Bulbs like Tulips and Daffodils are a great way to enhance your garden’s visual appeal. Unlike seeds, bulbs are preferred since they are easy to plant and maintain. It’s easy to plant a couple of bulbs with a hand trowel, but if you have to plant many bulbs, it can become a burden for your back to spend the entire day stooping or kneeling.
A bulb planter digs, loads, and drops soil in a straightforward action, thus simplifying the planting of bulbs. They not only make the job easier, but most have help achieving the correct working depth. It is necessary to prevent tall bulb plants from toppling over and falling into the ground, so that plant branches don’t have to reach too far for light. Some bulb planters are manual, while others are powered by a conventional electric or battery-operated drill.
A bulb planter is handy if you plant bulbs and want to save time and maximize digging efficiency. In this article, I will show how to use a bulb planter and answer some questions about bulb-planting tools.
- 1 Is A Bulb Planter Worth It?
- 2 Can You Grow Bulbs in Containers?
- 3 Can You Leave Bulbs in Pots All Year Round?
- 4 How Does a Tulip Bulb Planter Work?
- 5 How do you plant bulbs with a drill?
- 6 What Is the Purpose of a Bulb Basket?
- 7 Do bulb baskets work?
- 8 How Do You Plant Bulbs in A Bulb Basket?
- 9 Can Bulbs Be Planted in Hanging Baskets?
Is A Bulb Planter Worth It?
Bulb planters are undoubtedly worth it since they simplify planting jobs. These tools create holes in the ground at just the right depth for inserting bulbs. There are both short and long-handle versions.
Bulb planters can help ease the digging process as you don’t have to completely rip out the soil bed or create a trench deep enough. Sometimes, when you have tight working spaces in your garden, this tool is handy as it ensures that your plantation stays unaffected by digging.
Using a bulb planter, you press down on the soil while twisting it right and left, creating a hole at a certain depth just before you pull out some soil mass. After that, insert the bulb into the hole and fill it with soil until completely covered.
I recommend the more back-friendly long-handle bulb planter if you must plant many bulbs.
Can You Grow Bulbs in Containers?
Bulbs can be grown relatively easily in containers. By planting bulbs in containers, you can control their placement, relocate them to a warmer or cooler place, and set them on your balcony, stairs, porch, or any location where they create the best aesthetic appeal.
Ensure that the containers get enough water. You could use a small automatic drip irrigation system if you have one or multiple containers.
· How to Grow Bulbs in Containers?
– Step 1: Bedding
Gather some fresh potting soil and a clean, dried container. Put at least 2 inches of potting soil at the base of your container.
– Step 2: Planting
Set your largest bulb in the pot with the sharp end facing up. Tuck them in as you add more soil so they sit straight and don’t topple over. They should be closer but not touching when you place them. If you’re layering different bulbs in a big pot, start with the biggest ones at the bottom and add smaller ones one after the other. So that their roots have room to expand, leaving about an inch or two of dirt between each layer.
– Step 3: Layering Up
More soil should be added until about a half inch below the pot’s rim. This leaves room for drainage. Feed the bulbs in the new pots with plenty of water. Also, it would be best if you layered up the container with animal repellent to keep rodents and insects away.
Can You Leave Bulbs in Pots All Year Round?
You can leave bulbs in containers all year round. However, I recommend being careful during winter to avoid hard frost. Bulbs should be moved inside an unheated greenhouse in colder climates to prevent frost damage. However, bulbs will turn out better if they are dug up, scrubbed, and placed in a dry place before the sowing season comes again.
How Does a Tulip Bulb Planter Work?
A tulip bulb planter is a tool that helps cut out a plug of soil where the tulip can be placed. The removed soil can then be put back into the hole. There are versions with short and long handles. I recommend using a long-handle bulb planter to make the work more back-friendly, particularly if you must plant many of them.
Tulip bulbs are planted in the middle to the end of fall. Tulips are technically annual plants, but because they have undergone extensive breeding to produce the best blooms, most types only consistently bloom once a year.
Tulip Planting Procedure:
- Dig & Place: With a bulb planter, dig a planting hole and place the bulb with its sharp end up.
- Set the Depth & Distance: Tulip bulbs don’t need to be soaked before planting; place them 20 cm apart and at a depth roughly three times their height.
- Add Compost: Tulips flourish very well in containers. Use all-purpose compost, and plant the bulbs around three times their depth. I recommend using peat-free compost and leaving an inch or so between the individual bulbs. When done, add compost to the top.
- Group other Bulbs: You can combine other bulbs with tulips for a longer-lasting display, as some will last longer.
How do you plant bulbs with a drill?
A drill bit auger is a specialized bulb planter with a spiral auger connected to an electric drill. With the auger you can easily create holes for the bulbs, which is highly useful for locations with thicker and more challenging soil.
Manual bulb planters can require quite some physical effort from the user to drill holes in the soil. Drill bit augers are motorized tools specially designed for drilling holes in any surface. They consist of a metal shaft with a spiral blade, also known as flighting. Flighting cuts and removes the material from the surface which is being drilled. The drill driving the flighting could be electric, battery, or gas-powered.
The advantage of these powered tools lies in their efficiency and precision. They also offer better ease of operation when using a manual tool becomes challenging, such as drilling in hard ground whose soil has a significant clay content. Using a drill bit auger, you can quickly plant many bulbs with precisely drilled holes, even on surfaces that are difficult to dig manually.
What Is the Purpose of a Bulb Basket?
Basket bulbs are excellent for cultivating bulbs in large numbers. They make sure that bulbs are simple to find, carry, remove, and protect your bulbs from being eaten. The baskets make good storage containers. You can also bury a bulb basket in the ground, preserving the garden’s aesthetic value.
In its simplest form, a bulb basket is a metal or plastic cage with a movable lid and a mesh that is fine enough to prevent common pests from entering while still allowing stems and roots to pass through. When the bulbs’ flowering cycle is complete, all that is needed is to dig down to the basket, raise it, shake off the excess soil, and then store your bulbs in a cool, dry place.
Many businesses sell bulb baskets, especially those that focus on flower bulbs. They come in various sizes; larger baskets are used for bigger bulbs like tulips, and tiny baskets for smaller bulbs, like grape hyacinths.
Do bulb baskets work?
Bulb baskets make sowing and transporting bulbs incredibly simple and protect them from being eaten. The baskets often include grips that make working with them even more straightforward and ensure you don’t miss any bulbs buried beneath the earth.
Bulb baskets are helpful if you plan to take your bulbs in the autumn and preserve them for the winter. If you wish to design a planting strategy or pattern for your garden beds, the baskets make it possible to arrange your bulbs into tidy clusters.
They also help your bulbs develop strong roots in the soil. In addition, they can be helpful for vegetables of the spherical variety, such as shallots, garlic, and onions.
The baskets are perfect for planting crocuses, alliums, tulips, anemones, daffodils, irises, hyacinths, and various other plants since they can accommodate bulbs of any size.
How Do You Plant Bulbs in A Bulb Basket?
Planting bulbs in a basket is a good idea if you wish to plant many bulbs in a limited space. The bulb basket protects the bulbs from being eaten, making transporting and maintaining bulbs easier.
To plant bulbs in a bulb basket, use the following steps:
– Step 1: Get the bed ready
Over a garden plot that gets six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day, add a 2-inch coat of compost. Use a tiller to spread the compost further into the top 10 inches of the ground.
– Step 2: Dig Basket Holes
Create a hole bigger than the bulb basket in the prepped bed. The hole should be wide enough to ensure the tips of the bulbs within the basket are at the right depth for the plant type, which is often three times the bulb’s diameter.
– Step 3: Bury the Basket
Remove the lid and place the basket inside the opening. Add one inch of soil to the basket’s base.
– Step 4: Set the Bulbs in Place
Place the bulbs within the basket with the sharp edge pointing up. Little bulbs should generally be placed 2 to 4 inches apart, while larger bulbs should be placed up to 6 inches apart, depending on the type. Typically, five and seven bulbs for each basket are a good arrangement.
– Step 5: Put Soil in The Basket.
After adding soil, slowly water the basket to allow the soil to set. Once the hole is filled with soil, cover the basket. Thoroughly shower the soil to hydrate it down to the bulb depth evenly.
– Step 6: Mulch Your Bed.
Over the bed, apply a 2 inches coating of mulch. If the head of the basket remains exposed at the soil’s surface, the mulch conceals it and helps to keep moisture in the soil.
– Step 7: Close the lid
The last step is to close the lid. Regularly check how things are going, and water the bulbs if needed.
Can Bulbs Be Planted in Hanging Baskets?
If you want to add an aesthetic appeal to your garden, it is a good idea to plant bulbs in a hanging basket. Just ensure the basket gets the proper soil drainage conditions and sun exposure.
Bulbs such as Tulips, Narcissus, Crocus, Muscari, etc., can be planted in hanging baskets in large numbers. You can place these baskets in your garden, balcony, or wherever you find the right conditions.
While planting bulbs in hanging baskets, you need to ensure that the basket depth is adequate for the bulb types to be planted. Typically, the basket depth should be 3-4 times the bulb height. Moreover, you should ensure the soil bed provides the necessary drainage. To ensure this, you can add a layer of sand or gravel just at the basket base to improve drainage.
Moreover, for bulbs to flourish in hanging baskets, the following conditions are necessary:
- A Sunny Location
- Rich, fertilized Soil Mixture
- Temps Below 55°F
- Regular Watering
Bulbs also require proper care, including adequate compost / natural fertilizers, water, etc. It would be best to avoid frost, as it damages your plants.
For water, you can use self-watering planters. They use sub-irrigation to get water from a reservoir at the bottom of the basket to the roots of the plants or bulbs. Or, if you have multiple baskets, you could use a small automatic drip irrigation system.