BITS O’ TOOL HISTORY DIBBLES, DIBBLERS, DIBBERS AND DIBBLETS As if three names aren’t enough…these handy garden planting tools are also called “beansetters” in the Midwest and “tobacco sticks” in the south. They are used to make measured, uniform holes for planting seeds, bulbs and transplants. Originally they were very long wooden pointed sticks. Now they are shorter and also made of stainless steel and heavy aluminum. They have been traced back to both Egypt and China. Today’s Dibbles are wooden, stainless steel, aluminum and plastic. They all work…
The earliest daffodils are blooming right now. The very miniature ones you see in tidy little clumps are probably “Tete a’Tete”. If you didn’t buy and plant these little bulbs in fall, you can still get some of them as potted plants. They’re sold in most nurseries and many grocery stores. They’re usually in bud or bloom. Enjoy them in bloom and keep the green part alive as long as you can. Then plant the bulbs directly into the garden. The small daffodils that bloom a little later and are just a little taller than the minis are probably “February Gold”, another one you can easily find already growing in pots. Just because you forgot to (or didn’t want to) get out in cold October and plant bulbs, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few. Keep in mind, squirrels and deer don’t like the taste of daffodils…another bonus!
Tool Care for “We the Lazy”
The easiest way to keep your tools in good shape is to: clean and dry them, sharpen them and plunge the blade ends into a five gallon bucket filled with a bag of play sand mixed with a couple of bottles of mineral oil. Do this with pruners, trowels, garden knives, grass shears and any tools that might rust. You can even make this your permanent “tool home”. You’ll always know where they are and they’ll always be in good working order.
Buying locally grown plants is important to both local nurseries and gardeners who want to have success with their choices. Mail-order is great if you’re getting something that is not readily available locally. And when it comes to information about those plant choices, we not only have knowledgeable plants people in our local nurseries, we also have a long list of local websites that teach, answer questions and keep up with the PNW gardening world. These are information only sites:
www.Rainyside.com (one of the best about gardening in the Maritime Northwest)
www.westsidegardener.com (especially good for vegetable gardeners,; winter vegetable gardening too)
www.greatplantpicks.org (lists of what ornamental plants grow reliably in our area and what to expect from them)
www.pacificnorthwestgardening.com (landscaping information and connecting links to landscapers)
Just-for-fun gardening websites are just as valuable as “how-to” websites, especially now when going outside in the garden looks a little “iffy” to say the least.
www.diaryofamadgardener.blogspot.com (originates in England and proves that except for the lingo, “allotments” for them, “pea patches” for us, we’re all in the same wet boat)
www.theinadvertantgardener.com (funny take on being a new gardener)
www.gardenrant.com (one of the best, most irreverent blogs out there)