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What is a Leek Dibbler?

JM Fortier transplanting leeks

The leek dibbler is a specialised tool used for (you guessed it!) leek transplants. It has two parallel arms with a perpendicular bar at the foot of the arms, along with three 9 ½ -inch (24 cm) tines at the bottom, such as if you imagined a giant fork. The prongs are 9 inches apart, perfectly adapted for a 30-inch permanent raised bed. The dibbler comes with two adjustable markers which allows you to establish the spacing on the rows.

You simply push the three tines down until the horizontal bar is flush with the ground. Assure you that your transplant holes are the desired depth. As you can imagine, it is very similar to using a broadfork! While you push the tool into the ground, there are two markers under your feet that poke where the next trio of holes should be. So once your first set of holes is complete, pull the tool out and place it on the new marks and push again. Keep repeating the process all the way down the bed. 

JM Fortier transplanting leeks
JM Fortier transplanting leeks

Why to Buy the Leek Dibbler

When you’re buying such a specialized tool, like the leek dibbler or the garlic dibbler, you might wonder if the tool is worth the cost. We love using the leek dibbler because it allows for a much larger proportion of the leek to be blanched. Consequently, it does raise the value of the crop. Leeks are harvested 10 weeks after being seeded; any value that you can add to the seed bed is completely worth it. The tool makes perfect rows, which also makes weeding and mulching easier.

Leeks harvest
Leeks harvest

Leek Dibbler Weaknesses and Alternatives

When you’re doing a leek transplant, it can be more time consuming than other transplants. The reason is that you need to ensure that the leeks are planted at a depth of  9 ½ inches (24 cm). There is two ways of going about doing this. First, is either using the dibbler, which requires a certain amount of effort and time or by digging trenches that you will then close once the leeks are transplanted. By standing on the parallel bar, like you would on the broadfork, your weight is essentially doing the work for you in creating the holes. Whereas digging trenches is a full body workout. It really depends what farm-gym workout regimen you’re going for!

leek dibbler
By standing on the parallel bar of the leek dibbler, your weight is essentially doing the work for you in creating the holes.

Need More Info? 

JM Fortier shares, in this video, 3 tricks to grow high-value picture-perfect leeks.

Are you looking for detailed technical sheets on how to grow high value picture-perfect leeks? Or do you want more resources to learn the best practices for using market gardening tools in bio-intensive gardening? Then please join us at the Market Gardener Masterclass. The Market Gardener Masterclass is a comprehensive online course that documents all the steps of successful market garden production. Our method has been developed based on over 20 years of experience in organic market gardening. It is designed to allow you to deliver consistent results that will guarantee the success of your farm.   

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