ISSUE 43  |  Spring Forward 2016

10 Easy Pieces: Bulb Planters

October 27, 2015 1:00 PM

BY Janet Hall

Squirrels make it look so easy. But digging a deep narrow hole to plant bulbs can be a challenge. Make the job easier this fall with a bulb planter. Here are ten of our favorites:

Above: A vintage bulb planter via Petits Details.

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

Hand Bulb Planters

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



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Above: The Sneeboer Hand Bulb Planter is handmade in Holland of solid stainless steel; $79.76 at the Garden Tool Company.


Above: The Joseph Bentley Short Handled Bulb Planter is stainless steel with a wood handle, and features a 4-inch scale to measure planting depth; $19.95 through Amazon.

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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 1.5 inches in diameter. DeWit Tools has been producing hand-forged Dutch garden tools in the north of Holland since 1898; $24.75 at Garrett Wade.

Above: The Hand Bulb Planter by Ames has a black steel head and wooden handle; $4.34 at Hardware World.

Above: Simple and durable, the Stainless Steel Short Handled Bulb Planter is $16.95 at Wayside Gardens.

Long-Handled Bulb Planters

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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; $59.50 at Lee Valley.

Above: The hand-forged Traditional Bulb Planter features a one-piece stainless steel digging end and a wide T-handle. It has a convenient footstep to help power the tool into the soil; $122.72 from Sarah Raven.

Above: Bully Tools’ Bulb Planter with Stainless T-Style Handle has a 9-inch long coring tube with a 26-inch steel stem; $17.56 from The Home Depot. 

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Above: The Joseph Bentley Long Handled Bulb Planter features easy-step tread edged wings for your feet; $59.95 through Amazon.

Wondering what to plant this fall? See Squirrel-Proof Crocus. And, see our earlier Garden Tool Posts for more gardening helpers.

N.B.: This post originally ran on August 28, 2012.