Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Hoe, Hoe, Hoe!

I seem to spend most of my time in the kitchen garden on my knees with a handfork weeding, weeding, weeding.  So in the interests of spending time in other parts of the garden I've been trying different approaches and tools for this continual task.

I do use my long handled dutch hoe to slice through the weeds but all to often I manage to slice through the plants especially as they begin to grow and fill the space between the rows.  I've also tried a longhandled fork which allows me to stand up and fork up the weeds but then I have to bend down to collect them up or they simply reroot.

short handled onion hoe
The latest tool on trial is a shorthandled onion hoe; at first I wasn't sure how to use it but after a chat with the Handyman and a bit of trial and error I think I've found the technique; a sort of chopping action as opposed to the pushing motion with a dutch hoe.

Yesterday I tried it out in earnest on the three raised beds and couldn't believe how quickly I managed the weeding and how manouverable the tool proved, getting close to the plants without cutting through them.  Like the dutch hoe the onion hoe slices the tops off of the weeds, I then ran my neat little rake over the soil and voila! lovely weed-free neat beds of young veggies.

neat and tidy
I'll be interested to see how quickly the weeds come back, but I will be using this tool more often and if it's a success through this season then I may try a longhandled version so I can get off my knees for a while and enjoy a different view of the kitchen garden. 

Whilst browsing for hoes I have stumbled across a swoe - has anyone out there experience of using one of these - I'm intrigued!

No comments: