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.
What is the Best Long Handled Bulb Planter?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Incredible time-saving tool, great for even large bulbs!
This Bulldog Premier Bulb Planter takes all the effort out of planting bulbs. Its strong construction and T-bar handle mean you can make light work of the soil. The 7 cm head cuts a clean cone from the ground, leaving space for even large bulbs.
Things to Know Before Buying a Long Handled Bulb Planter
A long handled bulb planter is such 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. Ever since I got one, it’s been my go-to tool for bulb-planting season. I’ve actually planted way more bulbs than I normally would because I couldn’t help getting carried away!
Now then, you’re no doubt going to be itching to find the best long handled bulb planter, so that you can join me in back-saving bulb-planting bliss – but how to choose the right one?
There are 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:
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 that lends itself well to long periods in storage.
Stainless steel is an excellent material to look out for. It won’t rust and is very strong. As a result you’ll be able to use the planter for years to come. Models which have a head made of mirror-polished steel will also be extra easy to clean and use. The soil won’t get stuck to the tool, meaning it will be cleaner when in storage as well.
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.
You will firstly want to make sure that you purchase a long handled bulb planter that is a good height for you. You want to find a planter that will allow you to work for long periods of time without straining your back. If you have a garden spade or a fork which seems to be a good length for you, measure it to know roughly what sort of length bulb planter you should be going for.
When planting bulbs, they should generally be planted at a depth which 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. Many 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 plug of soil. Many bulb planters will hold onto this soil whilst you put the bulb in the hole, and then you can release the soil to cover the bulb. If you choose a bulb planter without this mechanism, you will have to cover the bulb by hand.
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.
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 – as long as you keep them well maintained and clean.
It is 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 a useful feature 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 that back! The biggest benefit of using a long handled bulb planter compared to a ‘short handled’ one is that it will allow you to avoid crouching, so it’s only worthwhile if it actually does permit you to work without stooping!
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Long Handled Bulb Planter Reviews
Bulldog Premier Bulb Planter Review
This Bulldog Premier Bulb Planter is an attractive tool that has an FSC certified American Ash handle and a solid forged-steel head.
Again, I found it to be sturdy to use. The tread was comfortable on the foot and felt strong, showing no signs of bending or breaking even with quite heavy pressure.
The tool cuts out a clean cone of soil or turf making it easy to replace the divot neatly. The edge is not notched or serrated so can require a little force, but it’s not overly taxing to use.
The ‘T’ handle provides good leverage and the head has a diameter of 7 cm making it suitable for even large bulbs.
This the best long handled bulb planter because it’s sturdy, works well, and makes light work of mass bulb plantings.
Joseph Bentley Stainless Steel Long Handled Bulb Planter Review
This Joseph Bentley Long Handled Bulb Planter features an FSC certified wooden handle and a stainless-steel head. The head of the bulb planter has tread-edged wings allowing you to push the head of the tool cleanly into soil with your boot.
This bulb planter is sturdy and well made. Its deeply-notched edge cuts through even tough turf and compacted soil with ease.
Even after an afternoon’s work, it showed no signs of wear or damage on the stainless-steel head. The head has a diameter of 7 cm making it suitable for even large bulbs.
To use this bulb planter, you simply insert it into the soil to the depth required, depending on the bulb you are planting. The beautifully shaped, smooth T handle allows you to twist the tool to push it into the soil more easily. The tool has a handy depth scale etched along the head to make it easy to get just the right depth. When you remove the tool, it comes out with the plug of soil inside. The tool makes a nice neat hole in soil or turf. Once you have planted the bulb you simply release the plug out of the hole to fill in the area above the bulb. The soil is easily released from the smooth stainless head with a light tap. I usually firm the soil down with some light pressure from my boot and I am ready to plant the next bulb.
This is a beautiful traditional tool that works really well and will take a lot of the back-breaking work out of planting your bulbs. I would highly recommend it, especially if you are planting in grass as this tool cuts through turf with ease. It makes a neat hole so that the plug of soil and turf can be seamlessly replaced after planting.
Crest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb Planter Review
This Crest Garden Long Handled Automatic Bulb Planter has an automatic-release mechanism that releases the plug of soil back into the hole after planting.
It works well and is handy if you have sticky clay soil which is not always easily released by more traditional tools.
The long-handled bulb planter is sturdy and is durable enough for most soil conditions, plus the treads and handle are very comfortable to use. The release mechanism is also simple; just pull the trigger and the clod of soil is released.
An easy to use, good value, long-handled bulb planter that would be ideal for planting in garden beds and smooth lawns.
Long Handled Bulb Planter FAQs
A long-handled bulb planter can be used to 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 7 cm which should easily be enough for seed potatoes.
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 the integrated release mechanism.
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.