It may be a bit old fashioned but one of your best garden tools is a hoe today on Southern Gardening.
Many years ago at a nursery short course I had the pleasure meeting and listening to Dr. Roger Swain from The Victory Garden. His topic was the garden hoe and he kept 200 in attendance mesmerized for an hour talking about hoes. His favorite hoe was rectangular, approximately 5” x 2 ½”, sharpened on three sides with a long handle. Roger could stand upright, without stooping, and gave the impression of doing a waltz when weeding his garden. OK, so maybe you had to be there, but he made weeding sound like fun and the key was the style of hoe. Choosing a hoe is just like choosing any tool, you get what you pay for. Let me share a couple of my favorites. For some time I’ve seen a hoe in gardening catalogs made from recycled agricultural disk blades. The catalog describes the hoe as being sharpened on three sides and the hardened steel resists edge dulling. However, I was a bit wary of buying a hoe from a catalog without being able to get a feel for the tool. That all changed a few years ago when I bought my first Rogue hoe. I was immediately hooked. The other is made in Holland by DeWit. It is tough and has a lifetime guarantee. This hoe is easy to work around in the garden. The really sharp blade is relatively thin and slides under the soil with ease to cut weeds below the soil surface. A word of caution from personal experience, it is easy to remove a few of your vegetables plants if you are not careful. These tough professional garden tools are available at many garden centers and online. Until next time, I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.