Bulbs are a must for early spring colour, and if you haven’t yet planted yours, there’s still time. It can be a labour-intensive job, but having the right tools saves time. Here are a few options.
There are many different methods for planting bulbs depending on the type and number of bulbs and your soil type. A dibber is fine for smaller bulbs, you push it into soil –often they have a depth guide – and wiggle it around to make the hole. At Genus HQ, gardener Joff has been making short work of crocus planting with the Genus Hori Hori tool, as the sharp blade cuts easily into the ground. Trowels do a similar job and are fine if you don’t have too many bulbs or if the soil isn’t too heavy. Heart shaped trowels with a sharp end can also make the job easier.
A border spade saves time for planting lots of bulbs, as you can plant several bulbs in one big hole. But for more precision, specialised bulb planters are a useful bit of kit. The cone shaped metal head has a sharp edge around the bottom, sometimes serrated, which is pushed into the ground, cutting out a core of soil when it’s pulled out. Pop in your bulb and infill with soil. There are short-handled versions for getting close to your work, or if you want to save your back or knees, a long-handled version works well. Look out for with solid wood handles and steel heads. There are different sized heads from bumper sized ones for larger bulbs such as Allium christophii to much smaller heads for snowdrops and crocuses. There’s also a handy gadget called a bulb auger, which is attached to a hand held drill for speedy bulb planting. Happy planting!