Bulb Planters: The Best Bulb Trowels, Diggers, and Auger Drill Bits

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Gardening can be a relaxing hobby, especially if you have the right tools for the job. A bulb planter is one such garden tool that is worth having if you’re planning on planting more than a handful of bulbs.

There are several popular types of bulb planters, including specialized bulb trowels, cylindrical or conical hole diggers, traditional bulb dibbers, and auger drill bit attachments for power tools. Some bulb planters have a long handle to allow for stand-up planting, while others are smaller handheld tools. Some bulb planting tools are sized for small bulbs like crocus, while others will handle larger flower bulbs like daffodils.

Read on to learn all about bulb planters!

Bulb planters
Different types of bulb planter tools

1. Bulb planting trowels

Bulb planting trowels are specialized handheld garden trowels designed to dig deep, narrow holes for planting bulbs. These trowels often have sharp or serrated edges down the side of the planter, as well as depth markings imprinted down the surface of the blade.

Here are some popular bulb-planting trowels to consider:

Bulb planting trowels are perfect for transplanting bulbs in the spring and fall, and can also be used to transplant seedlings in the springtime. Some options have metal handles (like the Well-Built trowel listed above), while others have wooden handles (like the Sneeboer and DeWit trowels above, which both have Ash handles). Stainless steel and boron steel are common in high-quality bulb trowel blades. The best bulb planters (and garden tools in general) come with a lifetime warranty or lifetime guarantee.

Well-built bulb planter trowel
Well-Built Bulb Planter Trowel
Bulb planter in the garden
Burpee Steel Bulb Planter

2. Cylindrical & conical bulb planters

Many bulb planters have a cylindrical or conical shape to them so that the tool forms a deep, narrow hole. Some of these bulb planters are handheld tools with a horizontal handles. Long-handled versions allow for stand-up planting (and many have a foot placement spot for extra digging power).

The short-handled versions work surprisingly well and take up very little space, while the long-handled versions are better for accessibility (no working on your knees or bending) and for high-volume jobs. Most models are sized generously enough to remove a soil plug big enough for larger bulbs like tulips and daffodils.

Here are some handheld bulb planters:

Here are some long-handled bulb planters:

Even though a bulb planter like those listed above can seem like an overly specific tool (when compared to an all-purpose garden shovel or spade), they are very useful when you need them (and may just encourage you to plant more low-maintenance flowering bulbs in your garden). Stainless steel options (like the Josephy Bentley planter listed above) are long-lasting and not prone to rust like some other options.

3. Bulb dibbers

Bulb dibbers are old-fashioned bulb planters typically used for small bulbs like crocus, snowdrops, and muscari (grape hyacinth). Dibbers are pointed tools that typically have sharp metal tips. They work best in loose-tilled soil which is relatively easy to work.

Here are some traditional bulb dibbers:

Bulb dibbers can also be used to plant seeds and small seedlings, making them a versatile tool that does not take up too much space in the garden shed.

Planting flower bulbs with different bulb planters

4. Bulb auger drill bits for power drills

Auger drill bits are spiral soil digging attachments designed for use with power drills. These specialized drill bits are available in many different hole widths and bit lengths. They’re great for big bulb-planting jobs and for those with bad knees. Look at the different size diameter measurements available and choose the one that will dig a wide enough hole to accommodate the size of bulbs you’d like to plant.

Here are some popular auger drill bits for electric drills:

Bulb auger drill bits are a great choice to minimize digging work and take advantage of a cordless drill you may already have around your home. Look for a heavy-duty option like the Power Planter augers (listed above) for ease of use, minimal effort, and long-lasting durability. Augers with a long shaft can help minimize bending and twisting for easier use. Lastly, planting augers are also perfect for bedding plants and small seedlings (some are even sold as bedding plant auger + bulb auger combos).

Bulb planter from power planter
Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a gardening expert and founder of Home for the Harvest. She's also a professional engineer, certified permaculture garden designer, and master gardener in training. Mary Jane has been featured by publications such as Real Simple, Mother Earth News, Homes & Gardens, Heirloom Gardener, and Family Handyman.

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