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A person is excavating the soil using a shovel in a modern garden.

The Garden Tool Variety!

Know your Hoe videoIt was only when I was very innocently informing one of my garden design clients that he’ll need to use a hoe for weeds, that I realised not everyone knows what a hoe is. I am sort of old so maybe it is a bit outdated to still call it a hoe. But, well, that’s not going to stop me. Instead I’m going to take you through all the different types of hoes there are because, surprisingly, there are quite a few different types. If you want to wrangle your weeds right, then you better listen up (or, well, scroll down).

Hoes, garden tools

Know Your Hoe video - Part 2Let’s begin with why you should even care about hoeing or what type of hoe to use. Look, you could use chemicals and spray your weeds, but what’s going to happen then is you tend to end up with a hard layer on top of the ground. Your plants will not love this. But, when you hoe and disconnect the weed from its root system, you’re softening up the ground and letting the oxygen in when it rains. Also I’ll let you in on a little secret, I don’t even clean my weeds up once I’ve pulled them out – I just let the sun do its thing. Then all you’re left with are some tiny shrivelled up weeds that can turn into a bit of compost. So the soil ends up really, really good. Now if that’s not enough to convince you then this definitely will – it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than using chemical sprays. Oh, and before you get started about just pulling it out by hand, I have one question for you. How’s your back doing?

Push pull hoe, garden, digging soil

Know Your Hoe video - Part 3First, we’re going to start with the push hoe. Now, the push hoe is perfect for when you only have a small amount of energy and time, and you want to knock over a large amount of sort of small weeds. You’re not cultivating or digging too deep in this case, you’re just going along the ground with the hoe. You can use a push hoe for cleaning up a gravel path or to tidy up the rows in your veggie patch. A push hoe has a flat edge on it which is perfect for this.

classic modern hoe

Know Your Hoe video - Part 4You also have the classic modern hoe. It has a nice sharp edge with a solid handle and actually copies the Asian style hoe. If you want visuals of this, head on to our Facebook page where we have a video of all of the hoes I talk about here.

A situation I often see is people making a new garden bed and having it become overrun with weeds in no time after putting all their new plants in. If you want to stop this then go on and reach for that hoe. So, what you’re going to do is – no, put away the spray – okay, you’re going to plant your plants, not too much mulch, and then every two or three weeks you’re going to go in with your hoe and get rid of those nasty weeds. After a couple of weeks or a few months, you’ll find that the weeds stop coming and when the weeds stop coming, then you put your mulch on and it won’t get overcome by weeds. Easy peasy.

A garden hoe in the dirt.

Know Your How video - Part 5Next up we have our classic Aussie hoe, the type I had in the shed as a kid. They’re very handy in the veggie patch up and you can use it a bunch of different ways. You can use the corner of it against some hard old weeds, you can hoe nice and shallow with it, or you can chop deep and actually cultivate your ground. If you’re only going to buy one hoe, then this is the one to get.
Okay this is the heavy-duty hoe, kind of the nuclear hoe. I believe it originates in Trojan, but I bought it in Bunnings. It’s a bit of a cross between an Aussie hoe and the Asian style hoe. There’s a lot to like about this hoe, it has a really good heavy handle on it, a good solid blade that’s nicely curved, and overall is very strong and sharp.

Know Your Hoe video - Part 6When there is a serious weed you have to take care of, you bring the nuclear hoe out. Also quick tip – the trick is to try and get under the weed when hoeing it. Now, I remember thinking if I was stuck on a desert island and I could only have one gardening tool what would it be. Well, I honestly reckon it would be a hoe. Also just because this is a heavy hitter hoe, doesn’t mean you can’t also use it against some of the shallow little stuff too.

maintaining hoe, garden toolMaintaining your hoe is very important – the poor thing is being slammed and dragged through the mud, the least you can do is clean it once every while. A good trick is to always carry a piece of broken timber or bit of board with you in your pocket and when you’re catching a breather you can clean your hoe with it. When I was a kid, my dad would have me out hoeing acres of land between veggies and nursery plants and things like that. And if I was out hoeing all day, I’d take a file out with me. And when I got tired, I’d sit down, I’d file a hoe while I was sitting there.

Modern garden styles

Another good habit to get into is to properly irrigate prior to hoeing because the softer the ground, the easier it is to hoe. Now don’t go flooding your garden. Instead, irrigate the land the night before and then when you come in and hoe it the next day, it’s nice and soft.

Lastly, be systematic with your approach – don’t go hoeing there and then hoeing here. Work in neat sections, metre by metre, or you’ll end up with some big scary looking weeds because you missed them in the last hoeing session.

Now we always open up for a q & a section so if you have any burning questions about your garden then you should join us for our Wednesday Facebook Live. Here are a couple of questions we got at this week’s one:

Q. Garrett: Don’t the weeds have seeds?
A: Yes, and if you get a heavily seeded weed and you chop him off, he’s going to seed right where he is. And so the trick is to be in there quick before they seed. But let’s say you have a weed seeding, what I recommend is hoeing it off quickly and cleanly and putting the whole seeding weed into the rubbish.

Four different types of shovels in modern garden styles are shown in a black and white drawing.

Q. Roma: How do I remove weeds from my flowered without damaging my plants?
A: In the spaces between your plants, if you use a nice little hoe, you can chop ’em out. You can also use the corner of your hoe to get into the trickier spots. Then if there are places you just can’t get to at all with a hoe, then push through for a minute without the hoe and just use your hands.

A man enjoying the tranquility of a modern garden center, as he sits on a bench surrounded by stylish greenery.Did it surprise you how many different types of hoes there are or are you already an expert when it comes to the gardening field? Until next time, keep your weeds wrangled and your hoes in order.

Feeling inspired to create your own garden, but want some expert advice? Try our one-on-one garden design service with Chris. Together you’ll come up with a selection of plants along with a layout plan that gives you the look you want, as well as being suitable for your local soil and conditions.

get your own tailored modern garden design:

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