DIBBER

A useful though simple tool used in planting out young vegetables (including potatoes) and for inserting cuttings. The ordinary dibber has a pointed end shod with a cone of steel, the shaft and short cross-piece being of hard wood, about I in. in diameter and 18 in. long. It is often an affair home-made from the broken haft of a spade, the top of the handle being kept and sharpened to a point. The steel cap is not vital so long as the point is well smoothed with spokeshave and sand-paper, leaving no furrows to catch the earth as, in use, the dibber is withdrawn. A smaller size for seedlings in general is useful and can be 6 in. long, ½ in. in diameter and with a blunt end. It makes for quicker planting than a trowel. In using this small size a hole is made of just enough depth to take seedling roots. For planting cabbages and brassicas in general thrust the full-size dibber in to 4 or 6 in. and draw out with a slight turn so that the hole does not fall in. It is a good plan after planting to make another dibber-hole a couple of inches away and use it in watering to make sure the young roots get irrigated properly till established. The dibber is useful for planting leeks, making a hole 6 in. deep, but not filling in the earth when the leek is planted; only let enough soil fall to cover fibres of root, the rest holds water and dew till the leek is established, and automatically the earth gradually fills, thus saving earthing up for blanching.

A dibber is best reserved for light soils. A trowel is often preferable on heavy ground as the dibber makes a rather pointed hole and consequently an air pocket. It also makes the soil consolidate which is not desirable on heavy land.

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