If you start seedlings in the house and then move them to the garden once the last frost is over, you may want to add a transplanter to your garden supplies. This handy tool can help you make the perfect hole for your young plant!
What’s Unique About A Transplanter
A transplanter is often considered a type of trowel. But it’s narrower and longer than a “regular” trowel. That size and shape will help you create the type of hole that’s ideal for a seedling.
Are there other ways to achieve this? Sure. But a general-purpose trowel is wider, so you end up creating a hole much bigger than you need. A dibber is ideal for seeds, but not wide enough for the roots of most seedlings.
A transplanter – also known as a transplanting trowel – is just right for the job. You may get by without it, but you’ll be glad to have one!
What To Look For
Here are a few things to consider when choosing your transplanting trowel:
The best blades are usually stainless steel or aluminum. There are some good plastic ones, too.
Comfortable, strong handle
You also want a handle that you can easily handle. (Sorry for the pun!) This is especially important if you’re doing a lot of transplanting!
Most handles are a standard size, but there are some with thicker handles for larger hands. We’ve made sure to include one here!
Also, be sure the connection between the handle and the blade is strong. You’ll usually be digging in topsoil, but even then, you don’t want to risk bending or breaking your transplanter if you hit a root or rock.
Gradations are nice, too
It’s nice (although not a necessity) if your transplanting trowel is marked with inches or centimeters. This makes it easier to get the hole exactly the right depth for your seedling!
Our Picks For The Best Transplanters/Transplanting Trowels
Here are a few of our favorite transplanting trowels. Which one will you add to your shed?
Having a famous name behind you doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got a great product. But in this case, you’ll be happy with this Martha Stewart Transplanter.
It’s 10 inches long overall, with the blade measuring 5.7 inches. The 3-inch wide blade is marked off in inches and centimeters.
The handle is plastic and has some contouring which could fit well into some hands. The blade is stainless steel, and the plastic is molded around it, so you won’t have to worry about it pulling out at the joint.
Fiskars nearly always creates a great product – in fact, we have another of their transplanters listed below.
For most people, this one is a great tool. It’s made of composite fiberglass, so it’s lightweight and durable.
The blade is marked in centimeters and inches. It’s about 6 inches long; the whole tool measures 11 inches.
It’s molded as one piece and holds up well. We try to avoid using our tools other than for their intended purpose, but we have seen where people have used this without issue for weeding and even digging up small rocks.
This transplanter from Edward tools has an aluminum blade and rubber handle. It’s a well-designed tool that is comfortable to use, and just the right size and weight.
It measures approximately 12 inches, evenly divided between the handle and blade. The blade is about 3.4 inches wide.
We normally prefer one-piece tools, but this one holds together well. We don’t see much risk of the blade separating from the handle.
The gradation marks on the blade are especially clear on this one, so you’ll be able to dig right to the depth you want.
Berry & Bird makes great garden hand towels and they don’t disappoint here. This wooden-handled transplanting trowel is durable and comfortable to use.
It measures 13 inches overall, with a blade a little over 6 inches. The blade’s also 2.7 inches wide, a good size for creating the perfect hole for your seedling. It’s even easier with the large, clear measurements on the blade.
The handle is made of ash and the blade is stainless steel. The transplanter is well-assembled so that the pieces won’t pull apart.
While we recommend this product, we have seen a few reports of it breaking. It seems that sometimes the weld holding the blade to the handle is not well-fused. There is a two-year warranty, however, and the company is responsive to problems.
Our second entry from Fiskars offers even more! More width in the handle for bigger hands, and more depth in the blade for removing more soil.
The aluminum blade is fitted with a padded rubber handle that’s a bit wider than average. That’s especially useful if you have larger hands, but even people with average-sized hands may find this more comfortable.
The blade is 3 inches wide and just over 6 inches long; it also has a serrated edge on one side to help cut through small roots.
At 9 ounces, this is one of the heavier garden tools among our choices. But it’s well-balanced and designed for larger hands, so it doesn’t feel nearly that heavy.
A transplanting trowel, aka transplanter, can be a fantastic addition to your garden tool set. It’s designed specifically for planting seedlings and helps you dig a hole just the right size. Once you try it, you’ll never want to do without!