A Plug for the Plug Planter
A few years back one of my customers said to me: “You have a great product, but tell me something. When you plant starter plants how do you move the dirt to the side or remove the dirt so you can make room for a starter plant or compost?” I told him that I use a garden trowel or even just my hand to push the dirt to the side or to take some out of each hole to make room for the starter plug. That’s until I discovered the plug planter (aka: bulb planter).
This nifty device is absolutely perfect for Garden Mats. After you put down your mats and you are ready to plant, all you do is get a pail, take your plug planter and remove some dirt from each hole. The spring action handle lets you release the soil once you lift the planter from the ground. Dump the removed soil in the pail and you are ready to pop your starter plug into the hole. What could be easier?
Or if you just want to lift a little dirt and dress each hole with new compost, just remove some dirt, put it in a pail, as above, and put some organic compost back in the hole. You can easily create a hole 4” to 6” deep. It is even great for planting seed potatoes when you use Mat #5.
You can find one of these “bulb planters” at your local ag store and there are many models out there. But we like the one we sell because it’s well made, inexpensive and has the spring action handle that enables you both grab and release the dirt. Pretty neat.
Some customers have said that when their mats have been down for a while before they plant sometimes the dirt gets packed down and hard. This makes it difficult to push the plug planter into the ground. The solution is easy. Just I take an 8” Garden Mat Staple, poke it in a hole and stir the dirt to loosen it up. I also have used a barbeque fork. Whatever you use, if you loosen the dirt, then it’s easy to push the plug planter into the ground.
By the way, an 8” Garden Mat Staple is also ideal for the rare occasion when you do have to weed. You can use it to stir the dirt in a hole even when there is a plant already there. You just scratch around the stem and not too deep so you don’t disturb the plant roots. That’s what we use when we weed. It works great.
So, there you have it: a plug for the plug planter and the staple stirrer.