I don't possess a hoe basically because I am not sure how to use it. My father had one but I never saw him use it ( perhaps he was unsure also ) I know they remove weeds but I cannot fathom out how it works . can you help please
Basically, a hoe cuts through weeds just below the surface of the soil. Doing this will kill many weeds but others will grow back but weaker. It also brings buried weed seeds closer to the surface so that they will now germinate, unfortunately. However, keep doing it regularly and you will drastically reduce the number of weeds in your soil. Sometimes, the old traditional methods are the best!
Basically you have the hoe blade tilted slightly down from horizontal so that it travels just below the surface and cuts the top growth off the weeds. You just push it forwards, pull back and to it again.
If it's a Dutch hoe
hold the blade horizontally an inch (or less if you can manage it) below the surface of the soil and give it a good shove. This should (if it's sharp) cut through weeds, separating root from shoot and thus killing both. Then take a step backwards and do the same again, finishing where you started the first cut. And so on.
In practice most of us probably do lots of little shoves rather than one big one. Chacun a son gout, as the French probably don't say. But the hoe has GOT to be sharp. As St Bob says, it's a knife on a stick, and it's got to CUT. Keep a whetstone in your back pocket and use it frequently.
Better than a Dutch hoe, in my opinion, is the model made by Wolf.
This is a brilliant tool, cuts on the push and pull strokes and is self-sharpening, at least in the sandy soils I work in. Trouble is, it costs about £40, including the separate handle. It might be less good in clay, at least till you have a decent tilth.
Do it on a dry day so the shoots, roots and any weeds that have just been pulled out can frazzle on the surface rather than re-rooting themselves.Do it every week or so, even when you can't see any weeds - they're there, just below the surface, waiting to invade!
Make sure your rows are far enough apart to get the hoe between them, otherwise you'll have to do it all by hand (though you can buy Dutch hoes in different widths).
Good luck. Hope this helps.
The Dutch hoe was voted the all time best garden tool so it is a great garden tool to have. Always keep the blade end sharp and use it only when the boarders are in a dry situation .Use the hoe to cut the weeds just above the ground level. Either leave the weeds to die on the surface of the boarder all collect them back with the hoe facing the other side. A great tool to have and will make eradicating weeds a lot easier
when I first left school in 1979 and went to work in the local garden centre, my first boss told me " the best weedkiller on the market is a stainless steel hoe" I've never found cause to disagree with him.
am so glad you asked dorcas, i had no idea!! put one from amazon on my wishlist
Absolutely, Scroggin. I'm on sand which makes hoeing easy but it still helps maintain a nice texture as well as getting rid of incipient weeds.
Rosemummy - you must get one soon, especially at this time of year. Even a cheap one from Wilko or somewhere will keep you going till you can get the one you really want.
Steve: above ground level? How d'you do that then?
with a lot of difficulty and no wonder it takes me so long to hoe my boarders
Sorry about the delay in response everyone but i had it problems and forgotten i had place a message on hear. Thank you all for your replies and Rosemummy i hope you now have a hoe and put it to good use.I have one and are now mastering the technique, thanks to you all.