What is Dibbling?

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2021)


Perhaps one of the single most important steps in the gardening process is cultivation. After all, this is the part of the process that requires you to actually place the seed of the plant into the ground, thereby allowing the whole growing process to begin. One thing to keep in mind about cultivation though is that there are several different methods that you can use to get that seed into the ground. An example of this is the process called dibbling. But what is dibbling?

The simple answer is that dibbling is a method of cultivation that uses a tool called a dibber to help plant a seed. A dibber is, in effect, a simple pointed stick that allows you to create a hole in the ground that you can use to plant your seed or seedling in. That beings said, using a dibber requires a few more steps than simply putting the pointed stick into the ground and dropping a seed. In fact, dibbling is often used in conjunction with another cultivation method called puddling. Puddling is when you set a young plant or seedling into a small hole that has been filled with water. In order to get the most out of this method of cultivation, simply follow these steps.

  1. Wet the ground. It is much easier to use a dibber in wet soil than it is in dry soil. Prior to planting, be sure that you soak the soil. This will allow the sides of the hole to become more compact and smooth when you push the dibber into it; this in turn allows you an easier time when planting your seeds.
  2. Make the initial hole. Firmly, but slowly, push the dibber into the ground to make your initial hole. You don't want to just jab the ground since this could make the whole too deep, but if you don't use enough pressure you will not be able to get a whole that is deep enough. One method that will allow you to ensure that you reach the proper depth is to measure on the dibber where you want the top of your hole to be. With that mark in place, you simply press the dibber into the soil until the mark is at ground level and then you are done.
  3. Measure the correct depth. If you are not using a premeasured dibber, double check to make sure that your hole is the proper depth. Leaving too much space at the bottom of the hole will allow the roots to dry out, which can end up causing damage to the plant and stunting its growth or even killing it.
  4. Place the seed or plant. Place the seed into the hole. If you are placing a young plant, keep in mind that you may need to force the roots into the hole. When doing this, use as gentle a pressure as possible to ensure that you do not accidentally damage the roots.
  5. Replace the top soil. Once you have placed the seed or plant into the hole, begin replacing the top soil. This basically means that you need to cover the top of the whole. With a young plant you just press the soil gently around the stalk of the plant.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is three more than 1?

2015-02-18 08:00:50

John Barrs

1. dibbing without the 'l' in my part of the world (UK south)
2. cabbage plants (and associates like brocoli sprouts and kale etc) and leek seedlings are puddled in and no pushing soil in - ie, drop seedling in hole and fill hole with water.
3. note for leeks... they can go in quite deep, just leave a little of the green above level
4. both cabbages and leeks will need having soil piled up around the stems once they are well established
5. brussel sprouts and winter standing kale will need very definite firming in with soil of foot before adding the extra soil around the stems

2014-03-11 03:46:03

agbo raph

i like this article to be post to my account


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