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The Best Free Gardening Tool

July 21, 2020

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Have you heard of a garden dibble? 

Apparently they've been around forever making planting easier for generations of gardeners.

We'd never heard of them before, but had been using one years. One we made at home. 

For free. 

Who knew?

Yellow Marigold Flowers

I love flowers. Love, love, love them!


They don't love me.

Besides my well documented brown thumb, I'm also allergic to most of them.

Like really allergic.

So I'm more of a look, but don't touch kind of gardener.

Is that even a thing?

Well, no, it's not.

Kind of impossible to plant anything if you can't touch it.

And that's where my DIY husband comes in. He's the gardener around here. Even if he doesn't really like it.

Oh, he enjoys the watering and the trimming, the puttering and the perennial planting. What he can't stand is annuals.

All that digging and planting for one short season of growth? Nope.

That's not very efficient and for a guy who's all about streamlining, it's a task he hates.

No Digging Planting Cheat Pinterest Text

But his wife likes flowers and he's a very good husband, so every spring he plants. My hero.

To say it's not his favorite way to spend an afternoon is an understatement.

So several years ago, determined to make the process of planting all those flats quicker and easier, he ditched the shovel and came up with his very own plant stake...or digging tool.

For free!!

And he's used it ever since.

No. It's not a vampire stake. It's just a simple piece of wood, leftover from some home decor project, sharpened on one end, so it can poke into the ground in precisely the size he needs for those tiny cell pack plants.

Simple wooden gardening stake on wood

How does he use it? Simple.

He pushes the wooden stake into the dirt and they moves it around in a circle to widen the hole enough to plop the flower in.

Gloved gardener sticking wooden planting stake into the dirt

Next, he removes the plant from the cell pack and gently pulls at the roots a teeny bit, since most of them are root bound.

Then he places the tiny plant in the hole and tucks the dirt back in around it. And he's done.

Gloved gardening hand planting a flower in a planter

He uses this trick in pots all the time. It makes it easy to add several flowers at a time, in tight spaces, without having to displace large clumps of dirt.

Or disturb other flowers that may have already been planted.

However, it's most helpful in the garden beds where there are lots of flowers to plant at once.

Again, it eliminates the digging and placing dirt in other piles, etc. Just poke, rotate and plop.

Even better, you can clearly see the holes with no soil or debris between them, so you can space them out evenly - a must for a Type A gardener.

How easy is that?

Garden bed with small holes for cell pack flowers

You can see it in action right here. He made several holes very quickly and didn't even need to move the mulch out of the way.

Then he placed all those little flowers in their new home with lightening speed. It would work very well for planting bulbs, too.

We're going to try that this year.

Marigolds planted in a garden bed

He was done planting and watering, I might add, in a few minutes. Which made him super happy.

And this armchair gardener even happier.

Yellow Marigolds In The Garden

Plus, the plants positively thriving.

So I'd say that's a win-win-win.

And all with no shovel required.

How fabulous.

What's your favorite free gardening cheat?

The Very Best Free Gardening Tool Pinterest text

Kim Signature

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  1. Clever and what a great way to plant and not have a big pile of dirt. Happy New Week.

    1. He’s a smarty! And thanks Kris! You too. xo

  2. What a great tool. Your hubby is so smart. Seriously, something so simple and probably not many others have thought of it. Wanted to mention in your last post that the pic of all those beautiful zinnias in the background made me very envious. We did not have any luck with them this year..Your garden always looks so gorgeous especially with the red umbrellas open!..Stay well my friend..xxoJudy

    1. Thanks so much, Judy! He is clever, no doubt…and he has a very green thumb. Those beautiful zinnia blooms were also a product of his hard work and ingenuity. They haven’t bloomed yet this year, too early, but last year we had poor luck as well. We thought maybe we got a bum batch of seeds. Hopefully our next batch will be better. Be well! xo

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing this quick and easy way to plant, he is certainly very clever, enjoy.

  4. I say go with whatever works!

    1. Absolutely! As long as he keeps planting, I’m good. 😊

  5. You have a great husband Kim! I love that he plants all of the flowers and I like that homemade tool. I will have to try and figure something out that is similar to that stick he uses. I too have to wear gloves or certain flowers will make me break out in a rash. I have sensitive skin too.

    1. Ugh, Julie, it's so frustrating. I love gardening, even though I'm not very good at it, but I end up itchy and wheezy if I get too close. I'm good at watering though! Haha!

  6. It's called a dibble, and it's been around for hundreds of years ~

    1. Thank you Bobbie! I had no idea what to call it and now I can post it on Pinterest properly!! Much appreciated.

  7. Make that thousands of years!

    1. Wow! It's easy to see's simple to make and it works.

  8. I wonder if it would work for planting bulbs in the fall? We lost our thingamabobby that we used for decades in our big moves a few years ago. Kim, I used to be as hands on in the garden as RH but I've become more of his cheerleader now as he gardens and making lists of plants I want for the coming season. He's very patient with me and hasn't gone up in his price for years now. You gotta appreciate that, right?

  9. Well, this gardener will take this tip and use it! You bet :-)

    1. I'd never heard of a dibble, but I'm sure you've probably seen them before or even own one. Makes me want to plant bulbs now!

  10. That is clever! And I love your pretty garden. I try not to think of gardening these days, our town is infested with wild boars. They came in while we were in lockdown and have never left. They go into gardens and ruin everything, looking for food and water. And they are super scary. It's been going on for months now and nobody knows how to get rid of them. As if the coronavirus was not enough.

    1. Amalia! Get out!! Wild boars are terrifying. I can't believe they're running around in your town. That's scary. Although nothing about 2020 shocks me anymore. I'm so sorry you are dealing with them. I really do hope that gets better...and fast!! Sending xoxo!

  11. Such a great idea! This year I bought Geranium perennials so he doesn't have to plant on our walkway anymore.

    I'll show him this and he'll love it and say I have them laying in tge garage . Why didn't I think of that?


    1. Perennials are awesome, Cindy! The less planting, the better.

  12. Always earning from you! Got my eyes peeled for a "thingamabobby" or dibble.

    1. Thanks Christine! I'm so glad I posted about it and now I know the name, too!! Always learning is right!

  13. Clever! I've been gardening for years and never heard of this kind of thing! It's genius!

    1. Thanks Deanna!! I really thought it was genius, too.