What is a Garden Dibber Tool?

What is a Garden Dibber Tool?

A garden dibber tool is a gardening implement that has many different uses. Depending on the design, it can be used to plant seeds or bulbs, move soil, or dig holes in the ground. It’s an important part of any gardener’s gear and there are several different types available for purchase. This blog post will explore what they are and how to choose one that suits your needs!

What Is a Dibber?

A dibber (also known as a dibbler or dibble) is a long, stick-like tool that’s used to create holes for seeds and seedlings before they’re planted so that they don’t get damaged when they’re not fully immersed in the ground. The thickness of a dibble varies, with thinnest versions best suited for sowing seeds and cutting things while growing small bulbs necessitate thicker variants.

Some dibbers will also have depth measurements down the shaft to ensure more precision in the hole’s depth. The size of the seed should determine how far beneath the ground it is planted. Seeds should be planted a distance of their own depth from each other, as a rule [1].

Types of Garden Dibber Tools

Dibblers come in two forms: those that are meant for planting seeds and those for growing bulbs [2]:

  • Bulb dibbles are longer and rounder, with a fat body and a sharp point to create a big hole. They include a flat tip to provide an effective contact point for the bulb’s bottom, as well as lines at one-inch intervals for reference;
  • Seed dibblers with a flat tip, on the other hand, are typically slim and pointed, producing a tiny seed start hole. Quarter-inch marks will be present on high-quality dibblers, which will then be divided by inch markings. These tools also have a flat end for optimal soil contact;

Types of Garden Dibber Tools

There are also 2 major designs of garden dibber tools:

  • The Y-Dibber. This type of dibber has two points, one on each arm of the “Y”. This design makes it easier to create evenly spaced planting holes;
  • The Auger Dibber. This tool has a spiral groove that helps it easily penetrate the soil. It is perfect for quickly creating large planting holes;

What Is the Purpose of Dibbers/Dibble?

Garden dibbers are used to make planting holes in the ground. The pointed end is inserted into the soil and then pushed down while the other end is pulled towards you, creating a hole for your plant. They come in various sizes depending on what type of plants you’re growing. For small plants such as flowers or herbs, a hand-held dibber should suffice. If you’re planting larger vegetables or fruits, however, you’ll need something bigger like a tractor-mounted dibber. Regardless of size, garden dibbers are an essential tool for any gardener. They help make planting holes quickly and evenly without damaging tender young roots.

What Are Dibbers Made Of?

Garden dibbers are typically made from metal so they won’t break easily. They can be either T-shaped or L-shaped and come in a variety of sizes depending on their use. However, some gardeners prefer to make their own out of wood instead. This works especially well if you have larger plants that will need deeper holes than normal – which is why professional tractor dibblers tend to be made this way as well.

Different Types of Dibbers:

1) The Plastic Dibber

This is the most common type of dibber. It has a pointed end that is used to pierce the soil and a handle for poking holes in the ground.

2) The Steel Tipped Dibble

This type of dibble is used for larger holes. It has a pointed end and tines at the other end which can be useful if you have multiple plants to put in one hole or trees to plant.

The Steel Tipped Dibble

3) The Wooden Dibber

This wooden tool has been around longer than any other kind of garden dibber, although it may not look as sturdy as the metal ones they actually last much longer! They tend to have a flat head on them with sharp sides so allow you to pierce through moist ground quickly without having any problems with bending over time, however they won’t pierce hard soil very well. The handle tends to be angled at about 30 degrees from horizontal making it easy for prodding into soil easily.

Each has its own benefits and drawbacks depending on what you will be using it for. The plastic dibber is the most common type and is great for general use. The steel-tipped dibble is good for larger holes that are required, such as when planting trees. Finally, the wooden dibber lasts longer than any other kind and can pierce through the moist ground easily. Whichever one you choose to use, make sure it’s comfortable for you to hold so you can get the job done with ease!

What Should I Look For When Buying A Modern Dibber/Dibbler?

When looking to purchase a garden dibber tool, there are a few things you should consider:

  • Length. The most important factor is the length of the dibber. You want something that is long enough to reach deep into the soil but not too long that it becomes difficult to handle;
  • Grip. Additionally, you will want to look for a model with a comfortable grip. This will help make it easier to use and less tiring on your hand;
  • Budget. Consider the price point before making your final decision. There are many affordable options available on the market today;

High-quality dibbles should have the following features:

What Should I Look For When Buying A Modern Dibber/Dibbler?

  • Made of hardwood materials (mahogany, maple);
  • Handmade and preferable hand-tuned;
  • Inch marks and quarter-inch marks for better use;
  • Should have a flattened end/tip for optimal seed contact;
  • Made specifically for seeds or bulbs;
  • The handle is either a ball or a grip design;
  • Linseed Oil Finish can be good for protection;

In addition, you might be interested in how to wash your garden gloves.


1. What is a hand dibber?

A hand dibber is a long, pointed stick with identical holes poked into the soil to create a space for seeds, seedlings, cuttings, and tiny bulbs. It’s made of wood, metal, or plastic [3].

2. Are dibblers just used for seed planting/starting?

No, they are not just for seed planting/starting. Gardeners also use dibblers to transplant mature plants by pushing the blunt end of the tool into the soil next to the plant and levering it out with a quick upward thrust. They are also used to plant deep-rooted crops such as carrots and parsnips.

3. How are wood dibbers made?

Wood dibbers are made from a variety of hardwoods, such as mahogany or maple. The wood is turned on a lathe to form the shape of the dibber and then drilled with holes. The tip is then flattened for better seed contact. Finally, a linseed oil finish is applied for protection.

4. Do I need a dibber?

If you are planting seeds, then yes. If not, it is up to you whether you would like to invest in one of these tools or not. They can be helpful, but they are not essential.

5. How do you make a garden dibber?

To make a garden dibber, you will need:

  • A wooden dowel;
  • A drill with different sized bits (for example, one bit for the handle and another for the tip);
  • Glue;

First, cut your desired length of dowel material to size. You can use either an electric or hand saw.

Next, start drilling holes in the top half-inch section of both ends using various-sized bits until they are big enough to accommodate planting seeds easily.

After this step is complete, measure down about seven inches from each end and glue on two flat pieces that run across the diameter of your tool’s body at right angles like cross braces in order to prevent it from splitting when force is applied.

Allow the glue to dry completely before use.

Finally, apply a coat of linseed oil (or any other wood preservative) to seal and protect your dibber tool.

6. Widger vs dibber – what’s the difference?

A widger is a tiny gardening instrument with a handle and a long, thin spatula on one end.

A dibber is an instrument with a handle at one end and a point at the other, used in the garden to make holes for planting seeds, bulbs, and other plants. It’s also known as a dibble or dib [4].

7. How do you plant bulbs with a dibber?

First, loosen the soil in the area where you would like to plant your flowers using a shovel or spade. Next, insert the point of your dibber into the ground at the desired depth and angle. Push it firmly into the soil and twist it a couple of times to create a hole. Finally, drop one bulb into each hole and cover them up with soil. Tamp down the dirt around each bulb so they are secure. You’re done!

Useful Video: What is it…A dibble!


  1. https://www.gardenersworld.com/product-guides/growing/best-dibbers/
  2. https://www.thecelticfarm.com/just-what-is-a-garden-dibber-or-dibbler/
  3. https://www.gardenersworld.com/product-guides/growing/best-dibbers/
  4. https://wikidiff.com/widger/dibber