This is What a Gardener Uses an Auger for

Many of us love planting, farming, and watering our trees. Some of us just love the sight of fresh green plants and colorful flowers dancing around as the wind blows by spreading a magnificent smell across the house. Some of us prefer our gardens to be taken care of by professionals or by experts. We tend to hire a gardener who would fertilize and water our plants daily. But many of us love to do these tedious tasks ourselves. We probably already have essential gardening tools. One question we may ask ourselves is, what do gardeners use an auger for? 

Those of you who are new to gardening or have little or no knowledge regarding how to dig holes and plant trees, then an augur is just the thing you need. Augers are used by gardeners to dig up holes for their plants and also create appropriate conditions like oxygen rich soil that will suit their plants perfectly and enable them to grow smoothly. 

Garden with tools by tree
Augers are essential to planting larger plants

Can I Use an Auger to Plant Trees?

Augers are tools that are used to make a hole, for river drenching, and other various industrial purposes. To answer your questions; yes, augers can be used to plant trees. An augur is used the same way a drill is used, by digging holes into the soil and planting trees. Augers make deep steady drills into the ground, so sometimes the roots do not get enough room to spread out and mix with the ground. In that case, it is best to take a spade or a shovel and dig up few soils from around the hole so that it gets easier for the roots to penetrate.

Are There Specific Augers for Digging Holes to Plant Trees?

There are different kinds of trees and all of them vary according to their sizes and root development. You cannot use the same auger which is used to drill 150 meters underground to create a hole for a pipeline in your garden for planting trees. Different augers that are used for various purposes.

Tree augers are used for planting trees in your lawn or gardens. Tree augers are specifically built for horticulture plantation. Tree augers have two-stage cutting processes that produce a profile of a stepped-hole. The tree augers are designed to dig in such a way which can only be used to fit the plant and its roots.

Are Earth Augers Different from Tree Augers? 

Earth augers are lighter than most tree augers. They both are manufactured to carry out the same function, which is to dig holes in the ground. In the case of planting trees in the tour garden, you can use either of the augers. An earth auger will dig the same hole which a tree auger would. The size and depth of the hole may vary depending on the type of auger you are using.

How Many Different Sizes of Tree Augers are There? Can They All be Used in Gardening? 

Tree augers are available in different diameters. Augers can dig up to a depth starting from two inches to nine inches deep. 

From 2 to 4-Inch Tree Augers

Three augers which can dig from two to four inches deep, come in a range of lengths, starting from seven inches to 48 inches, which are considered ideal for gardening. With these two to four inches augers, you can plant grass plugs, bulbs, annual and vegetable plugs, flower plants, newly growing crop plants, and even small potted plants. 

From 5 to 7-Inch Tree Augers

Along with gardening, if you also plan on carrying out a lot of landscaping, then five to seven inches augers are ideal for you. These augers are of the perfect size to dig holes for gallon or quart-sized plants, small trees, and shrubs.

From 8 to 9-Inch Tree Augers

The augers with smaller diameters can be operated using a power drill, but the larger ones need a powerful engine. These large-sized augers are perfect for planting two-gallon plants or more. If you want to plant a large mango or any other fruit tree in your garden, these augers would be most preferable. You can also use them to dig post holes if you plan on running a fence around your garden or to set up a mailbox in front of your lawn. 

How Do I Use an Auger to Plant Trees in My Garden?

To plant trees using a tree auger, first of all, you need to screw your auger into a power drill. An auger cannot work solo, it needs a power drill or any other drill. If your tree auger has a non-slip head hex design to prevent slipping from the drill, then you have to make sure the flat part of the auger hex is tightly bound against the drill’s clutch.

Grab on to the drill’s clutch and turn the auger on, start from low speed, and do not cause the auger to twist. Lower the auger and point it towards the soil where you want to be digging a hole to plant trees. Make sure you hold onto your tree auger tightly. Use both hands; this will create a balance and steady pressure to dig into a tougher soil ground.

You will soon see the auger is digging a hole and sliding into your garden’s soil easily. You can carry out digging until you reach your preferred depth. Once you have dug enough, turn off your auger and move it to the side in a safe place. Plant your tree in the hole and backfill the hole with the loose soil or mud which you have dugout. You can also use a spade to backfill the soil.

How Do I Maintain My Auger and Take Proper Care of it?

Tree auger maintenance is not that tedious, rather it is very simple. If you want to practice gardening and use an auger to plant trees, you need to take proper care of your augers. If you dig holes often, your augers are likely to have fewer sharp blades, unaligned drills, or your auger may not be properly attached to your power drill. Rust and other factors may also cause your garden auger to get damaged. 

Examine Your Garden Auger Daily

After every day’s digging, make sure to carefully inspect your auger thoroughly. Check its drill blades and make sure that its drill blades are not bent and that the drills are still firmly attached to the auger’s shafts. If your auger’s blades are bent, you need to either repair or replace them. It would be best if you replace them with fresh and sharp new blades, as it would provide a better drilling experience.

Must Clean Your Auger and Store it in Proper Place 

Maintaining your auger doesn’t mean only to check if it is properly working or not. A key part of maintaining your garden or tree augers is to store them in a dry place and keep them clean. If not maintained properly, your auger’s coating will wear out or catch rust every time you use it to dig your garden. Wash it with clean water and remove all the soil and debris that gets attached to its blades and the drill. 

Oiling Your Tree Auger

Oiling your auger prevents it from rusting. If you are living in a cold climate or a humid area, it is advisable to keep your auger oiled at all times. You can apply a thin coat of any machine mineral oil to your tree or garden auger’s surface for smooth functioning.

Replace Parts of Your Tree Auger

While using tree augers with detachable edges, examine those edges for wear and clasp to check if they hold onto the blades securely. 

What Kind of Drill Would be Best for My Garden Auger?

For planting trees, we would suggest you get yourself a gas-powered heavy-duty drill. The drill should have a T-shaped handle for you to hold onto. Most importantly, your drill should be compatible with your auger. Some drills do not fit well with certain augers. Make sure you check those properly beforehand.


Now that you have read the article, surely you have a better idea of what a gardener uses an auger for. We have also provided more information regarding the various kinds and sizes of augers that are available and are best suited for gardening. Digging holes in tough soil filled with stones may be troublesome and tedious, but with the right gardening auger, it is a piece of cake. You just have to be careful and keep the auger’s drill away from your feet. Hopefully, all your queries have been answered and you will have an easy time digging holes to plant new trees in your garden now!

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I've been raised in a family of international gardeners spanning multiple generations, from vegetable growers in Germany to fruit tree growers in Iran. I hope you find the information you read useful to using electric gardening tools in gardening.

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