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10 of the Strangest Garden Tool Names You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

October 21, 2023

Just how many of these strange garden tool names have you heard or used

Dibbler? Widger? Pooter? Gardening is an age-old tradition, a harmonious blend of history, culture, and nature. Over time, this practice has evolved, leading to the creation of a plethora of tools, each meticulously designed to aid specific tasks in the garden. While many tools are commonplace and have names that straightforwardly indicate their function, there exists a subset that not only performs unique tasks but also carries rather eccentric names. These oddly-named tools pique curiosity, often leading one to wonder about their origins and applications. In this article, we dive into the world of gardening implements, shining a light on ten of the quirkiest and most unusually-named tools that every gardening aficionado should know about.

  1. Dibber (or Dibble): This is a pointed wooden stick used for making holes in the soil to plant seeds or seedlings. The name might sound playful, but it’s an essential tool for many gardeners.
  2. Hori Hori: Also known as a “soil knife” or “weeding knife”, this Japanese garden tool looks like a knife but acts as a multi-purpose gardening tool. Its serrated edge can be used for digging, planting, and even cutting.
  3. Widger: This is a small tool that helps in lifting seedlings out of their trays without damaging them. It’s like a tiny, gardening spatula.
  4. Pooter: It’s not strictly a ‘gardening’ tool but is used by many garden enthusiasts. A pooter is a small device used by entomologists to pick up small insects without touching them, which can be handy if you’re into studying insects in your garden!
  5. Scuffle Hoe (or Stirrup Hoe): This tool has a looped steel blade and is used for cutting weeds at or just below the soil surface. The action of using it is somewhat like “scuffling”, hence the name.
  6. Crow’s Foot Cultivator: This tool has three tines that branch out like a crow’s foot, used for loosening the soil in tight spaces.
  7. Ladybug Shovel: Don’t be fooled by its cute name; this is a heavy-duty tool. With its compact size, it’s great for container gardening and other small spaces.
  8. Lawn Lute: This is a wide rake-like tool used for leveling and spreading topsoil, sand, or other fine materials evenly across a lawn.
  9. Poultry Trowel: Its shape resembles a chicken’s foot, making it ideal for digging and transplanting in tight spaces.
  10. Bulb Auger: It may sound like something you’d find in a mechanic’s garage, but it’s a drill-like device that helps gardeners plant bulbs efficiently.

While these tools might have unusual names, each has a specific purpose that can make certain gardening tasks much more manageable. So, the next time you’re at the garden store and you come across a ‘Hori Hori’ or a ‘Widger’, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at and how it can aid your gardening adventures. For more, read our Garden Tool Names page. Happy gardening!

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