What is a Hoe

For those who are passionate about gardening, the task of buying tools to manage the gardens and lawns could be quite tedious as there is a bewildering array of tools available and to choose the right one could be challenging. Garden tools are broadly available in two forms namely hand tools and power tools. Hand tools originated right from the days of early agriculture and are still in use for gardening and hoe is one such tool.

A hoe is a hand tool used widely in gardening, farming and agriculture to remove small amounts of soil. It is an ancient and a versatile tool which also serves other purposes in the farm including controlling of weeds by loosening the surface of the soil around the plants, hilling which refers to piling of soil around the plant base, drilling by creating furrows, making trenches for planting of bulbs and seeds, chopping weeds, crop residue and roots and move soil for harvesting root crops like potatoes, onions etc.

Hoes are designed with various types of blades. While some perform specific purposes like working between plants that are closely spaced or cutting the annual weeds, others are intended to perform multiple functions. Most of the hoes are designed for the common purpose of weeding and chopping. The chopping hoes are designed with special blades which are set in angle to remove soil sharply and they do a better job than weeding hoes. The two common hoes that are used in gardening are cutting hoe and a draw hoe. While a draw hoe is specifically designed to earth up root crops and form seed drills, a cutting hoe as the name implies cut off the weeds which is also referred as a Dutch hoe or a push hoe. Apart from these two broad categories, there are several kinds of hoe that are available for specific purposes. Let’s take a quick look at a few of them.

  • Garden hoe is one with a flat blade which is set at right angle used for weeding and grooming the soil around plants that are shallow rooted and this is designed with a long handle.
  • There are Nursery hoes which are similar to garden hoes but are fairly light weighted and are preferred for working with closely spaced plants.
  • A stirrup or an action hoe is literally a double action weeding hoe designed to work on pull and push strokes along with the action of loosening the soil. These are well preferred for cultivation.
  • There are hoes which are two-sided, with one side designed narrow and other side with a weeder.
  • Another popular version is a long handled diamond shaped hoe which makes weeding easier due to its design and gives less strain for the user thereby reducing his effort.
  • A hoe which comes with a triangular head known as warren how is meant for cultivation between plants and digging to make plant rows.
  • There are hoes specially designed for tending onions which are called onion hoes which works very effective in loosening of soil, slicing of weeds and grading.

 These are just a few of the wide range of hoes that are available which serves as the gardener’s favorite tool by doing a wonderful job of keeping the weeds at bay, without much efforts.