Dibble or, What To Do With a Broken Shovel

by Daisy on 03/14/2011

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In the “they don’t make ‘em like they used to” category, I include the home center shovel.  Like this one:

So I decided to make a dibble.

Funny word.  If you don’t know what a dibble is, it’s a stick used to make planting holes, calibrated to let you make holes of specific depth.

I usually just use an actual stick, preferably a stick within arm’s reach once I’ve already crouched down next to the planting spot.

Not a big advance planner.

But I had this broken shovel handle.  And I like to whittle.  And make things with funny names.

So I made the world’s longest dibble.

First, I sawed the broken end off at an angle.

And whittled it down to a dull point.

After sanding, I marked one-inch increments with strips of tape and marked a line with a Sharpie.  Leave a space for writing in the number.  (I forgot, and then had to go back and whittle off a space).

I found a font somewhere that looked “dibble-y” and freehanded it as best as I could with the Sharpie.

I put a coat of spar varnish on it to finish.

I don’t know if I’ll get much use out of it, but the important thing is . . .

I have no idea.



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya Walton March 14, 2011 at 9:48 am

This is a wonderful dibber…I hope you get some use out of it…and if you think it’s too long you can always shorten the handle!!

Sharon March 14, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love this! It gives me great satisfaction to reuse something and give it new life!

Andrea March 14, 2011 at 1:35 pm

The important thing is, you are well armed in case of a vampire attack. :-P

Kat March 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Good idea for a re-use! I can finally justify the broken handles I’ve been hoarding int he shop. I KNEW there was a reason to keep ‘em.
Have you thought about adding foot markers up higher? I have the darndest time planting seeds 18″ on center, or two feet on center, or the like.

Tomato Lady March 14, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Andrea–Thank you! I knew there was a good reason. Now if I could just whittle something for the zombies.
Kat–Great idea! I never would have thought of that.
Thanks, Tanya and Sharon.

Mr. Goat March 14, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Buffy the vampire slayer would be proud!

JavaLady62 March 15, 2011 at 12:38 am

This is just exactly what I need to make with my old push broom handle. Then I can finally get those Giant Sunflower Seeds into the ground along my fence line. Poke the hole with this Dibble Stick, drop in seed, push dirt back into place with boot, smash with boot to cover. POOF !! Done. Thank you !!

Justine March 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Hey, I’ve been wanting a dibble. I don’t have a broken shovel, but great idea!

pumpkinsx3 March 15, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Already this season I could have two dibbles. I could plant twice as fast. Too bad I’m short two shovels & one was my favorite.

JavaLady62 March 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Ya know… today, I got to thinking about making a dibble (as I mentioned yesterday) and using it, and then I remembered that my back doesn’t like to bend over a lot, as is usually necessary when planting seeds. I am not as young as I wish I was… Hence the lack of seeds being planted in my dream garden.
Anyway, so my brain thought, hum.. what if, in addition to this lovely new Dibble Stick, that I also use a nice 4 foot piece of PCV pipe to drop my seeds into the hole the dibble made ? I could line up the pvc pipe with the hole the Dibble just made, and drop in a seed or two. Then I would get the seeds exactly where I want them, do it with less bending, and finish up with a boot push of the dirt. Sounds good to me ! I happen to have a bit of spare 1/2 pvc pipe left over from my chicken coop watering system that I made last year. I will be using large sun flower seeds so I am pretty sure this will work as I am sure the seeds will fall right on down through the pvc pipe. I don’t know if it will work with super light seeds like maragold seeds though. What do you think ladies?

Tomato Lady March 16, 2011 at 7:12 am

JavaLady62–I think you’re on to something. I bet that would work well. Very smart and cool idea!

JavaLady62 March 18, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Thank You !!

Sophiathebackyardfarmer August 12, 2012 at 7:32 pm

I happen to be the type of person who likes to whittle too! That will be a fun project!

Sophiathebackyardfarmer August 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm

dibble-y! like the word!

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