7 Best Bulb Planter Tools of 2024

Written by: - Growing Expert
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The Best Bulb Planter Tools

best bulb planter tools uk
  1. Best bulb planter for large quantities - ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planting Tool

  2. Best dibber tool - Spear & Jackson Elements Dibber

  3. Best long handled bulb planter - Spear & Jackson Traditional Long Handle Bulb Planter

  4. Best hand bulb planter - WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter Hand Tool

  5. Best lightweight long-handled tool - Kent & Stowe Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter

  6. Best budget hand tool - Draper 3082 Bulb Planter

  7. Best for hard ground - Syitcun Garden Auger Drill Bit

Bulb Planter Tool Reviews

Editors Choice

1. ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planting Tool[ SAVE 9% ]

Best bulb planter for large quantities

best bulb planter tools ProPlugger 5 in 1 Bulb Planting Tool
  • Makes it a lot easier to plant in hard or stony ground
  • Can be used to dig holes for small plants as well as bulbs
  • Depth rings make it easy to keep the depth of your holes accurate and consistent, more so than a bulb planter that just has measurement markings
  • Made from sturdy carbon steel - this isn’t a tool that’s going to break easily!
  • Collects up multiple soil plugs that can then be emptied out together, which is ideal when you have a large number of holes to dig/bulbs to plant
  • Long, padded handles make this tool comfortable to use even for long periods of time - saves you from bending

  • Heavier than other bulb planters
  • May not be worth the expenditure if you only have a couple of bulbs to plant
Type
Long Handled
Weight
2.49kg
Length
81.28cm
Handle Shape
T-Handle
Overall Score 5
Design
5
Ease of Use
5
Effectiveness
5

Some of the planting tools reviewed on this page are very basic, like the dibber, but the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Planting Tool sits on the opposite end of the scale. This was the largest, heaviest, and bulkiest planting tool that I tested, so I was very intrigued to see how it would compare to some of the simpler alternatives out there.

ProPlugger-5-in-1-Bulb-Planting-Tool-design

The ProPlugger 5-in-1 Planting Tool boasts a truly unique design – I’ve never actually seen a planting tool before that looks quite like this one.

It’s around 85 cm tall, meaning that you won’t need to bend to use it and it’s extremely sturdy thanks to the welded carbon steel construction. 

One of the best features of this tool are the depth rings. You can slide these rings on to adjust your planting depth – choose from either 2, 4, or 6 inches. There’s only one way to put each of the rings on, and only one place each of them can go, so whoever designed this tool really couldn’t have made things simpler. 

Most of the bulb planters that I reviewed were pretty versatile, but this one takes things to a whole new level.

In addition to planting bulbs and small plants, you can also use this tool for removing weeds with deep taproots, extracting soil samples, drip-edge fertilising trees and as a lawn/sod plugger.

ProPlugger-5-in-1-Bulb-Planting-Tool-ease-of-use

The ProPlugger couldn’t get much easier to use. All you need to do is place the tool over the area of soil you want to dig (after sliding on the appropriate depth ring), step down onto it, give it a twist, and pull it up.

It’s heavy, but this also means that you don’t need to use any force when digging holes. Rather than having to manually push this tool into the ground, the step, twist, and pull motion is all that is required.

The soil from your first hole ends up stored in the tool’s shaft. You can either turn the tool upside down to release the soil, or continue on with digging more holes. If you do the latter, all of the extra soil will join the first lot of soil you dug up, and you’ll be able to release everything together when you need to fill your holes back in. 

This was one of the most comfortable bulb planting tools that I tested. Its padded handles are appreciated when using the tool for extended periods of time, and the fact that you can stand up and work, rather than having to constantly bend over, is a big advantage.

ProPlugger-5-in-1-Bulb-Planting-Tool-effectiveness

The ProPlugger 5-in-1 Planting Tool is extremely effective at planting bulbs. It’s not a tool that I would use for small bulbs that need to be planted just beneath the surface of the soil, but it’s ideal for larger bulbs that need to sit a little deeper, such as tulips.

Interestingly, even when I used the tool on stony and wet soil, it never once blocked. The soil neatly fell out of it each and every time, making it easy to cover the newly-planted bulbs back over.

In addition to using this tool for bulb planting, I wanted to test out some of its other uses too. I didn’t have much weeding, fertilising, or soil sampling to do, but I did have a few small potted rosemary plants that were waiting to be planted out. So, rather than using a spade like I usually would, I turned to the ProPlugger. I’m glad I did, because using a spade to dig a planting hole in the hard ground is always back-breaking work – the ProPlugger made that so much easier!

The hole that it created wasn’t quite large enough for the plants that I had, but I got around this by digging a second hole right next to the first, which therefore doubled the size of the first hole.

The ProPlugger is clearly a tool designed for larger-scale plantings – it’s the best bulb planter for large quantities of of bulbs. However, it’s not really worth the money if you only have a handful of bulbs to plant.

The exception would be if you’ve been struggling to dig through hard ground – this tool makes that effortless.

However, if you’re planting in bulk, whether this be bulbs, seedlings, bedding plants, or anything else, I would highly recommend the ProPlugger – it’ll help you to get the job done significantly faster.

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Runner Up

2. Spear & Jackson Elements Dibber

Best dibber tool

best bulb planter tools Spear & Jackson Elements Dibber
  • Strong and robust made from epoxy and ash wood - gives it a strength that many other dibbers lack
  • Versatile enough to be used for bulbs, seedlings, and small plants
  • Sharp, tapered head easily penetrates through hard and stony ground without much force required
  • Can be used with either one or two hands
  • Relatively worm-friendly, especially when compared to some other bulb planters

  • 29 cm length means that you’ll have to bend over or get down on your hands and knees when using the dibber
  • Creates a smaller hole than other bulb planters, which isn’t suitable for large flowering bulbs, such as tulips
Type
Dibber
Weight
0.18kg
Length
29cm
Handle Shape
T-Handle
Overall Score 5
Design
5
Ease of Use
5
Effectiveness
5

I was curious to see how Spear & Jackson’s Elements Dibber would hold up to the hard and stony ground around my farm.

A dibber isn’t a complicated tool – it’s simply a stick with a tapered end that you can use to poke holes into the ground. It’s a tool that most gardeners will already have, but the problem with many of the mass-produced dibbers available today is that they aren’t robust enough – push them too hard and they’ll end up breaking. 

I had several bulbs to plant, from tiny onion sets to plump garlic cloves to chunky tulip bulbs, giving me plenty of opportunities to test this award-winning tool out.

Spear-&-Jackson-Elements-Dibber-design

According to Spear & Jackson, this dibber was designed to create holes in the ground for seeds, seedlings, and small bulbs. It features a weatherproof ash-wood handle and an epoxy-coated head. Epoxy is a natural, eco-friendly resin with a low environmental impact. It’s also an extremely strong material, making it ideal for a tool such as this.

In terms of measurements, the dibber is 29 cm long in total, and the spike/head is 12 cm. While dibbers are available in many different sizes, this one seems ideal for bulb planting.

Spear-&-Jackson-Elements-Dibber-ease-of-use

When it comes to planting tools that are easy to use, it doesn’t get much simpler than a dibber.

I like that it can be used with either one or two hands. Two hands were definitely needed for the hard ground on my farm, but on softer ground I was able work really quickly with the dibber in one hand and a bulb in the other. 

The only real downside to this tool is that it doesn’t have any depth measurement markings on it. This is something that most bulb planters usually have, and it does make life a little easier when you’re planting a variety of bulbs that need to go in at different depths. However, if you’ve planted plenty of bulbs before, it’s easy enough to estimate how deep you need to push the dibber in to obtain your required depth. 

It’s worth noting that if you have any mobility issues, this may not be the product for you. Seeing as it’s just 29 cm long, you’ll need to be down on your hands and knees while using it. This is something that I prefer to do anyway when planting bulbs, so it wasn’t an issue for me, but it would pose a problem for those who find it difficult to bend. However, Spear & Jackson do produce a long-handled alternative.

Spear-&-Jackson-Elements-Dibber-effectiveness

The tapered head on this dibber was sharp enough to go through both hard, stony ground, as well as cardboard (plus hard, stony ground underneath cardboard) without too much effort required on my part, making it a highly effective tool.

No matter the type of soil you use it in, it produces a neat, conical-shaped hole that’s perfect for small bulbs. I found it to be most beneficial when planting garlic, onions, and small flower bulbs such as crocuses. The hole that it created wasn’t quite deep or wide enough for the tulip bulbs that I was planting – I ended up using a different bulb planter for these.

It’s worth noting that this was the most worm-friendly bulb planting tool that I tested, possibly because it created the smallest hole compared to the rest.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a single thing that I disliked about this dibber. It may be basic compared to some of the other bulb planting tools I tested, but, sometimes, that’s all you really need. Overall, I’d say it’s the best dibber tool available.

It has clearly been made with quality as a priority (it’s not going to snap in your hands like many of the other dibbers out there), making it a bargain for what it costs. Plus, its simplicity enables it to be incredibly versatile – you’ll be able to use it to plant bulbs, seeds, seedlings, and even small plants

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Also Good
  • Has a longer handle than similar models from other brands (100 cm), making this one even kinder on the back
  • The depth markings provide both imperial and metric measurements, meaning that you can easily follow the depth guidelines that come with your bulbs without any maths required
  • Wide foot treads so can be used whilst wearing thick boots
  • The wide diameter is perfect for a variety of different flower bulbs
  • Handle feels particularly robust and sturdy

  • Difficult to push into hard or stony ground
  • Wet soil sticks to the head of the planter, which can make it a little messy and difficult to emptying out
Type
Long Handled
Weight
1.8kg
Length
100cm
Handle Shape
T-Handle
Overall Score 4.7
Design
5
Ease of Use
5
Effectiveness
4

A brand that’s very well known in the gardening sphere, Spear & Jackson produce a huge range of different tools, one of which is their Long Handle Bulb Planter. According to the brand, this tool was created to take the strain out of bulb planting. Since I had a few hundred spring bulbs to plant around my farm, I was hoping that this promise would hold true!

Spear-&-Jackson-Traditional-Long-Handle-Bulb-Planter-design

This bulb planter definitely feels very robust and sturdy, and a closer look at the materials used to create it explains why. It features a weatherproof hardwood handle, which joins onto a polished stainless steel head. The tool measures 1 m in length, which is 5 cm longer than the very similar Kent & Stowe Bulb Planter (also featured on this page). The T-grip handle on this one feels a little tougher as well. 

This bulb planter has been designed with wide foot treads, meaning that you won’t have an issue using it even when wearing thick boots. It also features a treaded head, designed to enable the tool to slice into the soil more effectively, along with depth markings etched into the steel. These offer measurements in both metric and imperial units, which is definitely handy!

Spear-&-Jackson-Traditional-Long-Handle-Bulb-Planter-ease-of-use

You won’t need any instructions for this bulb planter (which is a good thing since there aren’t any!) – it really is very straight forward to use. Place it over your chosen area of soil and then step onto the foot treads. Twist the tool as it makes its way downwards, and it should neatly slice into the soil, collecting the plug into its conical head as it does so.

At 1.8 kg, it’s relatively light, yet still has just enough weight behind it to mean that you shouldn’t need to use too much force. That said, if you’re using it on harder ground, extra pressure is definitely needed. However, unlike the Kent & Stowe bulb planter, the handle on this one feels as though it’ll hold up to being used in a slightly rougher way. 

When it comes to emptying the soil out of the tool, you have two options. Either turn the tool upside down and let the soil fall neatly out, or dig another hole. The soil that the tool collects from this hole will push the old soil out of the bulb planter and leave it neatly on the ground, ready for you to re-fill your first hole with. 

Spear-&-Jackson-Traditional-Long-Handle-Bulb-Planter-effectiveness

As mentioned, I used this bulb planter to help me plant several different spring bulbs around my garden. Its diameter, which ranges from 68 mm at the tip of the head to 87 mm, is a little large for vegetable bulbs, such as onion sets and garlic cloves, but it’s ideal for flowers. It enabled me to quickly and easily plant tulips (both large and dwarf), Russian snowdrops, anemones, and crocuses. 

I also used it for a while when planting wild garlic, but ended up going with the dibber instead, simply because the soil in that area was too hard for this tool to work effectively. I would also avoid using this tool in wet soil – it ends up wedged into the head, and you’ll need to use your hands to push it out each time. 

If you’re looking for a tool that’ll help you to plant bulbs in hard or stony ground, look elsewhere (I would recommend the ProPlugger or the Auger Drill Bit for this). However, if your ground is relatively soft, the Spear & Jackson Traditional Stainless Long Handle Bulb Planter is ideal.

It may look very similar to many of the long-handled bulb planters available from other brands, but, in my opinion, this one is a little stronger and sturdier. I also think it’s the best long handled bulb planter because the slightly longer shaft will be a bonus for those of you who, like me, are taller than average.

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4. WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter Hand Tool

Best hand bulb planter

best bulb planter tools WOLF Garten FHN Bulb Planter Hand Tool
  • Bright red and yellow handle makes it difficult to lose this tool in the garden
  • Automatic soil-release feature makes filling holes back in so much easier
  • The measurement markings enable you to dig holes to the exact depth you need
  • 6 cm planting diameter can be used for flowering bulbs of various sizes
  • Works on grassy areas and mulched spaces as well as clear soil

  • Doesn’t effectively slice through hard or stony ground
  • Wet soil prevents the automatic soil release feature from functioning properly
  • Since this is a hand tool, you’ll need to get down on your hands and knees or repeatedly bend over to use it
Type
Hand Tool
Weight
0.37kg
Length
38cm
Handle Shape
Fixed
Overall Score 4.3
Design
5
Ease of Use
4
Effectiveness
4

If you do an online search for the ‘best bulb planter tools’, you’ll likely come across products from several different brands that look exactly like the WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter Hand Tool. However, with WOLF-Garten being a brand that’s known for their innovation and quality, I was hoping that their version of this classic bulb planter would outshine the rest and make it easy for me to plant a variety of spring-flowering bulbs around my farm.

WOLF-Garten-FHN-Bulb-Planter-Hand-Tool-design

This hand tool, which is intended for both bulbs and small plants, is designed to be used in areas where you have limited space, such as densely-packed flowerbeds. It’s made from stainless steel, which gives it a robust feel, and it has a bright red and yellow plastic handle that I instantly loved – the colours make it much harder to “lose” the tool in the garden! The handle is also designed with a button that can be squeezed to open the tool to release the plug of soil.

There are clear measurements marked onto the side of this bulb planter, with the deepest it can go being 10 cm.

As I mentioned, there are so many bulb planting tools out there that look just like this one (although the handle on WOLF-Garten’s is probably the brightest of the lot!), so while this classic design may not be anything revolutionary, it also doesn’t really have any flaws.

WOLF-Garten-FHN-Bulb-Planter-Hand-Tool-ease-of-use

This WOLF-Garten bulb planter is extremely simple to use. All you need to do is place it down onto the soil, and then twist and push it in until you’ve reached your desired depth. Then, lift it out and you’ll see the soil plug held between the tool’s circular blades. 

Once you’ve planted your bulb, hold the tool over the hole and squeeze the handle. This causes the tool to open up and drop the plug of soil that it was holding. 

Although simple to use, how easily it works will depend on the type of soil. I struggled to use this bulb planter in heavy and stony soil – it required a fair amount of pressure to get to the appropriate depth, and there were some parts of my garden where I couldn’t get the tool in more than a couple of centimetres deep. 

However, on lighter soil, it really couldn’t be easier to use.

WOLF-Garten-FHN-Bulb-Planter-Hand-Tool-effectiveness

I used this bulb planter to plant a variety of spring bulbs, including anemones, tulips, daffodils, and crocuses. Its 6 cm diameter made it suitable for all of these bulbs, even though there was a significant size difference between the tulips and the crocuses. 

As mentioned, I found this bulb planter to be most effective on the soft soil in my raised flowerbeds – I was able to use it one-handed for the majority of the time. That said, I did use it on grass, and over a dried grass clipping mulch too, and it cut through both of these well. 

The main issues were with wet soil and hard/stony soil. Damp soil seems to stick to the tool rather than dropping out when you squeeze the handle, but give it a nudge with your fingers and it should slide out. When it comes to hard and stony soil, this tool is near-impossible to push into the ground. I found the dibber that I tested to be a better hand tool when planting in stony ground, while the ProPlugger was my favourite for hard ground.

The WOLF-Garten FHN Bulb Planter Hand Tool performed exactly as I expected it to. It’s not a planter that I would recommend to anyone that has overly hard or stony soil, but, for everyone else, this clever little tool will make the bulb planting process so much faster. 

It’s very similar to the Draper 3082 Bulb Planter (also on this page), but the WOLF-Garten just pips it to the post as the best hand bulb planter. It works well for planting bulbs in soft soil, and the 6 cm diameter suits a range of plants. Plus, the colour stands out in the garden so it’s hard to misplace.

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5. Kent & Stowe Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter

Best lightweight long-handled tool

best bulb planter tools Kent & Stowe Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter
  • Its long handle means that you can dig your holes (and fill them back in) without having to bend over
  • The planting diameter is perfect for flowering bulbs of all sizes
  • The measurement markings (both metric and imperial) on the side make it easy to keep your holes at a consistent depth
  • Foot treads are relatively wide - can wear thick wellies and still push down effectively
  • Works well on soft, cultivated soil

  • The handle looks wooden, but it doesn’t feel as strong as it should - when too much force is applied it feels a little weak
  • Not effective on hard or stony ground
  • Wet and sticky soil clumps onto the head of this bulb planter, which can be frustrating each time you try to empty the soil out
Type
Long Handled
Weight
2kg
Length
109cm
Handle Shape
T-Handle
Overall Score 4.3
Design
4
Ease of Use
5
Effectiveness
4

If you’re looking for a way to plant bulbs that doesn’t involve getting down on your hands and knees, then a long-handled planting tool, such as the Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter from Kent & Stowe, is what you need. This garden tool supposedly makes life easier when planting bulbs and small plants, so I was excited to put it to the test with all of the spring bulbs that were waiting to be planted around my farm.

Kent-&-Stowe-Traditional-Long-Handled-Bulb-Planter-design

At first glance, this bulb planter looks pretty impressive. It’s 109 cm long, made from stainless steel that has been fitted with a wooden T-grip handle. On closer inspection, I suspect that this may just be a wood veneer (although I can’t say for sure), as it doesn’t seem quite as heavy or tough as pure wood. Nevertheless, it still feels pretty sturdy for the job in hand. 

The base of this bulb planter is serrated, which should help it easily slice into a variety of terrain types. The foot treads that sit above this are relatively wide – even if you’re wearing chunky wellies, you should still get a good grip. 

This bulb planter is roughly 7 cm in diameter – it has a conical shape, so is slightly narrower at the base and then wider at the top. There are depth markings etched onto the side, ranging from 0 – 10 cm, and these are clearly visible. 

All in all, a pretty impressive design. It’s quite simple, but that’s often all you need.

Kent-&-Stowe-Traditional-Long-Handled-Bulb-Planter-ease-of-use

There’s nothing complicated about using this bulb planter. Simply place it onto your soil and then step down onto the foot treads, twisting the tool as you do so. As it digs into the ground, the soil that it removes is held within the planter’s conical head – once you lift the tool out, you’ll see the plug. 

You then have two options. Place your bulb into the hole and then turn the bulb planter upside down to release the soil over the top of the bulb. Alternatively, move on to dig your second hole. As you do so, the new soil that enters into the cone will push the old soil out of the top. Leave it on the ground and carry on digging all of your holes. Once dug, you can move along them with your bag of bulbs, dropping one into each hole, before filling them in with the soil plug that’s sitting beside each hole. 

This makes it a very efficient tool for bulb planting.

I found that this bulb planter was noticeably easier to use on soft, cultivated soil compared to some of the harder and stonier ground that I have around my farm, but that’s to be expected. Its longer handle definitely made the bulb-planting sessions easier on my back, and the fact that this tool is pretty lightweight (1.7 kg) means that it isn’t cumbersome to carry around. 

Kent-&-Stowe-Traditional-Long-Handled-Bulb-Planter-effectiveness

I used this bulb planter to plant a variety of spring bulbs, including tulips, daffodils, anemones, and snowdrops. Some went into raised beds, others went into hard and uncultivated soil, and several went into lawn.

Out of the three, this bulb planter was most effective when I was planting into raised beds and grass/lawn. It can be used on harder ground to an extent, but I found that I had to use quite a bit of force to dig down to the desired depth – I felt that doing this too often might cause the handle to break.

It’s also a little inconvenient to use on wet soil – the soil sticks to the head of the tool and you’ll need to use your hands to push it off, although this isn’t a major issue.

In terms of size, this bulb planter is ideal. The 7 cm diameter is suitable for a range of bulb sizes, and I made the most of the measurement markers to dig each hole to the perfect depth every time. 

If I needed to plant large quantities of bulbs into hard ground, this isn’t the tool that I would use (I’d recommend the ProPlugger instead). However, if your ground is relatively soft, or if you’re planting into grass, then the Kent & Stowe Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter will help you to get the job done quickly. It’s one of the best bulb planters if you want a long-handled tool with a simple, lightweight design.

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6. Draper 3082 Bulb Planter[ SAVE 30% ]

Best budget hand tool

best bulb planter tools Draper 3082 Bulb Planter
  • 6 cm planting diameter is perfect for flowering bulbs of varying sizes
  • Easy to use, with the soil release feature being simple and quick to use
  • Measurement markings on the side make it easy to dig holes of the perfect depth
  • Automatic soil release feature is extremely convenient for filling holes back in
  • Capable of cutting through grass and mulched ground, as well as general soil

  • Struggles to cut through hard and stony ground
  • Wet soil sticks to the tool rather than being released when you press the button
  • Requires you to get down on your hands and knees to use the tool
Type
Hand Tool
Weight
0.01kg
Length
23.4cm
Handle Shape
Fixed
Overall Score 4.3
Design
5
Ease of Use
4
Effectiveness
4

Draper is a British brand that’s loved for its extensive range of hand and power tools. Some are innovative, complex, and powerful, while others are simple classics, like the 3082 Bulb Planter. You’ll see many similar versions of this bulb planter around, so I was curious to see how Draper’s model would compare.

Draper-3082-Bulb-Planter-design

The Draper 3082 Bulb Planter may be lightweight, but it feels like a durable tool. It’s made from chrome-plated steel and is fitted with a green plastic handle with a button that can be squeezed to trigger the tool’s soil-release feature. 

There are two measurement markings on the side of this bulb planter: 5cm and 10cm, with 10cm being the maximum depth that this tool will dig down to. 

As mentioned, the Draper 3082 Bulb Planter has a very similar design to its competitors. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – it’s clearly a reliable design, and there were no immediate flaws that I could see. 

Draper-3082-Bulb-Planter-ease-of-use

Even if you’ve never seen a bulb planter before, it won’t take you long to figure out how to use this one. Simply place it over your chosen spot of soil and then slowly twist it back and forth, allowing the blades to slice into the ground. Once you’ve reached your desired depth (this is where the measurement markings come in handy – not all bulb planters have them), pull the planter back out of the ground. You’ll see the soil plug that you’ve just dug out being held in the tool’s grip.

You can then sit a bulb in the hole that you’ve just made, before holding the bulb planter over the top of it. Squeezing the handle is easily done, and sees the soil plug fall neatly out of the tool and into the hole. Firm it down and then move on to the next! 

As you can see, there’s not much to it. The only time the tool was difficult to use was on hard and stony ground. Even after exerting a fair amount of pressure (which you’re not meant to do), I couldn’t push the planter in deep enough.

Draper-3082-Bulb-Planter-effectiveness

I used the Draper 3082 Bulb Planter to plant a selection of spring bulbs, including Russian snowdrops, tulips, crocuses, and wild garlic. Its 6 cm diameter was perfect for all of them. I did also give this tool a go when planting onion sets, but the hole that it created was too large. 

It may be lightweight but this well-designed tool means that you shouldn’t have to use much force to get results. It easily cuts through grass and mulch, although it does struggle in heavy and wet soil. It’s not a great one for stony ground either – it’s most effective on soil that’s soft and fluffy, which I found out when effortlessly planting tulip bulbs into a compost-filled raised bed. 

If your soil is particularly hard or stony, then this isn’t a tool that I would recommend (look into the Syitcun Auger Drill Bit or the ProPlugger tools that I also tested). However, if your soil is relatively soft and obstacle-free, the Draper 3082 Bulb Planter is an extremely useful tool to have around – no matter the type of flower bulbs you’re planting.

It’s one of the best budget hand tools, and it definitely speeds up the planting process.

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7. Syitcun Garden Auger Drill Bit

Best for hard ground

best bulb planter tools Syitcun Garden Auger Drill Bit
  • Powerful machine that allows bulbs to be planted in hard, compacted ground
  • The pointed tip makes it extremely easy to dig holes and plant bulbs into hard ground
  • Faster to use than other bulb planters, making it ideal for working in bulk
  • 4 cm diameter is perfect for smaller bulbs
  • Versatile tool that can be used to dig holes for other purposes, as well as for cement mixing

  • A little too savage for soft soil
  • Can be unsafe when using it on stony ground
  • Not kind to worms!
  • The soil from the holes that it digs ends up compacted within each hole, as opposed to being collected up for you to then use to refill the hole
  • 4c m diameter is a little too small for some bulbs, such as large tulip bulbs
Type
Auger
Weight
0.82kg
Length
22cm
Handle Shape
Drill
Overall Score 4.3
Design
5
Ease of Use
3
Effectiveness
5

Digging holes in hard soil is never an enjoyable task, but this Garden Auger Drill Bit was created to take the hard graft out of a challenging job. It claims to be able to dig hundreds of holes in just minutes – fortunately, I had hundreds of spring bulbs to plant around my farm, so I was more than ready to put this promise to the test.

Syitcun-Garden-Auger-Drill-Bit-design

This auger drill bit has been designed to fit into most cordless drills – so long as yours is at least 3/8” and 18 V, it should work just fine. Simply insert it as you would any other drill bit, lock it into place, and you’re good to go!

This feels like a pretty sturdy tool as soon as you hold it – it’s not something that’s going to snap as soon as it comes under pressure. This is thanks to the PCM steel that’s been used to create the spiral blades – not only is this a material that’s extremely strong, meaning that it won’t crack or break easily, but it also won’t rust or corrode. 

Syitcun-Garden-Auger-Drill-Bit-ease-of-use

Theoretically speaking, this auger drill bit should have been extremely simple to use. After all, just point it at the ground, turn your drill on, and hold on tight, right? This would be the case if you’re working with soft soil; although, chances are that you wouldn’t need such a savage bulb planting tool if your soil fits that criteria.

However, I found that when dealing with stony soil, I had to be very careful. With the drill on full power there was a real danger of it flying out of my hands if it came into contact with any rocks – with a force that could potentially cause injury. 

There are a couple of ways to get around this, with the first being to tone the power down. You could also try putting your drill into reverse. I did this by accident at first but found that it created a beautifully neat hole, so this is how I ended up using the tool when planting 250 crocus bulbs in the hard, stony soil underneath my lawn

While this planting tool may not be quite as easy to use at first as some of the others out there, things go much smoother (and faster) once you develop a technique that suits the soil you’re using it in. Once you’ve worked this out, the tool becomes much easier to use than the others – it requires the least amount of effort and force to dig a hole, even in hard ground.

On the downside, unlike the other bulb planters I tested, which neatly collect the soil that they remove from each hole, this one pushes it to the side and compacts it in. You won’t be able to refill the hole with the same soil, meaning that you’ll need to have extra soil or compost with you when planting. 

It’s also worth noting that due to the length of this drill bit, you’ll need to bend over for each hole that you dig. If this is an issue for you, but you like the idea of the auger drill bit, you could look into one of the longer/larger sizes available.

The tip is nicely pointed, which seems to come in handy for breaking hard ground. Plus, it also comes with a small hole punched into it – this enables you to hang the drill bit when storing it away, which is pretty convenient. In terms of size, the drill bit is 22 cm long and 4 cm wide, which gives it the potential to be used for a variety of different bulbs.

Syitcun-Garden-Auger-Drill-Bit-effectiveness

I found this auger drill bit to be extremely effective at planting bulbs. In fact, for bulbs that don’t need to be planted too deeply, such as onion sets and garlic cloves, it was a little too effective – I ended up using the Spear & Jackson Dibber for the majority of these (sometimes, you just don’t need this much power). The same applied to planting bulbs in soft soil – this tool is a little too brutal for that, and the worms definitely didn’t appreciate it.

However, this tool was brilliant for bulbs that needed to be planted a few inches down. In addition to the 250 crocus bulbs that it helped me to plant, I also used it for tulip bulbs of differing sizes (from large specialty tulip bulbs to smaller, dwarf varieties). 

I also appreciate how versatile this auger drill bit could be. It claims to also be helpful when it comes to planting bedding plants, mixing soil/cement, and digging holes for other purposes, and I can clearly see how this would be the case. 

Storm Arwen Update: Storm Arwen battered my farm, and while trees and sheds went flying, I didn’t expect it to affect the bulbs that I had planted a couple of weeks previously. However, I was wrong – the next morning, all 250 holes that I had dug for my crocus bulbs were uncovered. I didn’t have this issue with the bulbs that I planted using any of the other bulb planters, so I’m assuming it was because the auger compacted the soil into the sides of the holes to such an extent that the new soil I added in never properly merged with the old soil. 

I couldn’t see any bulbs in the holes (I’m hoping they were further down) but I re-covered the holes anyway and have my fingers crossed for spring! Since these were pretty extenuating circumstances, I haven’t detracted any points from my scoring of the product, but it’s worth a mention for those of you who live in storm-prone areas.

If, like me, you’ve wasted countless hours struggling to plant bulbs into hard ground, then this auger drill bit will be a huge game-changer – I’m surprised it took me this long to try one out!

It’s absolutely genius, and the best bulb planter tool for planting into hard soil.

It’s not a tool that I would recommend for soft and fluffy ground, but, for everything else, this clever little device will save you so much time and energy. It’s one that I’ll definitely be turning to time and time again over the years!

Did you find this review helpful?

Product Testers

Landscape Gardener
Growing Expert

We thoroughly researched and tested multiple different bulb planter tools to offer you our recommendations on the best bulb planters available to date. We assessed their design, ease of use, effectiveness at planting bulbs, and value for money. Here are the factors that we considered when evaluating each of those features:

Design: For design, we examined how sturdy the build was, how heavy it was, and what materials it was made from to determine its ability to stand up to repetitive use, especially in hard, stony soil. Those made from stainless steel or carbon steel were given the best ratings, as these were the most hard-wearing.

Being able to adjust the planting depth for different bulbs secured the bulb planter tool a higher rating, as did depth markers, as these enabled you to easily see how deep the hole was. Better ratings were given if the bulb planter had additional features that made it more versatile, like including 5 tools in 1. Stand-up models with wide foot treads were rated higher than those with narrower treads, as the latter didn’t accommodate thick wellies, which made them less versatile. Automatic soil-release features were also given higher ratings. We even considered how worm-friendly the different designs were so we don’t hurt our little garden helpers!

Ease of Use: If the tool was easy to use with little effort needed on your part, even in tough soil, then it was rated much higher. This included bulb planters with longer handles, as this made them more accessible to all; you don’t have to bend down to use them, and they require minimal effort, meaning they can be used for long periods. If anything on it was adjustable (like the planting depth), we assessed how simple and easy it was to adjust it. If it did not have adjustable planting depth or at least planting depth markers, it scored lower because these required much more effort to assess the depth yourself. We also gave the bulb planter tool better scores if it collected multiple soil plugs or if it only collected a single soil plug, whether it was easy to pop out and could be used to refill the holes once the bulbs were planted.

Effectiveness: Each bulb planter’s effectiveness at planting bulbs was a significant factor to consider. We tested how well it made the holes in different kinds of dirt: soft dirt, wet dirt, grass and mulch, and even hard, rocky soil. We also considered whether each bulb planter was suitable for soft dirt only (many products) or hard dirt only (the auger) or if it was versatile enough to be used in any soil type (Pro-Plugger).

Value for Money: Only some tools were suitable for all jobs, so we considered this when determining their value for money. For instance, the larger, bulkier tools were ideal for many large bulbs but would not be practical if you only had a few small bulbs to plant. We examined the small tools for smaller bulbs to see how well they worked, but also if those same small tools could be used for larger bulbs, requiring you to buy just one tool; this influenced their value for money rating. These factors, as well as the bulb planter tool’s overall design and price point, were evaluated when we considered its value for money.

Alina's Smart Buying Tips

  1. Bulb planters take a lot of the strain out of planting flower beds, saving on hours spent kneeling and bending. First, you’ll need to decide if you want a long or short-handled tool. Short-handled dibbers are great for simplicity. They quickly make small holes, perfect for small bulbs and seedlings.
  2. If you’re planting a lot of larger bulbs, use a bulb planter hand tool that removes plugs of earth. This tool creates uniform holes, and fills them in again, in two simple steps. Look for a width of around 60 mm, and depth marking on the side – something that can be really useful when planting different types of bulb. 
  3. To save yourself from any bending, choose a long-handled bulb planter. Look for one that is between 80 – 100 cm in length in order to spare your back. Wide foot treads can help make the job easier as well, leaving plenty of room to push the tool into the ground.
  4. As with all garden equipment, the best bulb planter tool will be made from durable materials that won’t buckle when used in hard soil. Look out for powder-coated steel that will retain its edge and resist rust.

After testing several different bulb planters, we’ve chosen the ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planting Tool as our top choice. It’s a long-handled tool that’s great for larger bulbs. It comes with depth rings to help make 5 cm, 10 cm or 15 cm holes. There are also large foot treads that help push it into the soil and comfortable, padded handles. Overall, it made planting bulbs, and covering the holes, a much easier job. 

READ NEXT: When Should You Plant Bulbs – A Seasonal Guide

Compare Product Features

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  • ProPlugger 5-in-1 Bulb Planting Tool
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    • 5
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  • Kent & Stowe Traditional Long Handled Bulb Planter
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  • Draper 3082 Bulb Planter
    best bulb planter tools Draper 3082 Bulb Planter
    • 4.3
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    • 0.01kg
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  • Syitcun Garden Auger Drill Bit
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    • 4.3
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    • 0.82kg
    • 22cm
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