The Garden Tamper
It is gift-giving season and we want to share a useful gift that is easy to construct with scrap wood.
We have mentioned using a tamper in several other blog posts. It is a very useful tool to ensure good seed-to-soil contact when working with small seeds like spinach, lettuce, carrots, and collards. The weight of the tamper is all that is needed to compress the soil slightly.
I was first introduced to this tool by Jim Hall, a Cherokee County Master Gardener. He guaranteed a higher germination rate of small seeds by just using the tamper!
The tamper is easy to construct and makes a great gift for a gardening friend or for yourself! You will need a 2X4 wood piece, a 1X2 (or 2X2) wood piece, and a wood screw.
Step One: Measure and cut 1 foot off of a 2X4. This will be the base.
Step Two: Measure and cut 4 feet off of a 1X2 (or a 2X2). This is the handle.
Step Three: Choose a wood screw that is at least three inches long so it will go through the 2X4 piece and into your 1X2.
Step Four: Drill a pilot hole in the middle of the 2X4.
And into the end of the 1X2.
Step Five: Using your wood screw attach the pieces:
Your final product:
The tamper can be creatively painted or left bare. Using the tool is easy. Place small seeds on top of garden soil. Sprinkle about 1/4th inch of soil on top of the seeds. Gently tamp the soil with tool. The weight of the tamper is enough pressure to ensure seed-to-soil contact. No need to press down.