Efficient Bio-intensive Gardening Tool Design

Technology No. 20160223

Intensive Planting Hexagonal Pattern Tool Design

The design of a bio-intensive gardening tool creates planting holes in a hexagonal pattern that accommodate 1 3/8-inch soil blocks. Ideal for 30-inch wide beds, the design is for two sizes: either 6-inch or 9-inch spacing between the holes in any direction. The tool creates two rows of holes in the soil, making planting much quicker, easier and more accurate. Each push of the tool digs either nine holes with 6-inch spacing or five holes with 9-inch spacing.

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial period is six months
  • Trial fee is $2500 for six months
  • Trial fee is waived for MN companies or if sponsoring $50,000+ research with the University
  • No US patent expenses during trial period
  • $5000 conversion fee (TRY to BUY)
  • Royalty rate of 3% (2% for MN company)
  • Royalty free for first $1M in sales

Community Gardening, Small-scale Farming and Home Gardening

Similar tools currently available use snap-in dibbles to create holes for transplanting—in any pattern the gardener chooses—but those holes are not the same size as most commonly-used soil blocks. By creating holes to the correct depth and width to accommodate common 1 3/8‑inch soil blocks, this design saves gardeners time and effort in measuring the spacing and digging the individual holes. The tool will especially benefit to small-scale farmers and backyard or community gardeners.


  • Creates evenly spaced holes either 6 or 9 inches apart in any direction
  • Creates several holes at one time
  • Accommodates traditional 1 3/8-inch soil blocks
  • Saves time and labor
  • Similar tool geared for garlic/ leek planting features long pegs instead of square dibbles


  • Small-scale farmers
  • Backyard or community gardeners
  • Planting or transplanting
  • Vegetable gardens

Phase of Development - Prototype developed, design available for licensing

Courtney Tchida, M.Ed
Sustainable Agricultural Systems Degree Programs Coordinator, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
External Link (www.misa.umn.edu)

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