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Garden Hoe & It's Uses
A garden hoe may be a relatively simple tool but it’s ideal for keeping on top of unwanted weeds, without disturbing what lies beneath.
Hoeing regularly can help you banish annual weeds, clear away any leaves where larger tools – like a rake – cannot fit and neaten your beds and borders.
In this article we will be talking about what is a garden hoe and what its used for.
What is a garden hoe used for?
A garden hoe can have a number of uses from helping keep on top of weeds, to clearing fallen leaves and neatening beds and borders. Because of its sharp, wide blade, a hoe is a great tool for severing the roots of weeds as it slides just under the surface of the soil.
The long handle of a garden hoe also makes it more comfortable to use than other handheld de-weeding tools because you can work standing up straight, rather than bent over.
To make tasks as easy as possible, garden hoe on warm, dry days so that weeds left on the soil surface quickly shrivel and die. These can then be left where they are or removed to make compost.
Types of garden hoe
There are four main types of garden hoes; Dutch, draw, stirrup and heart-shaped. Each varies slightly in shape and can, therefore, be helpful for different tasks.
- Dutch hoe: This is the most common garden hoe and is often the easiest to use. Used standing upright, a Dutch hoe has a sharp, wide and open blade that skims just below the surface of the soil to sever weeds from their roots.
- Draw hoe: A draw hoe is one of the more basic options available. It has a small rectangular paddle that meets the handle at 90° and is used in an up-and-down chopping motion.
- Stirrup hoe: Used in a back-and-forth motion, the stirrup (or loop) hoe is a good choice if you have more stubborn or persistent weeds. The hoe gets its name because the blade looks like a stirrup on a horse’s saddle and the stirrup often pivots, cutting weeds on the push and pull stroke.
- Heart-shaped hoe: Helpful for breaking up hard or compacted soil, a heart-shaped hoe is also a good addition to your tools if you’re looking to make drills and furrows.
How to choose the best garden hoe?
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A good quality handle will ensure that the garden hoe is comfortable to use for longer periods of time. Handles are usually made of either wood or aluminium.
Wooden handles feel warmer in the hand, and often have more give, but they can be a little heavier. Some wooden handles are even tapered to accommodate your hands – but this will only work if it is in the right place for you.
This is the same when it comes to the plastic or rubber coatings on aluminium handles. Aluminium does tend to be lighter, but can be cold and offer less grip without these additional coatings.
Bear in mind the length of the handle, too. If the handle is too short, you will have to lean – rather than standing up straight – and will likely tire quickly and strain your back.
Hoe blades are typically made of carbon or stainless steel. Carbon does rust faster than stainless steel unless it is looked after or comes with an epoxy or powder coating. It can, however, be kept sharp easily by regular sharpening.
Stainless steel will naturally say shiny for longer but they are much harder to sharpen, if they need it.
In terms of shape, many Dutch hoes have a simple triangular or stirrup shape. Some also have teeth on the front or back blade to increase the surface area and make slicing through the soil easier.
Choosing the best garden hoe for the task
When weeding around seedlings or dense borders, it’s usually best to use a hoe that’s lightweight and well balanced so it’s easy to manoeuvre. A small or narrow blade will also help navigate the plot without damaging any plant stems.
Alternatively, if you’re hoeing over bare soil or a larger plot, a larger, wider blade will save you time. Buy Your Garden Hoe from Here.
How to look after your garden hoe?
Being able to hoe effectively includes the need to look after and maintain your hoe.
Taking the time to look after your hoe will help keep it sharp and in good quality for longer, saving you money in the future.
Those with carbon steel blades need to be regularly sharpened in order to allow them to efficiently slice through the soil.
Before sharpening, clean the blade with soapy water and dry it off. You can then sharpen the hoe’s blade with an oiled sharpening stone.
Once you have finished sharpening, oil the blade and wooden handle with Boiled Linseed oil and then wipe off any excess. This will stop the wood drying out.
Our experts would suggest repeating this process at the end of the gardening season. Before hanging up your hoe for winter, smooth out any rough patches on the wooden handle with sandpaper and sharpen and oil the blade and handle. Buy Your Garden Hoe from Here.