All You Need To Know About Bulb Planters 2024

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If, like us, you dread the time of year when you need to start planting bulbs then we are here to help! There is nothing nicer than seeing the effort of your labours when plants start to grow in the spring – its just such a shame the amount of effort that it takes to get to this point in the first place! Digging the holes to exactly the right size so that your plants stand the best chance of growing is essential and the way to do this is with a bulb planter!

A bulb planter will allow you to remove the exact amount of soil that is needed for you to plant a range of bulbs in your garden! Not only are they going to make the job much quicker to get done, but they will also really help anyone who struggles with wrist or joint pain as they will greatly reduce the amount of effort that you need to put into getting the job done!

Our Pick Best Bulb Planter – Spear and Jackson Long Handle Bulb Planter

Spear & Jackson 4813BP Traditional Stainless Long Handle Bulb Planter, Brown And Silver
  • Mirror polished stainless steel head for minimal soil adhesion and easy cleaning
  • Weatherproofed hardwood handle for strength and durability
  • Wide T grip handle for comfort and ease of use
  • Extra long handle reduces the need for bending
  • Metric and imperial depth markings for accuracy

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

If, like us, you have a habit of leaving your bulb planting to the last minute then this is the part of the article for you! Beat that first winter frost and get reading for all the essential information you need before you purchase your bulb planter! We have also included some of our favourites to make your job even easier! 

How Does a Bulb Planter Work?

The first thing that we need to explain is how a bulb planter actually works – because sadly they aren’t going to actually plant your bulbs for you! The main purpose of a bulb planter is to remove the soil from the area that you are wanting to plant in. This process is so much quicker than using a trowel as you simply push the bulb planter into the ground around the soil that you are wanting to remove and then pull the soil out! One of the main benefits to this is that you will be able to easily tell what depth you are actually removing soil down to, so that you can position your bulb at the perfect height to allow maximum growth! 

You then simply have to place the bulb into the hole whilst the excess soil is stored in the bulb planter – the best way to reduce the mess that is normally created when you are planting bulbs! Then just put the bulb planter back over the hole and release the soil back into the hole to protect the bulb. 

It really is as easy as that! If you are wanting a little more guidance then why not check out this video…

TOP TIP: Different bulbs will have different depths that they need to be planted to! This is always worth checking before planting if you want your bulbs to be successful! 

Best Bulb Planter Build Materials 

You will quickly find that different bulb plants are going to be able to handle different jobs. If you only have some small pots to plant your bulbs in, then you will probably be able to get away with a cheaper bulb planter that is made from materials not quite as strong. Whereas if you have large bedding areas with more than 10 to 15 bulbs to plant each year then you are going to need a stronger model that is up to the task. Equally, if you know that the ground in your garden is rather stony or hard then you may need a stronger bulb planter. 

You will normally find that the main “plunger” of your bulb planter is going to be made from metal (usually stainless steel) as this will be strong enough to cope with a variety of ground types – although it is worth noting that not many bulb planters will cope very well in ground that is particularly clay-like. We also like that stainless steel is going to be very easy to clean and corrosion free so you don’t need to worry about your bulb planter starting to rust over time. If you do opt for stainless steel then make sure to check if it is going to be powder coated, these will be even stronger and last even longer without any damage, wear or rust! 

The handle of your bulb planter is going to be more varied in the materials that it is made from with either metal, plastic or even wood used! A metal continuation of the main part of the bulb planter is obviously going to be a nice strong option that will be long lasting, but it is slightly less comfortable to work with for longer periods of time. Plastic and wood are going to be less durable – although wood is much more durable than plastic providing you maintain it occasionally! What we do like about wood and plastic is the additional grip that it will offer you and the comfort! 

TOP TIP: If you know that you have a lot of bulbs to plant and are wanting to reduce the discomfort and fatigue in your hands then look out for a handle that is rubber or silicone covered as this will offer maximum comfort! 

Best Bulb Planter Handle 

Following on from this, you need to also think about the actual design of the handle as they are all quite different. A standard handle is going to be quite small, which allows you to get into smaller areas of your garden and makes it easier to dig out precise holes if you are planting quite close together. However, they do mean that you are going to be crouched over on all fours when you are planting. For many people this is really less than ideal, particularly if you have back or shoulder problems. If this is the case then look out for an extended handle model – although these will still require you to bend down, they will be much more comfortable than the smaller options! 

TOP TIP: If you know that you have larger hands then try to make sure your bulb planter doesn’t come with an “enclosed” handle as these can be quite small in size and will be difficult for you to use. Instead look for an open design handle that you will be able to get a better hold of! 

Best Bulb Planter Size

We mentioned the bulb planter size briefly above when discussing the handle, but there is actually much more to it than just that! Although bulb planters are all going to be relatively similar in the size of the main plugers, there are slight differences in size. We would always recommend opting for a bigger bulb planter if possible, as this will give you much more options in the depth and size of hole that you can create. Remember you don’t have to push your bulb planter all the way into the ground, so if you don’t need the full depth then you can just go part way but at least you have it there as an option! The only time we would really recommend opting for a smaller bulb planter is if you are working with particularly smaller bulbs in a pot, for example. 

You don’t just need to think about the size of the plunger but the overall size of the bulb planter, because as we mentioned above, some are going to come with extended handles to make your life easier when working. You need a fair balance of size between the two so this is really important to check for. Most are going to vary in size between around 20cm and 45cm (with extended handle models up to around 70/80cm). Bear in mind that the general rule for planting bulbs is that they should be planted two to three times as deep as the bulb is tall. So larger bulbs are going to need to be planted around 20cm deep, whereas smaller bulbs may only be around 8cm deep! 

Best Budget – WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter

WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter Fixed Hand Tool, Red, 38x2.5x1.7 cm
  • Part of the Fixed Hand Tool
  • Automatic Soil Release
  • Side Depth Gauge
  • For Bulbs and Plants
  • 10 Year Guarantee

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Additional Bulb Planter Features to Consider

Now that you have decided on the size of bulb planter that is going to be best for you and the main design features that matter to you, here are some of the additional features that you will find in only the best bulb planters. There are so many on the market it can be difficult to know which is best to purchase…so here is a starting point of what to look for! 

  • Serrated teeth – Look out for a bulb planter will serrated teeth at the end, this will make it much easier to cut through the soil, particularly if the soil is tougher or stony! This will allow you to make one clean push into the ground saving you a considerable amount of time and effort. 
  • Weight – Although bulb planters are going to be nice and light tools, it is still worth looking at the overall weight of your tool as you are going to be carrying it around your garden and if you are planting a lot of bulbs it will make a difference. Most are going to range from just under 100g up to around 450g. This is a big difference for anyone that struggles with arthritis or just wants to make their lives easier! 
  • Spring-loaded handle – This is the best time saving option that we found when working with a bulb planter. A spring loaded handle is going to make it much easier for you to hold the soil in the tool whilst you are putting the bulb into the ground, but then simply push the spring in to release the soil back into the hole with ease! Less mess and quicker to use – what more could you want? 
  • Ruler marked and varying depths – We mentioned above that all bulbs are going to be best suited to different depths of planting depending on their size. For this reason, we would definitely recommend looking out for a bulb planter that offers varying depth options when planting. This is usually achieved by an engraved ruler marked on the side of the plunger so that you can accurately dig out to the right depth! 
  • Drill Bit – If you are really wanting to get the job done quickly then there are drill bit connections that will do the job for you. These are obviously going to be much quicker and easier to use as it is the drill that is doing the work. However, you will need to make sure that they are going to be compatible with your drill!
  • Foot rest – This is a feature that won’t really be compatible with smaller bulb planters, but the larger models with the extended handles may come with foot rests. This allows you to use your foot to push the plunger into the ground rather than your hands which is not only easier but also better for your back and neck! 

Best of the Rest

TABOR TOOLS D123E, 3-Piece Bulb Planting Garden Tool Set: Includes 1 Bulb Planter with Depth Markers and Automatic Soil Release Mechanism + 1 Metal Planting Dibber + 1 Hand Trowel Transplanter
  • 3-in-1 BULB PLANTING SET: All you need to give your bulbs the best start. Our kit includes a bulb planter, a dibber and a transplanter, optimally suited for the effortless insertion of flower bulbs. TABOR TOOLS Hand Tools are especially compact and easy-to-use. The specially shaped handle allows tire-free work and pleasant handling.
  • 1. TRANSPLANTER: This tool is ideal for transplanting small plants and flowers. The padded soft grip ergonomic handle provides exceptional grip and comfortable use. The gradation marks on the blade make it easy to measure depth for perfect transplants and the polished cast-aluminum head resists rust and won’t bend or break while digging.
  • 2. DIBBER: This metal dibber has a sharp, pointy spike for puncturing the ground to make deep precise holes. It is made to last from strong metal, lacquered with Duroplast to prevent rusting.
  • 3. BULB PLANTING TOOL. This is a great tulip, daffodil, lily and dahlia bulb planter. The spring-loaded handle has an automatic soil release mechanism, which allows for quicker planting. The reinforced steel prevents bending in heavier soils. The bulb planting tool includes depth marker for more consistent planting. Planter measures approximately 9" tall with a 5" wide handle and 2.5" diameter base.
  • ORDER WITH CONFIDENCE. Customer satisfaction and service quality are the basic criteria for TABOR TOOLS. Good service is a result of flexibility, reliability and trustworthiness. We will fix any problem quickly and answer to your need every time. We are always available to help our customers; our service record is unmatched!

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

No products found.

Spear & Jackson 5100BP Traditional Stainless Bulb Planter, Brown/Silver
  • Stainless steel head with leading edge for easier insertion into the ground
  • Mirror polished for rust resistance, Minimal soil adhesion and easy cleaning
  • Weatherproofed hardwood shaft for strength and durability
  • Wide T grip handle for comfort and ease of use
  • Extra long handle reduces the need for bending and helps to minimise back strain

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions 

What time of year should bulbs be planted? 

You will find that in the UK most bulbs should be planted between October and December so that they have a chance to settle over winter and prepare for growth in the Spring as the weather starts to warm. It is important to also consider the weather though as if you plant too early and then have a warm spell the bulbs could start to grow early! Equally, if you leave it too late then they risk being damaged by frost, as most bulbs need to be planted at least 6 weeks before the first proper frost. 

Will a bulb planter come with a guarantee? 

Yes! All bulb planters should come with some level of warranty. You will usually find that this is a full warranty as well rather than a limited warranty like you would find with some tools. The warranties we found started at around 2 years and some products even offered a lifetime warranty.

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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