Best hoe for weeding large garden with heavy soil?

erikarochelle(6a)February 4, 2013

I have a fairly large garden--about 50' x 75'. I weed all of it by hand, although I do mulch with straw quite a bit. I have a standard 5" hoe, and I'm wondering if I could be saving myself some work.

Our soil is fairly heavy, so when I see those collinear hoes or circular hoes, I wonder if they'll work. Any time I see videos demonstrating them, the soil is so nice and fluffy! Mine only looks fluffy right after tilling until the first hard rain. In fact, our soil often gets very crusted over after a hard rain and the cultivation is to allow water to penetrate as much as to remove weeds.

Any advice?

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krnuttle

Remember any thing you see on TV is probably false including TV news. It is presented and spun to make it appear in the way that the presenter wants. Remember the old joke about the horse race between the US and Russia. The US horse won but the headlines were, "Russia comes in second, the US comes in next to last." If you think about it you can find examples of this type of presentation every day.

If you have the money to buy the hoe go ahead and buy it. If you like it, put your old hoe some where in the back of the shed. If you don't you can always use it to prop the shed door open when you are working out there.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:05PM
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erikarochelle(6a)

Right--I'm leery of the claims on TV and in the garden catalogs, which is why I asked for advice.

I don't have the money to by a $40 door prop, nor the space to store one. I don't think most people do.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 4:19PM
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krnuttle

I can not believe that any hoe is worth 40 dollars/

Also I can not I believe that you could do the job twice as fast with the advertised hoe as the one you got. You are the one providing the motive force behind each hoe.

My opinion I would look around and spend my money some where else. These long winter days make some of these things look better, than they are in practice. My wife had to use some quite strict words to keep me from going out and fertilizing the yard last weekend. It was in the mid 40's and we had ice a week ago Friday, but it was such a pretty day.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:14PM
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exmar

Hi,

We used to grow a LOT of garlic and I researched and found the "onion hoe" it looks like a traditional hoe except the blade is about 2" wider and only about half as tall. It's light, and does a good job. Not too sure about your "heavy soil" though? I also have an "Italian Grape Hoe" which is about the same width, but much taller and heavier. It will chop through anything. I've attached a link to the onion hoe, they're available at any hardware store, got mine at the local Do It Best. Google the grape hoe if you're interested, as I recall, though, they're pricey.

Good luck,

Ev

Here is a link that might be useful: Onion HOe

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 8:54AM
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erikarochelle(6a)

I think I must not have been clear in my original post, sorry.

Currently, I use a standard 5" hoe. It works, but it moves a lot of soil, bringing weed seeds to the surface. Also, I have to bend to get the angle on the blade right, and it takes some effort to move through the soil. I'd like to use something that doesn't move as much soil, doesn't cause me to bend over, and takes less force to move--all things that are said of collinear hoes, stirrup hoes, and circular hoes. I was hoping that someone who had used these could let me know if they were really that much easier than a traditional hoe to use, and if they would work in my fairly heavy soil that gets very hard and crusty in the summer.

Sorry I wasn't clear.

In regards to the "$40 hoe"--you must live in a different market than I do, knuttle. Here, long-handled garden tools like hoes cost around $37.99 each. Tax would easily bring a garden tool up over $40. Heck, I bought a grain shovel last week, and it cost $47.

I wish they were cheaper, but they're not, which is why I'm seeking opinions before I buy one.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:29AM
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krnuttle

At Sears the most expensive is about $46, average about $18, form $5 to $26.

At Lowes average is about 14 with the range about the same.

AgSupply (agrisupply.com/) The most expensive $49, average is about 14 range about the same.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:46AM
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erikarochelle(6a)

Thanks, Ev! I appreciate the feedback.

That one is one of the hoes on my list. I too, have a lot of garlic.

It's my first year for it, so I hope it will do OK in my soil.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2013 at 9:49AM
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txtom50(8a texas)

I think most hoes are made for short people. As I recall, I had to adjust both my hoes to fit. You can usually put the hoe in a well anchored vise and change the angle of the blade in relation to the handle if you're careful and bend it slowly.

Also, if you've never sharpened your hoe, it'll work you to death. It needs to be sharp enough to cut and not dig. I usually sharpen mine with a 10 inch mill file every day when I'm using it quite a bit.

As you already know, mulch helps :)

    Bookmark   February 8, 2013 at 6:59AM
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etxhippie(8)

I wouldn't give up my hula hoe/scuffle hoe for love nor money. It can work easily just below the surface cutting weeds loose without moving a lot of soil around. I've been using it for over ten years now and it's still going strong.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:49PM
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zen_man

There are several candidates at the ProHoe web site. I have been using their 70F - Wood Handled Field Hoe for several years, and it is my weapon of choice against weeds. Since the blade is made from part of a recycled agricultural disc plow blade, it has a slight curvature, which comes in handy when you are kind of skimming the surface of the the soil to cut weeds off at the surface. The long handle lets you hold the hoe in several positions. I shorten up my grip for surface skimming. For small trees or really big weeds I use the length of the handle for a mighty wide arc chopping blow.

They have several other implements that look interesting to me, and I will probably be ordering from them again. Their stuff is tough, and their steel is substantial, takes a good edge, and stays sharp well. Farm disk plows are made to do that.

ZM
(not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 8:33PM
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