ISSUE 35  |  The Last Gasp of Summer

World’s Best Bulb Planters

August 28, 2012 11:00 AM

BY Janet Hall

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.

Hand Bulb Planters

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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 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.

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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.

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



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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

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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; $56.50 at Lee Valley.

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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.

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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.

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”5847″,”attributes”:{“alt”:”Joseph Bentley Long Handled Bulb Planter”,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”437″,”width”:”666″}}]]

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.)