Right now across the United States it is the season to plant bulbs and I have a solution to make it easier to do if you have a health condition that might prevent you from digging as heavily such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis – drill a hole for your bulbs! The Bulb Bopper® found at Gardeners.com is a bulb auguring attachment for a corded variable speed drill, 3.0 amp or larger for heavy soil or a cordless variable speed drill, 24 amp or larger for lighter soil (see above). Below is a chart from Longfield Gardens for your reference that let’s you know how deeply you need to plant bulbs. As a general reference, plant bulbs 2 to 3 times as deep as the bulb is tall.
When planting bulbs the last several seasons I have ended up with very sore wrists and back. Using the Bulb Bopper® was very easy – simply attach the tool onto a drill, then drill straight down into the ground, pull out the soil, knock it out with the dirt-knockout-stick, toss in a bulb, cover it back up. Do that about 300 times for all those daffodils and tulips. What I discovered is that this drill method makes my hands and wrists far less strained — it really works to lessen the pain levels on my back as well.
Using the Bulb Bopper® works great for medium to small bulbs, but makes for a very tight squeeze for large bulbs like the allium. It does, however, give you an advantage even with the larger bulbs because it “starts the hole” (much like you pre-drill holes in studs to start the hole for a larger screw). A couple times I had to double-drill — meaning I had to drill once, pull all the soil out, then drill again a little deeper to get to the correct depth. Soil that is very heavy is harder to drill through, so having not-too-wet and not-too-dry conditions can make it a simpler task. Overall I rate the Bulb Bopper® as a smart tool for planting bulbs and see it as an advantage for most gardeners.