A useful though simple tool used in planting out young vegetables (including potatoes) and for inserting. 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point is well smoothed with spokeshave and sand-paper, leaving no furrows to catch the earth as, in use, the dibber is withdrawn.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 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 . 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 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 , 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.