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3 Best Long Handled Bulb Planters to Prepare For Spring (2021 Review)

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In this guide we’ll take a look at the best long handled bulb planters.
I’ve compared build quality, ease of use, strength and cost
to give you my top recommendations.

The Best Long Handled Bulb Planters Are...

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Compare Their Features Here

Use the dropdown to sort the table by the feature that's most important to you.

  • Best For
  • Height
  • Handle Shape
  • Diameter
  • Release Mechanism
  • Foot Ledge
  • Weight
  • Cost
  • Our score
  •  

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Read Our In-Depth Reviews

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Bulldog Premier Bulb PlanterBulldog Premier Bulb Planter

Best long handled bulb planter

Design
Ease of Use
Comfort
Value for Money
Overall
4.55
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Bulldog Premier Bulb Planter Review

Specifications

  • Height: 97 cm
  • Handle Shape: T shape
  • Diameter: 8.5 cm
  • Release Mechanism: No
  • Foot Ledge: Yes
  • Weight: 1.36 kg

Bulldog are a trusted company in the gardening world, known for their high-quality products. So, if you’re looking for a sturdy long-handled bulb planter that you can rely on, check out my recommendation!

The Bulldog Premier Bulb Planter is an attractive tool with an FSC certified American Ash handle and a robust head, forged from a single piece of steel.

The tread is comfortable on the foot as it feels strong, displaying no signs of bending or breaking, even under quite heavy pressure.

Its strong head can get through grass, as well as topsoil. But, as is normal with long-handled bulb planters, you might have to loosen up your turf first if it’s particularly tough or rocky.

Additionally, tougher soils like clay might not slip out of the planter as easily as looser soils would. This might mean that this tool won’t save you much time compared to using smaller tools, but there will still be less bending over.

When used on optimum soil, the tool cuts a piece of soil cleanly, that is easy to replace after planting a bulb. The edge is not serrated so this digging process will require a strong push, depending on your desired depth and the density of your soil.

This long-handled bulb planter is quite heavy, which can be good and bad. Depending on your strength and age, you’ll know whether you want a heavy planter, as there are some lighter ones on the market.

The ‘T’ handle provides good leverage, and the head has a diameter of 8.5cm, making it suitable for large bulbs. The planter’s height is just below average for its type, at 97cm. This height is still decent as it should reduce the amount you bend over during the task.

This is my choice for the best long-handled bulb planter as it’s sturdy and its weight will make it easier to push through denser soil types. You can’t really go wrong when you’re buying from a trusted brand like Bulldog.

Pros

  • Durable steel construction
  • The T-shaped grip makes it easy to remove this planter from the soil
  • Easy to get into soft soil
  • The long design is suitable for taller users

Cons

  • Not sharp enough for very matted soil and turf
  • Some users may struggle to get the plug out of the planter
  • As the plug needs to be removed from the device, you won’t save much more time than you would using hand tools
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Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Long Handled Bulb PlanterJoseph Bentley Stainless Steel Long Handled Bulb Planter

Best ergonomic handle

Design
Ease of Use
Comfort
Value for Money
Overall
4.475
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Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Long Handled Bulb Planter Review

Specifications

  • Height: 104 cm
  • Handle Shape: T shape
  • Diameter: 7 cm
  • Release Mechanism: No
  • Foot Ledge: Yes
  • Weight: 0.8 kg

If you’ve got grand plans for your garden, with lots of different bulbs to plant, you might be looking for a single tool that can be versatile for your numerous tasks.

In this case, the best long-handled bulb planter for you will have a depth scale. Enter, the Joseph Bentley Long Handled Bulb Planter! This one features a handy depth scale etched along the head, to make it easy to get your desired depth. So, whether you’re planting lilies or tulips, you won’t have to use multiple tools.

This bulb planter features an FSC certified wooden handle and a stainless steel head. The head of the bulb planter has tread-edged wings. When working with optimal soil, this should allow you to push the head of the tool cleanly into the ground with your boot.

This planter is great at getting through grass, turf and topsoil, but you might struggle with areas that are rockier or contain clay. So, depending on your soil type, the collected soil should be easily released from the device with a light tap.

Even if you are working with tougher soil, its smooth T-shaped handle and serrated edge allow you to twist the tool to push it into the soil more easily. Soil may ‘rush in’ after digging, requiring you to repeat the digging process a few times to get your desired depth.

This product is highly durable, so it should show no signs of wear or damage after lots of use.

The head has a diameter of 7cm, making it suitable for even large bulbs.

Just over a metre in height, this planter will take a lot of the back-breaking work out of your task, as it eliminates the need for bending over.

When it comes to planting a variety of bulbs, this one’s my top choice for the best long-handled bulb planter because of its depth scale. Also, its serrated edge will cut through materials more easily than others on the market.

Pros

  • Sturdy and comfortable to hold
  • The serrated edge makes very light work of damp turf
  • The handle is ergonomic, there’s no need to twist your wrists to insert the tool into the soil
  • The depth markers allow you to plant a range of different bulbs

Cons

  • May struggle with clay soil or heavily compacted soil
  • Some users find the planter doesn’t make a deep enough hole for tulip bulbs, as the soil rushes in on removal of the planter
  • Can be difficult to get the plug out of the planter to put it back onto the bulb
  • Some people may still find this tiring to use
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Crest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb PlanterCrest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb Planter

Best with release mechanism

Design
Ease of Use
Comfort
Value for Money
Overall
4.325
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Crest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb Planter Review

Specifications

  • Height: 100 cm
  • Handle Shape: T shape
  • Diameter: Not listed
  • Release Mechanism: Yes
  • Foot Ledge: Yes
  • Weight: Not listed

You might be dreading your annual bulb planting session because of how tough your garden’s soil is. Your garden might be filled with clay, which is notoriously tricky to work with. Or your soil might contain lots of rocks, which can make digging take longer.

Fortunately, there are long-handled bulb planters designed for this specific issue. My top choice is the Crest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb Planter. It has an automatic-release mechanism that releases the plug of soil without you having to kick it or shake it.

So, once you’ve dug your hole and planted your bulb, you can simply release the handle to pop the soil back into the hole after planting. This is a big stand-out feature as sticky clay soil is not always easily released by more traditional tools.

The planter is sturdy and durable to deal with tough soils, plus the treads and handle are very comfortable to use. However, there are some user reports of the mechanism jamming in particularly tough soil, in which case you’d need to use a garden fork to loosen the ground first.

This one’s lighter than other models on this list, which you might prefer if you’re not super strong. Plus, at a metre in length, this planter is good for taller users.

Pros

  • A great option for taller users, allowing them to work without bending down
  • Very lightweight which makes it easy to both use and carry around the garden
  • Sturdy and durable carbon steel build
  • The trigger to release the plug automatically is efficient and reliable for most soil types

Cons

  • Tricky to use on very compact or stony soils
  • Those with lots of bulbs to plant at once may find this planter becomes uncomfortable over time
  • There have been some reports of the release mechanism jamming
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How to Choose The Best Long Handled Bulb Planter

A long-handled bulb planter is a surprisingly useful gadget. It makes a tricky job a whole lot easier, allowing you to plant large numbers of bulbs without having to crouch. Once you try it, it might just become your go-to tool for the bulb-planting season.

There’s no doubt that you’re going to be itching to find the best long-handled bulb planter – but how do you choose the right one?

There’s a range of bulb planters on the market to suit an array of budgets, so to help you make an informed decision I’ve put together the following advice:

The Importance of a Sturdy Construction

Bulb planters are generally only used for a short period of time each year, so it’s essential that your bulb planter is made from a quality, durable material that lends itself to being left for long periods in storage.

Stainless steel is an excellent material to look out for. It won’t rust and it’s very strong. As a result, you’ll be able to use the planter for years to come. Models that have a head made of mirror-polished steel will also be extra easy to clean and use, as soil won’t get stuck to the tool very easily.

You should ensure your bulb planter is sturdy enough for the conditions you are using it in. If your soil is very compacted, you’ll need a tougher construction. Carbon steel tends to be the toughest option, although these will cost more.

Those with wooden handles are traditional and stylish, but they are more susceptible to rot, so good storage is extra important.

Using a Long Handled Bulb Planter

You will first want to make sure that you purchase a long-handled bulb planter that is a good height for you. You want to find one that will allow you to work for long periods of time without you straining your back. If you have a garden spade or a fork that seems to be a good length for you, measure it to know roughly what sort of bulb planter you should be going for.

When planting bulbs, they should generally be planted at a depth that is 2-2.5 times deeper than the diameter of the bulb. This does vary somewhat between plants, so check any specific instructions which come with the bulbs. Some planters have a measuring scale on the side so that you can plant the bulbs at the right depth.

When you have inserted the bulb planter to the desired depth, you will then pull it out removing a mass of soil. Many bulb planters will hold onto this soil whilst you put the bulb in the hole, so you can then release the soil to cover the bulb.

If you choose a bulb planter without this mechanism, you might have to cover the bulb by hand. These factors change depending on the density of your soil; looser soils will not stay compacted in the planter.

Release Mechanism

Planters with a release mechanism are more effective and easier to use. Simply insert the planter into the soil at the required depth, remove and then release the soil back on top. This is especially useful if your soil is sticky. Additionally, these mechanisms help to keep loose soil compacted, whilst it would fall out without the mechanism.

The release mechanism is usually activated by some sort of trigger on the handle.

More traditional tools will release the soil with just a tap – if you keep them well maintained and clean.

Features to Improve Comfort

It’s quite useful when long-handled bulb planters have a foot ledge, allowing you to push the planter down into the soil with your feet. This is especially helpful in conditions where the soil is particularly hard or clay-like. That said, it’s useful to have in all types of soil just in case you come across a tougher patch. The alternative is doing all the pushing with just your arms, which can be hard work.

As previously mentioned, a handle length that’s suitable to your height is paramount when it comes to comfort and protecting your back! The biggest benefit of using a long-handled bulb planter compared to one with a short handle is that it will allow you to avoid crouching, so it’s only worthwhile if it permits you to work without stooping!

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Long Handled Bulb Planter FAQs

Could a long-handled bulb planter be used for seed potatoes?

A long-handled bulb planter can make holes for anything! However, do make sure the one you choose has a large enough head to create a hole that’s big enough for your requirements. Most bulb planters cut a hole of around 7cm which should easily be enough for seed potatoes.

How do I use a bulb planter?

Using a bulb planter is very easy and allows you to plant dozens of bulbs with very little difficulty. To use a long-handled bulb planter, simply insert it into the soil at the depth required (some have a scale on the side), allow the head to fill with soil, then remove it to reveal a neat hole.
Place the bulb at the bottom of the hole, then release the soil back into the hole. This is either done with just a gentle tap or using an integrated release mechanism.

What time of year should I plant bulbs?

This depends on what you are planting, but most bulbs that flower in the spring (such as daffodils and tulips) can be planted throughout September, October and November. Ideally, your bulbs should be planted at least 6 weeks before the first frost.

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