Using a Bulb Planter Tool to Plant Flowering Bulbs

Many garden shows tell you the best way to plant a bulb is using a tool called a bulb planter.  If you go out to buy this amazing tool, you will find that it does not come with instructions.  If the garden show gave you instructions, you will not remember them by the time you want to use the tool so I am providing tips on buying and using the tool here.
Standard and Squeeze-release
Hand Bulb Planting Tools

Before purchasing and using a bulb planter, decide which type is the best for your soil and your continued use. The standard version is a metal cone with teeth at the bottom for biting through the soil, which can be bought at most garden centers or home improvement stores.  The better ones have wooden or easy-grip handles and show planting depth in inches or centimeters on the side.  To empty the soil from this type, you have to turn the tool upside down and knock it against the ground or your hand.  If the soil was too wet, you must dig it out of the tool and be sure to wash thoroughly to prevent rusting.  Another type is the called the easy-squeeze, which has a spring mechanism in a plastic handle.  You use the tool without squeezing the handle when digging.  Then squeeze the handle together from the sides, which cause the tool to open and release the soil.  Too wet soil may also have to be scraped off this tool.  A newer type is the called the quick release, which has a lever under the handle.  With the newer type, you pull the lever to release the soil.  You can also buy a tool used standing up for making multiple holes in a short amount of time - it is called a Bulb Hound or Auger.

To use the bulb planter, determine what type of soil you have.  If your soil is soft and loose, you may be able to push the bulb planter with your hand into the soil downward to the depth you wish to make the hole.  If you have hard or compacted soil, you probably will have to use a screw-action with your wrist to get the tool to move into the earth to the desired depth.  Once you have reached the desired depth for your bulb’s hole, pull the bulb planter out.  You may have to rock it from side to side to loosen before pulling out.  It should bring up all the dirt from the hole with it.  If some of the dirt falls out of the bulb planter back into hole, use a spade to dig it out.  You then plant the bulb in the hole and cover it with the previously removed dirt that is in the bulb planter.

See my last post on how to buy bulbs and watch for my next post on how to plant the bulbs in various patterns and mixes.

No comments: