How do You Use a Bulb Auger

If you want to plant bulbs the easy way, you might ask how do you use a bulb auger? 

Using a bulb auger is so simple, you’ll wonder why you never used one before!  Read on to learn about how to use a bulb auger. 

how do you use a bulb auger

I get commissions from links in this post

How do You use a Bulb Auger 

Bulb augers are like miniature post hole augers.  The best garden augers are long enough and wide enough that you can easily drop your bulb into the drilled hole and quickly move onto the next.  Plant augers make your bulb planting a breeze.  You save time and energy, able to get more work done in the garden thanks to how easy they are to use. 

What is a Bulb Auger?


A bulb auger, also known as a bulb planter, is a gardening tool used to dig holes for planting bulbs.

An auger for bulbs is a drill bit the you attach to your drill that is about 2 inches in diameter and made specifically to drill holes in the ground to the perfect depth for planting bulbs.

How do You use a Bulb Drill? 

A bulb auger is a drill bit that attaches to your drill. When you turn on your drill, the bit spins and drills into the ground to drill a hole for your bulbs and other plants in seconds. Let’s explain how to use a garden auger or bulb auger (same thing).    First, make sure that you buy a drill bit that is long enough to plant all your bulbs to the proper depth. 

How do You Attach a Bulb Auger to a Drill

Grab your cordless drill and your gardening gloves (knee pads too if you’ve got them).  Now, take your bulb auger drill bit and place the connector into your drill bit attachment in your drill and tighten it.  You drill should come with the special tool to tight bit attachments. Double check that the manual bulb auger drill bit is tight inside your drill. 

How to Use a Bulb Auger

Mark off where you want to plant your bulbs, usually a few inches apart, depending on the type of bulbs.  I use my bulbs to mark off the spots I want to drill.  Then place your bulb auger drill on the soil at 90 degrees and pull the trigger on your drill while gently pressing your drill downwards to drill the hole. Start out with the lowest speed setting on your drill, it’s probably the only setting that you’ll need because the holes are small and not very deep.

Some drills come with an attachment that you put on the side of the drill to help guide it steady and drill the holes perfectly straight down at a 90 degree angle.

Once the hole is deep enough for your type of bulb, you stop drilling.  Pull your bulb auger out of the hole and move the soil over to the side that came out with it.  You will use this to fill the hole back up on top of your bulb. 

Place your bulb gently in the hole and push the dirt back over top. 

Repeat this until all your bulbs are planted, give them some water, and wait until spring! 

How do You Plant Tulip Bulbs with an Auger? 

All bulbs are planted in the same way that we described above.  Tulips are typically planted 2 to 3 inches apart to have a full looking tulip garden or 4 to 6 inches apart for a more spaced out garden look.  They should be about 5 inches deep. 

What Size Auger for Bulbs?

So what size auger do you need to plant bulbs? Regular bulbs will only require a 2-4 inch auger bit. 2″ auger bits are pretty standard. Planting a 1-2 gallon tree will require a large auger. 5-7 inch augers are great for planting trees and large quart or 1 gallon plants, trees, post holes, shrubs, etc.

How Long are Bulb Augers?

Most bulb augers come in 6 inches and up to 30″ and sometimes even longer. You can get them in 8″, 10″, 12″ and everything up to 30″. Typically the longer your bulb auger, the better. This reduces the amount of bending over that you have to do which means less wear and tear on your body.

How Powerful Should my Drill be?

Cordless drills for bulb augers should be at least 18V and most folks have one around the house already.

Difference between a Bulb Auger and a Bulb Planter

Bulb Planting tools are different than bulb augers as you can see from the images and require more physical labor than a drill powered bulb auger.

Bulb Auger
Drill Powered Bulb Auger

How do You Use a Bulb Planting Tool?

A bulb planter is very simple for everyone to use, but will require more bending than a drill powered bulb auger, a clamshell digger, or a manual stand up auger. You simply place the jagged end of the bulb planter onto the ground where you want to plant your bulb and step on it to push it into the ground.

Move the planter around and it will loosen up the dirt for your bulb hole. Pull up the bulb plater tool and place your bulb in the hole. You then release the planter and the soil will drop back in the hole, covering you bulb with minimal effort.

It is important to note that bulb augers are designed for planting bulbs and not for removing roots, rocks or other obstacles in the soil. Use other tools like shovels, root saws, etc. to remove these instead.

Alternative Tools for Planting Bulbs

You could always use a clamshell digger or a plain old 2 inch manual auger to plant your bulbs as well. It will be a bit more work that using a bulb auger.

Clamshell Digger
Manual Bulb Auger


Preparing for a beautiful spring garden full of flowers starts in the fall, with planting bulbs.  Plant bulbs the easy way with the best bulb auger you can buy.  Everyone will love your amazing garden. 

What is the Best Bulb Auger?

The Garden Auger Drill Bit is one of the best planting augers out there. With its’ 16.5 inch long bit, you can whip through tons of holes without using your back too much.