© Abaroth 2022. Permission is given to reproduce for non-profit purposes only.

Home   Historic Sites   Models   Heraldry   Puzzles    Garden   Links


Making a Bulb Planter from Reclaimed Materials

Click thumbnails for larger images



Handle (I think mine came from a child's spade)
40mm / 1.5" Plastic Drainpipe

32mm / 1.25" Plastic Drainpipe

2 Champagne Corks
1 Wine Cork

2 x 25mm / 1" Screws
1 x 75mm / 3" Screw

1 x Metal Washer
Cocktail Sticks
Electrical Tape



Cutaway diagram showing the piston arrangement which serves to clear the plug of soil from the tube.


Step 1

Make a mark on the larger, outer tube 15cm /6" from one end. This will be the maximum hole depth. Mark the thinner tube at a length of 20cm / 8". This will form the piston.

Step 2

Mark both pieces at 17.5cm / 7". This marks the end of the slot in the outer tube and the screw hole in the inner one. Shown as Xs in the image.


Step 3

Move the inner tube till the end lines up with the X on the outer tube, and make a second mark to show the other end of the slot.

Step 4

Cut a second length of 15cm / 6" from the thinner tube. This forms a sheath to help hold the handle in my case, but may not be needed with a larger handle.

Step 5

The tube had a loose fit around the handle, and I made it tight by inserting four cocktail sticks between the two.



Step 6

The assembly was then slid inside the outer tube, and made secure using more cocktail sticks.

Step 7

Drill a hole through both plastic pipes.

Step 8

Insert a 2.5cm / 1" screw. Turn the piece over, and add a second screw near the other end of the handle.

Step 9

Cut the slot in the outer tube using a circular saw or angle grinder on slow speed.


Step 10

Insert a champagne cork in each end of the piston, and secure with more cocktail sticks. The lower cork will push out the soil plug, and the upper one will help secure the sliding handle.


Step 11

Insert a 75mm / 3" screw through the wine cork. Add a metal washer, then screw it through the slot and into the piston.


Step 12

Add bands of electrical tape to mark depths - I chose 5, 7.5, 10 and 15cm / 2, 3, 4 and 6" as these seem to be the most common depths for planting bulbs.

Step 13

Apply a couple of coats of furniture or decking oil to the wooden handle (if necessary).


The finished tool.



The first test using the planter:
YouTube Video



This may seem very over-engineered, but I use a bulb planter to plant out almost every plant on my allotment, and I know from experience that this tool will save me a lot of time next season.


Home   Historic Sites   Models   Heraldry   Puzzles    Garden   Links

Contact me with suggestions, comments or questions.

free page counter