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What hoe?

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default What hoe?

Post by Guest on 19th March 2010, 5:17 pm

I think the hoe is such a crucial tool for the vegetable grower I thought we could discuss it's types and methods.

For me I weed primarily with a very long handled Dutch Hoe (handle taller then me). I shallow hoe forward trying to keep off the beds as much as possible. I develop temporary paths and stepping places to minimise the compaction based on how far I can reach with the hoe. I tend to hoe walking backwards if I'm hoeing deeper probably because I'm dislodging a small amount until I get to the bit I did before then moving back a bit.

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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Adrian on 19th March 2010, 5:46 pm

I use a Japanese blade called a Hori hori, its a cross between a knife, a hoe and a trowel. It has a serrated edge and works wonders for close up weeding.

For the long stuff I use a back hoe and a dutch hoe, I am always on the look out for a decent old diamond hoe, but you can't get them anymore.

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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Chilli-head on 22nd March 2010, 11:26 am

Although I love the idea of the simple life, in reality I have a day job that is far from simple and involves automatic control systems for tractor hoes like this :-



Anyway, a lot of the principles are the same as a hand hoe. Hoes work by a mix of cutting, uprooting and burial of weeds.  Against small weed seedlings cutting works well when they are at the "white thread" stage, just a thin shoot/root. A sharp blade about 2cm below the surface does a good job.  For least effort, the blade should be angled  at 5-10 degrees to  the soil surface, so that it stays in the ground without riding out, doesn't do too much work lifting soil, nor have too much friction against the bottom surface.  The attachment to the handle should not interfere too much with the soil flow over the blade or it will be harder work and there's more chance of throwing soil around burying the crop plants.

I have 4 hand hoes.  A Dutch push type hoe works well enough, but on mine the attachment to the handle means soil can't flow over the blade but goes round the sides, making it hard to work precisely near to the crop.
My Wolf draw hoe seems to be set at too steep an angle to the soil, and moves a lot of soil around; useful for drawing out a sowing furrow or earthing up, but not great for weeding.   The onion hoe is great for it's purpose.  Finally, the Wolf push-pull hoe is by far my favorite; it has a cunning blade which is serrated on the cutting edges so it makes more impression of the heavy clay of my lotty; it is bent to give it a concave underside so the blade makes the correct angle with the soil on both push and pull strokes, and the connection of the blade to the handle is thin and doesn't interfere with soil flow over the blade.  Pretty much ideal.

Final tip - when choosing planting spacings, remember how wide your hoe blade is.  I use double rows a lot (for broad beans, onions, garlic etc) and having a gap that is just bigger than the hoe blade width means it can be weeded with a single stroke.


Last edited by Chilli-head on 10th February 2015, 2:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Fix image link)
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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Guest on 22nd March 2010, 6:53 pm

The Wolf small push pull weeder is something I have been coverting for a while...you've convinced me it is worth the money. I have also found the woolf hoe digs too deep and only us it for deep weeding and seed furrows! I think I have the same dutch hoe too.. but the single stem attached ones are to easy to bend.

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Post by Dandelion on 27th March 2010, 6:58 pm

Yay! I'm now the proud owner of a wolf push-pull hoe. Now all I need is some weeds to hoe.... Razz

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Compostwoman on 27th March 2010, 8:08 pm

I have lots.......

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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Guest on 7th June 2010, 9:05 pm

Chilli-head wrote: A Dutch push type hoe works well enough, but on mine the attachment to the handle means soil can't flow over the blade but goes round the sides, making it hard to work precisely near to the crop.

Well by the time my birthday came along the small Wolf push pull weeder was sold out and we didn't have the money! So I am happily continuing with the old faithful Spear and Jackson Dutch hoe....I've thought of Chilli-Head's comment as I have been hoeing for many hours recently....

I tip the hoe slightly so the soil runs off one side...using which ever side is appropriate for the proximity to the crop. If the soil doesn't flow off I have a slight flip motion that clears the blade.

All good fun!

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default Re: What hoe?

Post by Chilli-head on 10th February 2015, 2:30 pm

I had this nagging thought that we had talked about hoes before ... here it is !
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