This is how to plant bulbs with a serrated edged garden spade

The garden spade with serrated edges and calibrations etched into the scoop shaped head was designed to plant bulbs in containers, flower beds or in the lawn. The serrated edges cut through roots, tubers and even bags of fertiliser or compost  The pointed tip to the garden spade makes it easy to break up hard, stony or clay soils to make furrows for planting seeds or bulbs. The serrated edged garden spade is a versatile 6-in-1 garden tool, which has proven to be a winner when it comes to planting bulbs - in addition to it's many other uses around the garden.

Serrated edge garden trowel.jpg

There are still a couple of weeks left this autumn to plant garden bulbs ready for spring.  A colourful display of plants to welcome in the new growing season always brings so much joy to a garden of any size. Spring bulbs vary in the best time of the year to be planted so it is advisable to check before you plant. The RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) offers the following advice on when to plant bulbs:

  • Plant spring flowering bulbs in the autumn - daffodils, crocus and hyacinth should be planted end of September and tulips by the end of November
  • Hardy summer plants such as lilies, alliums and Crocosmia should be planted in September to October
  • Autumn flowering bulbs - in late summer
  • Summer flowering bulbs - planted early in the spring
  • Daffodils, snowdrops and tulips are among the easiest bulbs to grow

How to plant bulbs using a serrated-edged garden spade

Bulbs should be planted as soon after purchase as possible or within the advised time period to guarantee the best display of colour. Bulbs offer the best display when planted in groups of at least six.

Dig a hole wide and deep enough for your bulbs. A pointed garden spade with serrated edges allows for easy bulb planting because it will cut through roots and compact ground with ease. The garden spade or hand trowel from the Grumpy Gardener range of garden tools has inch and centimeter markings etched onto the stainless-steal head so you can readily gauge the correct depth to dig down.

How deep should you plant bulbs?

You can do this by measuring the bulb from base to tip using the centimeter or inch calbration on the front of the bulb-planting garden trowel. Take that measurement and double or triple the number. For example, a 5cm bulb should be 10-15cm below ground level.

Place the bulbs in the hole with their shoot facing upwards. Space them at least twice the bulb’s own width apart. Again the useful calibration on the Grumpy Gardener hand trowel will help you with accurate measurements. Replace the soil and gently firm with the back of the garden spade as demonstrated in the video. 

Bulbs can also be grown in containers such as tulips, lilies, arum lilies and alliums. For containers, bulbs should ideally be planted at three times their depth and one bulb width apart.

According to the RHS, to achieve a good flowering season for bulbs,  they need to be fed every seven to ten days with a high-potassium fertiliser. Feeding should commence as soon as shoots first appear, and stop feeding once the foliage starts to die back at the end of the season.

The garden spade with serrated edges is designed to dig into the ground severing any roots as it cuts through to make way for bulbs to be planted. Unlike traditional garden trowels or spades, which are used to scoop-up soil, this garden tool is designed to cut straight down as well as scooping up double the volume of soil which is particularly useful when transplanting in flower-beds or plant containers. It comes with a non-slip rubber gip handle for a secure hold even when digging into hard ground. The serrated-edged garden spade has also proven highly useful in digging out stubborn tap-rooted weeds.

Here are a few tips on gardening in autumn which you may find helpful too - Autumn Gardening Tips