Transplanting seedlings into the garden can be a long and arduous task if you have a larger garden. Whether you’re planting out peat pots or taking seedlings out of six packs or other reusable pots, it can take a lot of time.
This year we had the idea of using a bulb planter to help speed the job along, and keep it simple and straightforward.
This works particularly well in a raised bed; and when planting tomatoes, peppers, and other plants which benefit from additions of bone meal or other nutrients beneath the planting site.
The bulb planter can fashion a nice double deep hole with ease, making it simple to stir in your soil amendments and then drop in the plant in a few quick moves.
The bulb planter has the added benefit of having a sharp circular edge which cuts through the soil very easily, so it moves fast. Even in heavy straw mulch, just twisting as you go will neatly wrap the straw and remove it from the hole in a near perfect cylindrical hole every time.
When planting peat or coir pots, the added benefit is that the standard bulb planter is almost exactly the diameter of a standard 3inch pot – no muss no fuss. Just drill your hole, drop in the seedling and use the soil and mulch picked up by the planter to place a nice layer of organic matter up around the seedling and press into place.
Finally, if you’re like most gardeners, you may already have one of these nifty tools in your shed, so all you need to do is go get it out of the shed, give it a good cleaning, and off you go.
Do be sure to wash it well if it has been used for bulb planting in the past and not cleaned; as tools can pick up microbes, plant diseases and even tiny weed seeds depending where they are used (in that slightly unkempt flower bed out front, for instance); and you do not want to transfer these to your vegetable garden. Use straight White Vinegar as either spray or wipe-down after washing to disinfect the tool.
Worst case, if you don’t have a bulb planter, consider picking one up on Craigslist or at a local shop; they are very inexpensive – usually around $5 or $6.
Then you’ll have the tool that makes out-planting of your vegetable garden seedlings simple, as well as an inspiration to plant more bulbs this coming fall.