Saturday, 20 June 2009
The second hoe I can't rate yet simply because its new to me this year so need to test it more to see how it last. It seems to work well enough. The bold claim for this hoe is that it deters slugs and snails because of the copped blade. This type of hoe is called a Pendulum Hoe due to the fact that the head pivots back and forth as you use it so no matter whether you're pushing or pulling it's always positive and bites in to the ground. It has a sharp blade and is good for working between rows and around plants.
Friday, 19 June 2009
There is some dirt pick up with this hoe due in part to the bulky union with the blade.
This hoe was the same but has had one side of the blade removed to make a smaller version.
Here you can see the hoe flipped over to tidy along the edge of the border - now you know how Bob gets those neat edges!
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
In my opinion the underside of the blade should be flat so as to avoid dirt pick up. Dirt collects under the blade.
...and in all the other humps and hollows.
I'm not sure if you're a keen gardener or not Sara but anyone with a garden could do with a hoe, I use my hoe for several jobs besides weeding. I will show you what I get up to with my hoes some other time though.
I saw while watching the TV tonight that the Royal Mint are selling £5 coins for £5, if like me you're thinking there is nothing special about that deal wait till I tell you that carriage is £1.95. So if y'all want to get your £5 coins for £6.95 go to http://www.royalmint.com/ Personally though I'm going to wait until they put on a 2 for 1 offer. By the way, I think there is supposed to be something special about the £5 coin in question.
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Emily and Matron I know what you’re saying, I do chop the odd plant off now and again but it’s usually when I’m not looking what I’m doing rather than the fault of the hoe. Another thing I find that leads to plant decapitation is if you’re having to use to much force either because the ground is hard or the hoe is not right for you in some way. Try and stand with it on a flat piece of ground like I showed you in the pictures yesterday and see if it sits level on the floor. If you are a shorter person the shaft of the hoe may be too long for you. The hand that is doing all the pushing and pulling should be right at the end of the handle and the other hand is used to steer the hoe. If you find you have to hold the hoe part way down the handle with you push and pull hand then I think the handle is to long for you. Also don’t be afraid to sharpen you hoe because the easier it goes through the soil the more control you will have over it and therefore less mistakes you will make.
Monday, 15 June 2009
Although it may not be obvious today what with the grey skies and rain but it’s almost summer and one of the most useful tools at this time of year I find is the hoe. It takes many forms and no doubt you’re like me and have your favourite. Hoeing is an important task, not only for getting on top of those weeds but I use my hoe to take out footprints and loosen up the soil so letting in the air. There is hardly a day goes by when I don’t use one hoe or another so this week I will give you a break from plants and show you some of the hoes I use and explain the choices and also give my opinion of how each one performs. This opinion won’t be that of a so called ‘expert’ who is all talk and no practical knowledge, it will be from a real gardener who has used the tools for many years and wants to help you make the right choice for yourself.
Before we take a look at my hoes I will try and explain what to look for when buying a hoe. Whatever sort of hoe you decide on the important thing is that it feels right for you. Don’t just grab the cheapest or one that looks pretty because if it doesn’t sit right in your hands your hoe will be like a nagging spouse and hoeing a chore that gives you nothing but a bad back. You need to take the hoe down from the stand and hold it in your hands as you would want to work with it. Holding it this way the blade should sit flat on the floor as in the pictures below.
If the edge is pointing upwards even a little bit the hoe will be forever trying to come out of the soil which I find is the worst thing in a hoe. If the front edge is touching the ground and the heel is off the floor the hoe will dig in to the soil which can be a good thing sometimes but really you want your hoe to skim along just under the surface of the soil so for this you really need your hoe to sit level. Another choice to make is whether to get one made of stainless steel or just ordinary steal. I personally prefer plain ordinary steel as I feel the hoe can be kept with a sharper edge on it. However if you are the sort of person who is prone to leaving your tools lying around or getting rusty then you will need a stainless steel blade because the worst thing ever for any hand tool is a rusty one. It makes the job at least twice as hard. You can of course get a copper hoe which has both the ability to keep a sharp edge and also rust proof but these are expensive and perhaps not really worth the extra expense unless you use your hoe a lot. Talking of which, how much should you pay for a hoe? To be honest I don’t think it should be a consideration, it’s something that’s going to last a life time if you look after it so in that sense one costing £80 is cheap if it feels right, on the other hand if you buy one for £5 and it wrecks your back every time you use it then to me that’s an expensive hoe.
Another range of hoes worth considering if you’re one of those who have to cart your tools down to the allotment or wherever are the ones with removable heads such as the ‘Wolf’ range of garden tools, these are my favourites because they have the right feel, are well made and also you can drop the whole tool shed in to a plastic bucket and off you go – don’t forget to take a handle with you though! Speaking of which there are also a variety of handles in different lengths so there will be a handle to fit your size.