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Posthole borer for planting

We have a job coming up to plant 2000 plants in 2lt pots in ground that has brick ends,rubble etc 

Has anyone used a petrol posthole borer for similar? We do know we need one with a clutch as the one's without are wrist breakers.

Be grateful for any thoughts.

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  • I had a similar amount of plants to put in on a new build development. The developer was a current client and I convinced them to buy a Stihl auger for the job, they bought the 6" and soil stirrer attachments with the power unit. One of the best tools ever! It made the job so much easier, at least 5x quicker and you can plant all day long! The soil stirrer (I don't know if it's actually called that) attachment made mincemeat out of heavy clay soil, planting was almost fun.

    I borrow the machine quite frequently now, I probably couldn't afford to buy it myself, but I highly recommend one for 2000 plants.

    • Thanks Sean, that's very helpful. What is the soil stirrer? Is this a different attachment to the traditional auger? What size auger or soil stirrer would you recommend for 2lt pots? Presumably you need a hole bigger than the pot to give some loose soil to tuck around the plant? Or did you just bore a hole more or less the same size as the plant and drop the plant in without backfilling? Thanks Peter 

  • PRO

    We use the Stihl auger, works for us well as speeds up job, even use it on bulb planting as we do some large numbers on that, we bought it for fencing but hardly ever use it for that!

    • How do you find the plants establish?  It sounds about as not by the book as you can get- circular hole, polished sides with hard ground the other side!

      • PRO

        We never found a problem with establishment and have planted everything from roses, herbaceous, shrubs, hedges, bulbs, it might not be by the book but never seem an issue with it, going to a site where we planted over 5000 plants this way 8 years ago and they are still thriving....


    Same here - we do a lot of planting at developements and a 6 or 8" auger is well suited to 2L & 3L pots. It's a cost effective means of mass planting by using a bit of a 'production' line - one laying out, one drilling, one planting and then going back and watering, firming in before mulching.

    Never had a problem with 'cicular, polished holes :) RHS make too much of these situations, like mass rose pruning (securatures Vs hedgecutter).

    Most have a centrifgal clutch so once engaged ...it's engaged and needs a firm grip but a lose stance. Can snatch and catch you out if a stony or root infested soil..but you soon get a feeling.

    • Gary, what make/brand do you have? Does it have a clutch or a mechanism that stops the auger if you hit something? The Stihl which does is very pricey and there's numerous Chinese ones on the market difficult to know what to buy?

      • LJN PRO

        Our's is an Ardisam (US make) - good with a torsion spring on the auger on the large sizes. The clutch only siengages when you come off the throttle, but the spring helps buffer the 'shock' by taking some of the 'bite' off it when it hits something.

        We also hire in a Stihl two man auger from our local hire shop when needed (much the same, but well built)

        Would be wary of the chinese ebay ones. What's also key to look our for is a replacable tip on the auger.

        The chinese augers are very mild steel and they wear/break....

  • Public Member

    I've looked at Power Planter augers. They are USA but have started selling in UK, but they are not (yet?) listing the larger diameter ones in UK. The USA ones go up to 9"


    USA Site:


    Reommnded cordless drill (for bigger sizes) seems to be DEWALT 60V - but I can't find the (USA) Part No, (DCD130B) on Amazon UK. The Drill (tool only) is US$248

    In USA

    7" (28" long) auger is US$132
    8" (28" long) auger is US$289
    9" (28" long) auger is US$319

    I saw them on this YouTube. She seems to be a full time YouTuber with a garden of several acres, and uses the augers to plant everything (although her soil seems to be pretty soft ...)


    Power Planter - Now available in the UK
    The super easy way to dig your garden. The Power Planter turns your cordless drill into a very effective soil digging machine. Safe for all ages and…
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