulb and Garden Planter

One complaint which you will often have from average Tillers and Cultivators, Lawn Edgers and Garden Hoe is that they are tough to use. They do not minimize the effort which you need to put. However, with this long-handled bulb planter, you will have no such complaints at all. The easy-twist action allows you to dig holes with a depth of 3 and 6 inches.

The long handle means that you get an excellent grip. It ensures that the tool does not bend at all. The length of this tool is 37 inches, and the width is 9 inches. The 4 lbs weight ensures that you can move it around quickly.

You can use it for not just onions and potatoes but many flower bulbs as well. The longer handle means that you will not have to bend down while using it which is a definite relief. When it comes to ease of use, it is undoubtedly a good option.

  • Minimizes your effort
  • Long handle
  • Weighs 4 lbs
  • Length of 37 inches
  • Suitable for flower bulbs as well
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Can allow you dig holes of 3 inches or 6 inches depth
  • Long handle
  • Welding quality could have been better

Power Planter Planting & Grass Plug Auger

The dimensions of this bulb planter are 2” x 7”. It means that you can easily dig holes of 2 inches.

The non-slip hex drive can fit into any drill. The drill needs to be larger than 3/8 inches. That reduces your effort to dig the holes. Moreover, when you want to make multiple holes in your backyard or your lawn, it certainly reduces the efforts. The steel construction makes it durable.

It can help you with filling back the holes which means that you will not need a Post Hole Digger. It is suitable for not just planting grass plugs but also small bulbs. The handled bulb planter improves the soil to root contact which helps the plants grow swiftly. It can dig 7 inches long holes. Thus, if you’re looking for bulb planter which can drill 2 inch wide holes, you should consider this option.

  • Dimensions of 2” x 7.”
  • Compatible with the drills of 3/8 inches or larger
  • Steel construction
  • Suitable for various plants
  • Can fill up the holes easily
  • Suitable for various types of plants
  • Compatible with drills
  • Easy to fill the holes using this tool
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Length of holes is not precise

Which is The Best Long Handled Bulb Planter?

So, when you’re looking to add the top bulb planter to your gardening tool arsenal in addition to tools like Leaf Rake, Pruning Saws, these are the options which you can consider. With the help of this list, the task of choosing the handled bulb planter is quite easy. We have carefully included only the best options on this list. It will help you pick a versatile and highly efficient tool which will ease up your gardening experience.

Related read:

  • Best Gardening Glove Sets

Best Bulb Planters: Reviews & Top Picks

Jump to: What is a Bulb Planter? | Features to Look For | Reviews

Despite mixed opinions, I’m a fan of bulb planters. Some would argue that rocking a trowel back and forth to create a wedge-shaped hole is enough. Or that digging a trench and planting bulbs together is the preferable route.

Well, I don’t agree.

Even as somebody who grows primarily in containers, I still love my bulb planter.

The reason is simple: it’s easier to use than a trowel and it’s good for digging holes for bedding plants too.

Anyhow, in this article I’m going to review my favourite products, along with offering some general buying advice. Let’s dive in…

The Short Version: Best Bulb Planters

What is a Bulb Planter?

A typical bulb planter.

I’m probably justified in my assumption that the term “bulb planter” is fairly self-explanatory. But just to avoid confusion let’s quickly define it.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a planter as, “A machine or person that plants seeds, bulbs, etc.” So there you have it!

Generally speaking, bulb planters will be made with a rust-proof material. Steel and aluminium are both popular, as are other chrome or zinc-plated metals. The base of the planter is usually serrated (see the picture on the right), making it easier to dig and twist into the ground.

More often than not, bulb planters also have a compressible handle. Collected soil can be released by triggering the latch, making the job of refilling the bulb hole a tad easier.

Long-handled vs. Short-handled

Generally speaking, you have two options when it comes to bulb planters: long-handled and short-handled.

Planters are great for bulk planting bulbs like croci.

Short-handled versions are used kneeling down and will usually, as mentioned, come with a spring-release handle for releasing dirt.

Long-handled planters have exactly the same design with two additions: a longer handle and a foot-rest. If you’re dealing with hard-packed soil, they are much easier to push in. They’re also ideal if you don’t fancy bending down.

Oh, and I best mention drill attachments too. These are essentially oversized drill bits that you can use for drilling a hole into the ground with a battery-powered drill. They’re also sometimes called “planter augers” or “power planters”. Their main benefit is the speed with which they can be used.

Features to Look for in a Good Bulb Planter

  • Weather-resistant – If a planter isn’t made from rust-free metal, like steel or aluminium, then make sure it has a weatherproof finish. You will find that many products are often plated with chrome or zinc to protect from rust.
  • Ruler – A lot of planters now have rulers engraved on the side. The idea is that they allow you to measure the perfect planting depth. Personally, I think they’re a little surplus to requirement. That said, they can be useful if you want to follow the planting guidelines to the letter (or inch).
  • Spring-loaded handle – This innovation, unlike the ruler, is a fantastic one. My advice is not to buy a short-handled model if it doesn’t have a compressible handle to open up the sides (except in certain cases, as I’ll explain below).

Best Bulb Planters: My Top Picks for 2017

***Full Disclosure – Where appropriate, I’ve linked product images to commercial sites and Amazon (see Amazon Disclosure). If you buy from these sites, I earn a small affiliate fee, which helps me keep Urban Turnip going.***

1. DeWit Bulb Planter

DeWit is a Dutch company and I’m not ashamed to say that I love their products. There’s something about gardening tools in the traditional design – thick welded joints and wooden handles – that makes me gravitate towards them.

The reason I’ve listed this planter first on my list is because its quality and sturdiness.. With bulb planters, I’ve found it quite difficult to find models that don’t bend or break after long use. This one should last a lifetime. If it doesn’t, just take advantage of the lifetime guarantee. It’s made from extra durable carbon steel and the digging edge is particularly sharp, making up for the lack of serration at the base.

It doesn’t have a spring-release handle but, in my opinion, that’s worth foregoing for the lastability.

2. Joseph Bentley Long-Handled Planter

Joseph Bentley is another company (US this time) that makes garden tools with a traditional feel to them. This planter is one of the best that I’ve come across and I’d recommend it to anybody looking for a long-handled model.

The head/planter (with a width of 2.4 in.) is made from stainless steel and is engraved with a measuring scale. The footrest is also very sturdy and perfect for use with harder, more compacted soils. The handle itself is made from oak.

This is an all-round high-quality piece. If you need to plant lots of bulbs quickly, then you can’t go far wrong.

3. Fiskars Bulb Transplanter

If you’re after a sturdy basic model then you won’t go far wrong with this transplanter from Finnish company Fiskars. My recommendation would be two get a two-pack and keep one stored away.

It’s 2.25 inches in diameter and has all the features you would expect. It’s made from steel, so is completely weatherproof, has a spring-loaded handle for releasing soil, and is engraved with a ruler for measuring the depth of your holes.

Bear in mind that this isn’t ideal for soils on the more impenetrable end of the spectrum. You’ll need a sturdier planter for that. That said, as far as things go (and considering the price) this is a good all-rounder.

4. Radius Ergonomic Long-Handled Planter

The stand-out feature of this long-handled planter is the ergonomic handle. It’s excellent for twisting and penetrating harder soils. There have been some complaints that the handle provides poor purchase when digging, but just remember that this planter works best when it’s twisted. It digs a slightly larger hole (3.5 in.) when compared to some other models on this list.

It’s made from carbon steel, has a serrated blade and includes a footrest for digging – although, again, a twisting action seems to the best way of getting this into toughsoils. It comes with a lifetime guarantee.

5. DeWit Crocus Planter

This sturdy little tool from DeWit is intended for smaller bulbs. I’ve included it because it’s beautifully made and is ideal for planting things like croci and daffodils. If you’re putting onions in the ground, however, then you’ll need something that can go a little deeper.

The head is 1.5 in. wide, 4 in deep and made from “boron steel” (a very hard type of steel) and the whole product is handmade. The FSC-approved ash handle is also remarkably lightweight. I know I keep banging on about tools made from wood and steel, but I could easily see any gardener falling in love with this planter!

6. Power Planter Auger

I usually keep these lists down to five entries but I thought it worth mentioning a “planter auger”. These attach to a drill and can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to dig lots of bulb holes. This is the original, large-sized Power Planter and it comes highly recommended.

It’s made from steel and comes with a hex (pointed) end. It will fit all drill types. Make sure you go with the bigger unit (this one is 3 in. wide) as smaller augers are useless when it comes to anything but the smallest bulbs. Personally, I enjoy planting bulbs manually. But if you’ve got a bigger garden to look after then something like this is ideal.

Let us Know Your Thoughts! Leave a Comment Below!

What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of the planters on this list? Do you have your own suggestions? Leave a comment below and let me know!

More Resources

How not to plant bulbs (Garden Rant)

Image credits: Bulb Planter by Joe Pintz; Préparer le printemps – 2012-11-25 by Frédérique Voisin-Demery; Crocus by PRO

When spring arrives, it is bulb planting time. If you love planting tulips, daffodils, fruit or vegetables, a bulb planter is the perfect gardening tool for you. This powerful tool is very easy to use and makes any horticultural job faster and easier.

A bulb planter will dramatically increase your planting efficiency when planting bulbs, potted plants, vegetables, flowers, or pulling up soil plugs in your lawn. Forget about back-breaking work. This smart gardening companion does all the hard work for you so you can effortlessly create the right sized hole for your plants.

Once the bulb planter has removed a soil plug, and your bulbs have been safely ensconced in the fertile soil, you can feed your bulbs and seedlings with nutrient-rich plant food. Your flowers or vegetables are now ready to sprout and bloom to their full potential.

The 8 Best Bulb Planters

  1. Edward Tools Bulb Planter
  2. Yard Butler IBPL-6 Bulb and Garden Planter
  3. ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool and Garden Tool (Our Top Pick)
  4. SuperThinker Auger Drill Bulb Planter
  5. Power Planter Bulb and Bedding Plant Auger
  6. Garden Weasel Bulb Planter
  7. SYITCUN Auger Power Drill Bulb Planter
  8. Esschert Design Dibber/Bulb Planter

Our Top Pick for the Best Bulb Planter

Our top pick for the best bulb planter is the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planter.

If you have a passion for gardening and keeping your lawn spick and span, we highly recommend the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planter for all your gardening needs.

One of the highest-rated bulb planters in the industry, the ProPlugger will set you up for gardening success. Built with a solid construction and a smart back-saving design, the ProPlugger is ready to fulfill any bulb planting or soil plugging task. In just 3 easy steps: Step, Twist, and Pour, your bulbs will be ready to plant. A must-have tool for any homestead, the ProPlugger will help you to quickly create the garden and lawn of your dreams.

Check the price on Amazon ›

How to Choose the Best Bulb Planter

Types of Bulb Planters

Bulb planters come in three main types. A short-handled planter, a long-handled planter, and an auger drill bit bulb planter.

– Short-handled Bulb Planters

A short-handled planter is ideal for light-duty gardening tasks, in a raised garden bed, a planter, or for greenhouse plants. This type of planter does require getting down on your knees in a normal garden bed which makes it a perfect match for a garden kneeler. If you have problems with your knees or mobility, rather invest in a long-handled bulb planter.

– Long-handled Bulb Planter

A long-handled bulb planter, like the PowerPlanter has a long T-shaped handle, a sturdy and sharp circular steel shaft, and a footrest. These types of bulb planters are ideal for medium-to-heavy-duty gardening tasks. One of the main reasons why a long-handled planter is so popular is because you can use it standing up. Any painful or dangerous back strain will be eliminated.

This amazing tool is especially useful if you need to plant a lot of bulbs in one go. Just place the planter over the ground. Press down with your foot on the footrest until the planter has dug into the ground usually around 4 to 6-inches deep. Twist the handle and lift up the soil plug. As the soil gets stored inside the planter, you can move on to another hole. When the planter is full, turn it upside down and the soil plugs fall out.

– Auger Power Drill Bulb Planter

An auger power drill bulb planter is extremely fast at making holes in the ground. It uses a similar spiraling action like a post hole digger, which makes it very efficient at creating lots of larger sized holes up to 9-inches deep. All you have to do is connect the auger blade to an electric or cordless power drill and the sharp blade will spiral into the ground. Perfectly designed for heavy-duty tasks, any bulb planting job will be done at the press of a button.

One of the excellent features of an auger power drill bulb planter is that it can be used for a wide variety of gardening and household jobs such as creating fence posts, tilling the soil, mixing seeds or fertilizer. You can use it to create a hole for your umbrella in the garden or at the beach, or even take the auger blade away on an ice-fishing trip.

Construction

Whatever type of bulb planter you choose, the shaft or blade should be made out of strong, sturdy and durable steel that provides you with many years of happy planting. Weather-resistant steel that is coated with chrome or zinc or has a powder-coating protects the blade or drill bit from rust.

Ruler Guide

A lot of planters like the Edward Tools Bulb Planter has a convenient ruler guide that is engraved on the side, which allows you to measure the perfect planting depth every time.

Best Bulb Planter Reviews

The Edward Tools Bulb Planter is a great bulb planting tool for planting tulips, daffodils, and other flower bulbs.

Made from reinforced chrome-plated steel, the short-handled planter has a sturdy solid steel frame that stops the tool from bending. Its serrated edge penetrates deep into the soil and ensures quicker digging in heavier soils.

A comfortable ergonomic black plastic handle has an adjustable soil release mechanism that allows for the effortless release of a soil plug.

You will be able to get a consistent precise depth every time as the bulb planter has a depth marker from 1 to 4-inches.

Edward Tools offer a lifetime warranty on the bulb planter.

  • High quality
  • Great value for money
  • Very affordable price
  • Ideal for planting tulips, daffodils, and other flower bulbs
  • Reinforced chrome-plated steel
  • Sturdy solid steel frame stops the tool from bending
  • Serrated edge penetrates deep into the soil and ensures quicker digging in harder soil
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle has an adjustable soil-release mechanism that allows for effortless release of a soil plug
  • Depth marker from 1 to 4-inches provides more consistent and precise planting depths
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Does not provide enough leverage for 6-inch bulb planting
  • May not hold fine soil very well

Check the price on Amazon ›

2. Yard Butler IBPL-6 Bulb and Garden Planter

Save the strain on your back with the Yard Butler IBPL-6 Bulb and Garden Planter.

The long-handled 37-inch tall bulb planter has a durable, sturdy powder-coated steel frame that is built to last. Designed with an easy twisting action, the bulb planter makes it so simple and quick to create a perfect 6-inch-deep and 3-inch-wide hole for all kind of bulbs and bedding plants like tulips, crocus, dahlias, gladiolus, and lilies.

Ideal for people with weak backs or seniors, the lightweight tool has a long handle that prevents excessive bending and you can plant your bulbs standing up.

All you have to do is position the planter where you want to plant your bulbs. Step down on the side foot bar to push the planter’s sharp edge into the soil and easily twist to cut a hole to your desired depth. Then pull up the planter and tap to remove the soil core. Drop-in your seeds, bulbs, or plants and replace the soil. For best results, wet the soil before planting.

Yard Butler offers a 30-day full refund or replacement guarantee.

  • High quality
  • Great value for money
  • Very affordable price
  • Sturdy, durable powder-coated steel frame is built to last
  • Simple operation
  • Easy twisting action
  • Long handle prevents excessive bending and planting can be done standing up
  • Makes a perfect hole for bulbs and bedding plants
  • Quickly creates a 6-inch-deep and 3-inch-wide hole
  • Ideal for all kind of bulbs and bedding plants like tulips, crocus, dahlias, gladiolus, and lilies
  • Lightweight
  • 30-day full refund or replacement
  • Can be hard to create a 6-inch hole in dense soil
  • Hard, rocky soil may need to be moistened before use

Check the price on Amazon ›

3. ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool and Garden Tool

An extremely multifunctional tool, the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Lawn and Garden Tool is an excellent choice for any gardening enthusiast.

Uses include:

  • Used for planting spring and fall bulbs.
  • A lawn sod plugger for planting and transplanting creeping-type grass (Not Recommended for St. Augustine Grass)
  • A weeder for deep taproot weeds like wild onions, thistles, and dandelions.
  • A planting tool for annuals, ground covers, vegetables and plants sold in trays.
  • A soil sampler tool for soil testing.
  • It also makes a great drip edge fertilizing tool for your fruit trees.

Made in the USA, the sturdy durable all welded carbon steel frame has a powder-coated finish so it is ideal for rough outdoor conditions.

The ProPlugger will help you to plant like a professional gardener and is especially useful for making a lot of holes with a consistent size up to 2, 4, or 6-inches deep and 2-1/8-inches wide. As the tool has depth rings, you will achieve the right depth every time.

Simple to use, hold the comfortable padded T-shaped handle to twist and pull out the soil. Once the soil is stored in the tool, you can empty it by turning the planter upside down. You are now ready to move onto the next hole or plant your bulbs. For best results, avoid digging in dry or overly saturated soil.

Perfect for seniors, gardeners with mild arthritis, or anybody who wants to save on back strain, the ProPlugger will tackle tough tasks while you stand up.

ProPlugger offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty on the bulb planter.

  • High quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Good price
  • Helps you to plant like a professional
  • Long-handle is especially well suited for seniors, people with arthritis or back problems
  • Made in the USA
  • Sturdy durable all-welded powder-coated carbon steel frame
  • Multifunctional 5-in-1 gardening and lawn tool
  • Perfect for year-round planting
  • Can be used as a lawn sod plugger and weeder
  • A planting tool for annuals, ground covers, vegetables and plants sold in trays
  • A soil sampler tool for soil testing
  • Makes a great drip edge fertilizing tool for your fruit trees
  • Simple to use in 3 easy steps
  • Ideal for creating multiple holes with a consistent depth
  • Creates holes at 2, 4 inches and 6 inches deep and 2-1/8-inches wide
  • T-shaped handle has comfortable padded hand grips
  • 30-day full money-back guarantee
  • 1-year warranty
  • Avoid digging in dry or overly saturated soil
  • Not recommended for St. Augustine Grass

Check the price on Amazon ›

4. SuperThinker Auger Drill Bulb Planter

Increase your planting efficiency and save valuable time and energy with the SuperThinker Auger Drill Bulb Planter.

Planting flower bulbs like tulips and iris, and bedding plants and seedlings can be done in minutes with just the press of a button. The SuperThinker 3/8-inch auger spiral drill bit can be attached to an 18 or 20-volt electric or cordless drill.

A powerful digging machine, the high-speed auger has a durable heavy-duty steel shaft with a glossy black painted finish. Any gardening job will be done fast and efficiently as the bulb planter has a non-slip hex drive for secure attachment to a drill. It quickly digs holes up to 7-inches deep and 1-3/4 inches wide. Designed for tough tasks, it can even drill straight through solid clay.

As well as creating holes in your flower and vegetable garden, plant pots, or planter, you can even use this versatile tool to drill a hole for a post or an umbrella. Additional garden or home uses include tilling the soil, digging out weeds, mixing seed, fertilizer, mixing batches of mortar for hardscaping, or even paint.

  • High quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Very good price
  • Amazingly versatile
  • Perfect for planting tulips, iris, bulbs, bedding plants, and seedlings
  • Can be used to drill a hole for a fence post or an umbrella
  • Ideal for tilling the soil, digging weeds, mixing seed, soil, fertilizer, batches of mortar mix for hardscaping or paint
  • Heavy-duty high-speed steel spiral auger drill bit has a glossy black finish
  • Built to last
  • 3/8-inch non-slip hex drive fits securely to an electric or cordless 3/8-inch power drill
  • Quickly digs holes up to 7-inches deep and 3-inches wide
  • Can even drill straight through solid clay
  • The drill bit is a bit small
  • The steel shaft can get stripped easily

Check the price on Amazon ›

5. Power Planter Bulb and Bedding Plant Auger

Extremely durable and efficient, the Power Planter Bulb and Bedding Plant Auger will help you to plant all your bulbs super fast.

Made in the USA, the Power Planter does not shy away from hard work. Its sturdy 100% steel spiral auger shaft is up to the challenge of creating lots of holes that measure 7-inch deep and 3-inch wide holes for bulbs and potted and bedding plants.

Whatever type of soil you have in your garden, normal, rocky or clay, this rugged spiral auger drill bit powers through dense dirt and gives your plants the root-to-soil contact they need. All you need to do its attach the 5/8-inch non-slip hex drive to your electric or cordless power drill and let the Power Planter do the rest.

Highly versatile for the garden and home, you can also use this bulb plant to weed your garden or yard, mixing fertilizer, tilling small planter boxes, mixing polymers in soil, mixing paints, or small batches of cement and mortar.

You can choose your color: glossy black enamel or light pink.

Power Planter offers a lifetime guarantee on the bulb planter auger.

  • Great quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Very affordable price
  • Made in the USA
  • Extremely durable and efficient
  • Sturdy 100% steel auger drill bit is built to last
  • Designed for planting bulbs and bedding flower and vegetable plants
  • Powerful bit drills holes in all types of soil
  • 3/8-inch non-slip hex drive fits any electric or cordless drill
  • Highly versatile
  • Can be used in the garden and home
  • Ideal for mixing fertilizer, tilling small planter boxes, mixing polymers in soil, mixing paint or small batches of cement and mortar
  • Available in glossy black and pink
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Can jerk out of your hand when the auger hits a large root

Check the price on Amazon ›

6. Garden Weasel Bulb Planter

Forget about back-breaking gardening chores. The Garden Weasel Bulb Planter is a gardener’s best friend. It allows you to plant bulbs quickly and easily while reducing bending and stooping.

Planting your new bulbs is extremely easy with the 40-inch long-handled Garden Weasel. Its durable strong carbon steel double-welded construction is weather-resistant and rust-resistant and built for a lifetime of happy planting.

It is very easy to use just like a shovel. Grip the handle and place your foot on the footplate. Press the planter into the ground and twist to create a 4-inch deep and 2.5-inch wide hole. Tap the planter to remove the soil plug and it will just pop out.

Especially suited for multiple plantings, the bulb planter has a sharp blade with a pointed tip that glides in any type of soil effortlessly.

Its comfortable T-Bar grip offers you superior leverage and maximum digging force with minimal effort. For your digging safety, the planter has an extra-wide non-slip footplate. As the planter has a bright red color, it is very easy to spot around your garden.

Garden Weasel offers a lifetime warranty on the bulb planter.

  • High quality
  • Great value for money
  • Good price
  • Gardener’s best friend for easy bulb planting
  • Long-handle saves on time and effort without bending
  • Durable strong carbon steel double-welded construction is weather-resistant and rust-resistant
  • Good sharp blade with a pointed tip slides into soil effortlessly
  • Comfortable T-bar handle provides superior leverage and maximum digging force with minimal effort
  • Extra-wide non-slip footplate for safety
  • Simple and easy to use
  • High-visibility bright red color
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Can be a bit hard to use in extra hard clay soil
  • Cutting edge loses its edge quickly

Check the price on Amazon ›

7. SYITCUN Auger Power Drill Bulb Planter

Fast and effective, the SYITCUN Drill Auger Bulb Planter is perfect for any professional or home gardening enthusiast.

With a superior craftmanship, the rapid spiral auger drill bit is made from high-strength steel with a glossy black finish. Its heavy-duty design will dramatically increase your efficiency when planting flower bulbs, potted plants, vegetables, seedlings, bare-root trees, shrub, and removing grass plugs.

Incredibly functional, you can use this tool for lots of gardening and household tasks. Tilling the soil, mixing seed, fertilizer, paint, or batches of mortar mix for hardscapes. Create a hole for fence posts, decks, or trees. It can even be used to effortlessly drill a hole to anchor your beach umbrella at the campsite or take it on an ice fishing trip.

Once you attach the 3-inch non-slip hex drive onto any standard drill, it bites onto the drill and delivers a rapid digging performance.

Featuring a smart design, the sharp point on the drill bit hits the ground first and stays steady on-point while it digs into the hard ground to create a 9-inch deep and 1.6-inch wide hole.

The auger has been specially created with a minimal distance between the start of the digging blade and the ground so that you do not have to push the tool down. It can also dig through most soil types even clay and rocky soil. You will spend less time planting and more time relaxing in your garden.

The auger bulb planter comes in 8 sizes and 2 colors: black or green. Plus, you also get 2 bonus mini bright yellow garden shovels.

SYITCUN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on the auger drill bulb planter.

  • High quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Affordable price
  • Perfect for professional gardeners and home gardeners
  • Superior craftsmanship
  • High-strength thick steel
  • Delivers a maximum digging performance
  • Fast and effective
  • Specially created with a minimal distance between the start of the digging blade and the ground for effortless digging
  • Create a 9-inch deep and 1.6-inch wide hole
  • Multi-functional
  • Can be used for lots of gardening and household tasks
  • Ideal for camping or ice fishing
  • Fits any standard electric or cordless drill
  • Non-slip design provides a stronger grip
  • Easily digs through most soil types even clay and rocky soil
  • Comes with a glossy black or green finish
  • 7 sizes
  • Bonus 2 mini bright yellow garden shovels
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

  • Can throw up a lot of dirt at high speeds

Check the price on Amazon ›

8. Esschert Design Dibber/Bulb Planter

The Esschert Design Dibber/Bulb Planter will make easy work out of planting seeds, small flower bulbs, and garlic bulbs.

This stylish bulb planter is made from solid stainless steel and its sharp point quickly penetrates into hard soil to create 3.5-inch deep and 1.5-inch wide holes with a consistent depth. Its beautiful smooth ash wood T-handle fits snugly into your hand and makes the tool easy to twist and turn. The bulb planter also comes with a convenient leather loop for storage.

  • Very good quality
  • Good value for money
  • Ideal for small bulb planting and seedling tasks
  • Stylish design
  • Strong and solid stainless steel blade has a sharp point
  • Quickly penetrates into hard soil
  • Helps you to achieve a consistent 3.5-deep and 1.5-inch wide hole
  • Beautiful smooth ash wood handle
  • T-handle fits perfectly in the hand
  • Easy to twist and turn
  • Convenient leather hanging loop
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks
  • The handle can come loose easily

Check the price on Amazon ›

Best Bulb Planter Tools

For both gardener hobbyists and seasoned professionals, bulb planter tools are a must-have to save time and make gardening more efficient. Not only do bulb planters drastically reduce the time needed to plant bulbs, but they also maximize consistency and uniformity with the ability to form perfectly sized holes. These tools are either short or long-handled and often boast a spring-loaded mechanism that allows you to remove soil and then re-soil with ease. It’s important to remember that just because you are using a bulb planter doesn’t mean you won’t have to get down and dirty occasionally. If the handle is short and not spring-loaded, you’ll still have to dig out the soil every now and then. The best bulb planter tools are ones that are rust-resistant, made of durable steel, and that has a mechanism that lets you easily release the soil. You should also look for a planter that can make a hole between 2½ to 3½ inches in diameter as this is recommended for most types of bulbs.

To help you find the best bulb planter tool for you, we carefully reviewed various products on Amazon and came up with the top three. Along with highlighting the best tools available online, we’ve also created a buying guide where we will detail the main features of bulb planter tools along with a section dedicated to the proper care and soil preparation. If you aren’t quite sure what type of product will suite you best, take a look at our buying guide and then revisit the product reviews to see what one is the best fit for you.

Top 3 Bulb Planter Tools

The age of the traditional, hand-held gardening shovel is over. You can do jobs that once took several hours in just half an hour by using a bulb planter shovel. No more estimating the depth, digging lopsided holes, or ending up with a sore hand after hours of gardening. If you’re an avid gardener, investing in a bulb planter tool could be one of the best decisions you ever made. We analyzed the pros and cons of several bulb planters on Amazon and came up with the top three based on the price, quality, reviews, and functionality. All these products are sold by reputable brands, come with warranties, and get the job done. Have a look at the below products if you want to find the best tool for planting bulbs on Amazon:

1. Edward Tools Bulb Planter

Boasting numerous five-star reviews, this bulb planter sold by Edward Tools is one of the most popular on Amazon and inarguably the best tool for planting bulbs. Not only does it have excellent reviews, but it’s also the number one selling product in the bulb planter category. With this planter, you can plant all sorts of flowers including tulips, daffodils, and dahlias. Edward Tools is an online retailer of gardening and household products with an expansive collection of handheld tools. This specific planter costs less than $10 and comes with a lifetime warranty. If the product bends or breaks, Edward Tools will replace the planter for free. Most of the avid gardeners on Amazon note that this product is super sturdy and helps them plant bulbs at the right soil depth. This planter takes a once labor-extensive activity and makes it a breeze to plant large quantities of bulbs at a time.

Made with reinforced steel, this bulb planter is practically unbreakable and built to handle even the most compacted soil. In addition to the compacted soil, the planter can also handle claylike dirt. The device comes with a depth marker (up to 4in) to help you plant multiple bulbs at consistent depths. No more guessing the depth or using a ruler only to end up with uneven flowers. By pushing and twisting the planter down into the ground, you can easily penetrate to the soil to create a spot for the bulb. To remove the soil from the planter, you just have to squeeze the handle to release the plug. Make sure to release the soil right on top of the bulb and then pat down the soil until it’s firm. The handle has an ergonomic design to keep your hand from blistering after using it repetitively. Despite the ergonomic handle, it’s still a good idea to use a soft pair of gardening gloves. For less than $10, this is a solid product by a well-respected and trusted the brand. Opting for this product over using your hand will save you hours when it’s time to plant flowers this spring.

Pros

  • Made of reinforced steel
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Features an automatic release mechanism

Cons

  • Takes more strength in hard soil environments
  • Springs can pop out if you’re not careful

→CLICK HERE for Pricing and more Specs of Edward Tools Bulb Planter

2. Fiskars Transplanting Spade

If you prefer a tool you can use while standing, this 46in transplanting spade by Fiskars is a must-have and the best long-handled bulb planter. Fiskars is a Finnish brand that was founded in 1649. The global company makes durable products that “empower” people in their garden and home. The best part about this particular product is that you can step on the blade to big the hole – there’s no need to get on your knees and end up with an aching back. At just under $25, this is an excellent buy for its size and quality of materials. Given the size of the spade, you can use it for more than planting bulbs. The spade makes a good tool for loosening up soil, moving shrubs, and even digging holes for construction projects. In the unlikely scenario that the spade breaks, you’re covered under a lifetime warranty.

Built with a 14-gauge steel blade and 18-gauge steel shaft, this spade is heavy-duty and made to last. The blade of the shovel is 6in wide and 15in long. A major advantage to this shovel is that it has a large D-shaped handle, so you can use both hands for maximum force. Designed with a shaft that fits the shape of your hand, you don’t have to worry about blisters or discomfort when you’re using this shovel. The welded steel design adds to the product’s longevity and keeps it from bending and buckling like competing shovels. Since the blade is welded to the shaft, the two pieces will never disconnect. Whether you have silty or loamy soil, this shovel can break through it. The shovel is a sharpened blade that will penetrate nearly all types of soil. Unlike other shovels, this transplanting blade boasts a powder-coated exterior to prevent rust and make cleaning easier. Another plus is that even though the shovel is built with durable steel, it only weighs 4.1lbs and isn’t hard to haul around with you when you’re working in the garden. Even if you just plant flowers once per year, the Fiskars 46in steel D-handle transplanting spade shovel is worth the investment.

  • A handle is big enough to fit two hands
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Has a 14-gauge steel blade
  • No measurements on the blade
  • At 4.1lbs, it’s heavier than other planter tools

→CLICK HERE for Pricing and more Specs of Fiskars Transplanting Spade

3. Garden Weasel Bulb Planter Tool

The last product to make our top three is this 40in bulb planter tool sold by Garden Weasel. If you’re not familiar with Garden Weasel, they are a garden superstore based out of Missouri. You can find various product videos on their website, including the bulb planter. While this product is more expensive than the other two products on our list (roughly $35), the quality of the planter makes up for it. Like the planter by Fiskars, this planter tool is made of solid steel and won’t break on you (easily, that is). Garden Weasel is so confident in the quality of this product that they offer a lifetime warranty with it. Referred to as the “gardener’s best friend,” this bulb planter tool has heaps of positive reviews on Amazon, with most reviewers mentioning the product’s durability and ability to break through the tough soil.

When Garden Weasel sets out to create a gardening tool, they go the extra mile. Not only is this planter hassle-free to use, but it also has a T-bar grip design that makes it comfortable to use for extended periods of time. The blade comes pre-sharpened and it’s ready to pierce through the ground right when you get it. Garden Weasel makes this product with carbon steel, a material that has higher durability and better heat distribution than standard steel. In addition to being more durable, carbon steel is resistant to rust. Using the planter tool is easy – simply grab the handle and put your foot on the footplate so your body weight will help penetrate the blade into the soil. The design of the tool lets you plant tons of bulbs in a short amount of time without overworking yourself. Whether you’re an active gardener or just looking for a tool to make your life easier, this bulb planter by Garden Weasel will certainly impress you.

  • Build with a T-bar grip for maximum comfort
  • Made from weather and rust-resistant carbon steel
  • Features a non-slip footplate
  • The end of the blade could be a shaper
  • Requires more effort and strength with claylike soils

→CLICK HERE for Pricing and more Specs of Garden Weasel Bulb Planter Tool

Other Bulb Planter Tools to Consider

We also came up with a list of honorable mentions if one of the top three bulb planter tools didn’t catch your eye. All these tools are reasonably priced, made of high-quality materials, and have a number of positive reviews. Even though some of them may have a few drawbacks, all in all they are solid choices as an alternative to the top three bulb planter tools.

Bond Plymouth Tulip Bulb Planter Tool

For less than $10, this Bong Plymouth tulip bulb planter is one of the cheaper options. The handheld tool measures 7.7in in length and 4in in width. Its powder-coated hammertone finish makes it rust-resistant and gives it a sleek look. Since it is a handheld planter, it does require you to get on your hands and knees and use some muscle. Even though it weighs just under ten ounces, the tool can break up compacted soil with ease. Given that there are no clear measuring marks on the tool, you will have to estimate the hole’s depth. Additionally, there is no quick release mechanism like other planters. Instead, you have to tap the side of the tool to for the soil to fall out.

Yard Butler Garden Bulb Planter

Although it’s one of the more expensive options ($44), this bulb planer by Yard Butler comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee and is made with powder-coated steel. This planter is 37in long and intended to be used while standing up. You can easily insert the tool into the ground, twist it, and form a hole that is 6in deep and 3in wide. No need to bend over and push the planter in with your hands. The hole size makes this product great for planting a wide variety of bulbs, ranging from tulips to lilies. This product just missed our top three list because some customers noted that the hole was too shallow and that the planter wasn’t strong enough to penetrate through extra though soil.

Flexrake Adjustable Hand Held Bulb Planter

Sold by Flexrake, this adjustable hand-held bulb planter is made in the USA with chrome plated steel. The planter has a 4in long blade and digs a hole roughly 2.5-3in. in diameter. Once you’re done digging the hole, you just have to release the hinged handle for the soil to fall back into the hole. With its sturdy design, you will have no problems digging through clay-like soil or even grass. The molded poly grip is especially helpful to avoid blisters and sore hands after repetitive use. Flexrake sells the planter in pack sizes ranging from one to four. There is a discrete depth marker to help you plant your bulbs at consistent heights. Although most of the reviews are positive, a few customers mentioned the planter was not sturdy enough for their soil type. Nonetheless, most people are very pleased with this product and claim that it works great.

Bond Releasable Flower Bulb Planter Tool

This tulip bulb planter tool by Bond features an ergonomic design and a non-slip grip. It’s available in a variety of colors including red, blue, green, and purple. Once you’re done digging, you can give the handle a little squeeze to release the soil back into the hole. According to most of the reviews on Amazon, this tool is very durable and works great for both soft and firm soil types. For less than $12, this is planter is a good choice if you aren’t looking to spend a fortune. While it isn’t fancy, this planter tool does what it claims to do. We didn’t select this product to be in our top three list because it’s not clear what material it’s made of. Since it appears to be tin, there’s a chance the tool could bend if you put too much pressure on it.

DeWit Bulb and Crocus Planter

The last tool to make our honorable mentions list is this bulb and crocus planter by DeWit. This hand bulb planter has a unique design and actually appears to be a traditional garden shovel at first glance. Constructed of hand-forged steel, this planter is built to handle even the most compact soil. The ash hardwood handle not only gives it an old-fashioned look but makes it comfortable to use for extended periods of time. In addition to its nostalgic appearance, the handle is made from wood that comes from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified forests. With a length of 10.5in, this tool is easily portable but still requires you to get down on your knees while you work. The planter creates a hole 1.5in in diameter but can be made bigger by moving around the handle. The only downside to this product is that it requires more muscle power than some of the other planter tools.

A Glance at Bulb Planter Tools

Bulb Planters are popular tools for digging narrow tools to accommodate underground flower buds. The planter draws out the soil in a cone-like shape that you can use to refill the hole after securing the bulb inside the ground. You can use these helpful tools in a variety of places including gardens (the most obvious), windowsill planters, and flower pots. The design of a bulb planter is relatively simple – it features a handle with a release mechanism, a body that holds the soil, and a frame that connects the handle to the body of the planter.

The standard short-handled planter is best for recreational gardeners who plant flowers a couple of times each year. Anyone who uses a short-handled bulb planter needs to be physically capable of working on their knees and using their arm muscles to insert the tool into the soil. While a long-handled planter achieves the same function, it can be easier to use because you can step on it to penetrate the soil. Like recreational gardeners, commercial gardeners and landscaping companies can benefit from handheld bulb planters. These tools help landscapers maximize their productivity and profitability. For large-scale projects, drill bulb planters are the best option. Since these connect to a drill and require very little manual labor, they are perfect for planting hundreds of bulbs at a time. If you’re not experienced with a drill, it’s probably not the best idea to an electric bulb planter. It can be dangerous if you’re not careful and you need to be very precise to avoid damaging the landscaping or harming yourself.

How Bulb Planter Tools Work

Many people compare bulb planters to apple corers. Like a bulb planter tool, an apple corer essentially hollows out the inside of an apple and pulls out the core. The bulb planter first penetrates the soil when the operator pushes it into the ground. Next, the gardener must pull up on the spring-loaded handle for the soil to lift. After the soil is removed, the bulb is ready to be placed in the ground. Simply release the handle and the soil will drop back into the hole. In summary, the handle is what triggers the tool to draw or release the soil. The body both holds and penetrates the soil.

Buying Guide

New to gardening or just ready to buy your first bulb planter? This buying guide will give you an inside look at both the main features and the additional features of bulb planter tools.

Main Features

Spring-Loaded Handle

A spring-loaded handle is a convenient mechanism that makes it easy to pull the soil out and release it back into the ground. If the tool doesn’t have a spring-loaded handle, you might have to shake it back and forth to get the soil to come out.

Measurement Marks

Just because you’re using a bulb planter doesn’t mean your holes will all be the same size. A handful of these tools have measurement marks on the side, so you can dig uniform holes. Without measurement marks, it’s easy to end up with a lopsided flower bed.

Additional Features

Powder-Coated Steel

Everyone is guilty of leaving their tools outside every once in a while. Unfortunately, metal tools exposed to moisture end up getting a nice layer of rust. Power-coated steel is both rust and weather-resistant. When you buy a tool with powder-coated steel, you won’t have to attempt to create DIY methods to get rid of the rust.

Carbon Steel

As the name suggests, carbon steel contains up to 2.1% carbon. If the steel isn’t powder-coated, this is the next best option. Carbon steel is more corrosion resistant than standard steel.

Handle Grips

If you aren’t using a pair of gloves while using a bulb planter tool, you might regret it the next day. Similar to the handlebars of a bike, rubber grips will provide comfort to your hands when you have to push down the planter or shift it back and forth to form the perfect hole.

Top Bulb Planter Brands

These brands are known for their high-quality products constructed with top-of-the-line materials:

  • Fiskars
  • Yard Butler
  • Garden Weasel
  • Power Planter

The History of Bulb Planters

Bulb Planters aren’t a new phenomenon, in fact, they were even around in the 1950’s. One of the earliest long-handled bulb planters was invented by Jacob Goldstein in 1954. According to the patent, the main objective of Goldstein’s intention was to create a planter that the operator could use while standing up. His invention featured a depth gauge and an opening in the top where you could insert the bulb. Goldstein also aimed for the planter to be lightweight and portable.

Did You Know?

In addition to traditional planters, there are also electric bulb planters often referred to as “drill bulb planters.” The bulb planters are not entirely electric themselves but rather rely on the power of a power drill to spin. Often constructed of steel, these planter tools are designed to fit both electric and cordless drills. You’ll need steady concentration when using one of these tools, so you don’t drill too deep and end up with an oversized tool. Since these are just add-ons to your drill, the price ranges from $20 to $50. If you want a fully electric auger, expect to shell out at least a couple hundred dollars.

Don’t Forget the Gloves

Even though bulb planters are much easier to use than traditional planters, they can still take a toll on your hands. To protect your skin, you should consider buying a pair of bamboo working gloves sold by Pine Tree Tools. These gloves keep your hands cool while in the heat and act as a second layer of skin. Made with soft bamboo, these gloves are both breathable and comfortable (no skin irritation). If you buy a short-handled bulb planter, expect to be on the ground quite a bit. These gloves will keep your hands clean and prevent you from getting blisters when you push down on the planter to dig holes. If you’re in the market for a new pair of gardening gloves, make sure to check these bamboo gloves out.

Bulb Planter Care and Use Tips

Using a rust-free planter in an adequate soil environment makes gardening so much more enjoyable. The good news is, there are techniques to modify your soil and remove rust from your planter without much hassle. By taking care of your planter and soil, you’ll avoid snapping your tool in half and increase the product’s longevity.

Removing Rust from a Bulb Planter

If your bulb planter doesn’t have powder-coated steel, there’s a good chance it could develop rust after exposure to air moisture. Bulb planters, screwdrivers, wrenches, and other household tools are all known to rust over time. Luckily, there’s a way to remove the rust and make your planter look brand-spankin’ new. To remove the rust, you’ll need all-purpose cleaning vinegar, a mop bucket, sponge, aluminum foil, and steel wool. The first step is to simply pour a few cups of the cleaning vinegar into the mop bucket and then place your planter into the vinegar. Cover the bucket with aluminum foil and then let it sit overnight. The next day you’ll want to take out the tool and rinse it off under cold water using a sponge. Don’t panic if the rust is still there. The last step is to take a piece of steel wool and use it to thoroughly scrape the rust off the blade and handle (if metal) of the bulb planter.

Soil Preparation before Using a Bulb Planter

Depending on where you live, you’ll have to properly prepare the soil before using a bulb planter. If the soil is dry, you should water it lightly with a sprinkler or spray bottle, so it is easier to work with. Avoid areas that are too moist because not only will digging be difficult, but the bulbs can also rot. For sandy or claylike soil, peat moss is a good additive to help the soil retain moisture. Before digging into the ground, make sure you know how deep to make the hole. The standard rule-of-thumb is that holes for large bulbs should be 8in deep and holes for smaller bulbs should be 5in in depth.

Make Your Life Easier with a Bulb Planter

The perfect bed of flowers shouldn’t require days of exhausting work. In fact, a beautiful bed of flowers might only take you a few hours with the right bulb planter. No matter your experience level, these tools are user-friendly and designed for both casual and highly skilled gardeners. Before you go, have one last look at each of the top three bulb planter tools on Amazon. These products are some of the best out there and will easily beat what you can find at brick-n-mortar stores. Check out the below products if you’re looking for the best tool to plant bulbs:

With an automatic release mechanism and reinforced steel, this bulb planter by Edwards Tools is a great buy for less than $10. If it ever breaks, no need to worry – the company will replace it for free. The convenient measurement markings (up to 4 inches) makes it easy to plant a level flower bed. Take a look at this product and you’ll see why it’s the number one best-selling bulb planter.

At just under $25 and measuring 46in, this transplanting spade by Fiskars is one of the most affordable for its size. The tool has an extra-large handle for two-handed control and comes with a lifetime warranty. This product serves a multitude of purposes. In addition to digging holes for bulbs, you can also use it to remove the roots of weeds in your backyard. You’ll have no problem digging through hard soil with this spade’s sharp blade. This is without a debt the best long-handled bulb planter.

Sold by Garden Weasel, this 40in bulb planter tool is the real deal. It features a carbon steel exterior that is both rust and weather-resistant. The T-bar grip will keep your hands from aching or developing blisters after extended use. Garden Weasel claims this is a gardener’s “best friend,” and the reviewers seem to agree with that. Many reviewers rave about how this tool helped saved them from back pain and made gardening less time-consuming.

Last spring Mr. Much More Patient looked out the window at our still-gray landscape and asked why we didn’t have more daffodils. They are a good bulb to grow here because no critters will touch them. Still, I don’t want to add too many more to the gardens, as keeping them healthy requires leaving the foliage standing to die back naturally, and I don’t love that look in my garden. (In fact I often cut off the leaves before I should, knowing full well this will affect their life span.) But we do have a lot of wooded areas that are quite bright in spring and would look lovely with some color. And I’d never have to worry about the foliage looking tatty.

So I told Mr. Much More Patient we could have mass quantities of daffodils if he didn’t balk at the cost and would agree to help plant them.

And that’s how we ended up planting 400 daffodils this week.

When I’m planting daffodils in the garden proper, I like to dig big holes and plant them en masse, but that approach wouldn’t work well for the woods. For one, there are a lot of roots around and digging big holes is not easily done. I also bought varieties that are supposed to naturalize (i.e. multiply) more easily, so wanted to give them enough room to do their thing in the future. That meant planting them individually and there is no better way to do that than with a bulb auger.

Think of a bulb auger as a really big drill bit for a power drill. They come in different lengths, but most seem to be in the 24-inch range. In my opinion, bigger is better because that means less bending over. It does take a little practice to get the hang of the auger though, so here are a few tips to make sure you don’t spin your hand off.

Set the drill torque on the drill setting and on a lower speed if you have a variable-speed drill.

Put the auger in the drill the same way you’d fit in any drill or screwdriver bit. Then you want to turn the torque setting to the drill setting. If you have a drill with multiple speeds, put in on a lower speed setting. Our Milwaukee drill has two speeds and we run it on the slower speed for this.

Drilling a hole with a bulb auger is not the same as drilling a hole in a piece of wood, where you generally want to keep pushing. If you push like heck when you drill a hole in the dirt at some point the dirt (or more likely the roots, rock or something under the soil) is going to win and the auger will stop spinning but your arm won’t. I’m not kidding … your arm keeps spinning. And it hurts. This is why you want it on a lower speed.

In order to avoid that, work the auger up and down as you drill, gradually working it down into the soil. If it does get stuck, don’t try to push through it. Reverse the drill, back up a little and then start working up and down again until you’ve got the hole drilled to the depth you want (about 6 to 8 inches for daffodils, but they aren’t overly fussy).

Doing the up and down motion leaves a lovely little pile of soil around each hole, so it’s easy to refill after you put a bulb in the hole. One note: We noticed that we were using up the batteries on the drill quickly when we were whipping through holes so quickly. We went through a battery about every 100 holes. So make sure you have a fully charged battery and if you have a spare battery make sure that’s good to go too.

Working with two people we were able to crank out those bulbs in no time, probably about an hour total. Mr. Much More Patient was on drill duty and I plunked the bulbs in the holes and covered them as I went. I found it was much easier to dump the bulbs into a trug rather than try to fish them out of a bag every time.

There’s plenty of time to plant bulbs still. In fact you can pretty much do it as long as you can get in the ground, but planting bulbs in really cold ground, when it’s really cold outside, can’t be much fun.

If you’re in the market for a bulb auger, here are a few to check out.

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