How to use a hoe to weed?

By Josh Volk
Selecting a good tool and keeping it in working order is only one piece of any job. While it is a critical piece, it cannot be separated from the need to understand how the tool works. There are a lot of aspects to the way a tool works: timing, the physical manipulation of the tool, and also recognizing the limitations and even drawbacks of the tool, recognizing when not to use it.
In my experience timing is one of the most difficult tricks to master. The difference between a sharp blade and a dull one is fairly obvious once you get the feel, but timing seems to always be a bit of a guess that has to also be balanced with all of the other tasks on the to-do list that always seem to take precedence like planting, harvesting, and irrigating.
Early and often has become my mantra with weed control. Putting off hoeing lets the weeds get bigger, and usually that means they are both harder to kill with the hoe and harder to distinguish from the crop. Both of these things add up to extra time, and it takes significantly more time to hoe a crop when you can’t clearly see the crop through the weeds than one where you can hardly tell the weeds are there yet. Also, bigger weeds compete more with the cash crop and in some crops, like lettuce, they can significantly affect the quality.
I figure it takes most weeds less than a week to germinate and about another week to start developing true leaves. The easiest time to kill them is after they’ve just poked their cotyledons out, and before they have true leaves to start putting energy back into the roots. Similarly, with perennial weeds like grasses, the new, tender shoots are much easier to hoe back than established stems. Knocking back perennial weeds while they are young helps deplete the roots of energy. For me, the most critical hoeing is the week after planting and I try not to put that off for other tasks by more than a week.
In many cases, if the bed has been well prepared (see my article on bed preparation in GFM September 2008), I’ll be hoeing a bed where I can’t even really see any weeds yet, but this doesn’t matter to me, in fact it’s what I’m looking for. If I can’t see the weeds yet, I can very quickly slide the thin blade of a very light hoe through the surface without hesitating or being stalled by stems of weeds. I won’t even have to stop to clear my blade unless the soil is particularly wet or sticky. I go over the entire bed surface, minus the seeder track if it’s a direct seeded crop, and avoiding the transplants if it’s a transplanted crop, whether I see a weed or not. Speed is more my concern than thoroughness at this early point. Even if I miss 5% of the weeds the ones I missed will still be much easier to hoe out with a second hoeing than they would have otherwise, and a second hoeing is almost always necessary to deal with a second flush of weeds anyway. By hoeing early I can do two or three hoeings in less cumulative time than a single hoeing through large weeds. I’ve also broken up the hoeing into more manageable chunks of time that can fit into smaller breaks in the day.
There are many other advantages to hoeing early as well. By loosening the surface and incorporating air, the soil to seed contact is broken and weed seeds near the surface won’t germinate as well. Breaking the capillary action of the soil at the surface reduces surface evaporation which leaves more water available for the crop. You are also doing two other things: you are incorporating some air which helps soil microorganisms break down more nitrogen from the organic matter in the soil, giving your crop a small shot of nitrogen, and you are allowing future rains or overhead irrigations to infiltrate the soil more easily.
In order to leave the surface loose I alway hoe walking backwards, in order to cover my foot prints. I also try to work within the top inch or two of the soil surface, less with particularly shallow-rooted crops like onions. If you’re killing annual weeds when they are young they won’t come back from the roots. If you’re waiting until they are older, in most cases I still think it’s better to cut them off near the surface rather than to disturb the cash crop roots in the process of pulling or digging them out. Repeated hoeing at one to two week intervals keeps re-sprouting roots from becoming a problem in the crop.
Making time to hoe early is one challenge, timing hoeing around moisture is another challenge. A hot dry afternoon with a bit of a breeze is the best time to kill weeds. This will desiccate the weeds before they have a chance to re-root. Dry soil also flows better around the blade of a hoe, which limits clogging. If the soil is too dry it can become very hard, which can be challenging as well. When using overhead irrigation or after a rain I like to wait at least a day or two for the soil to dry out before going into the field for hoeing (soil type and saturation plays a role in the timing here). Conversely, I try not to hoe just before an irrigation for fear that weeds will re-root and the loose soil will become compacted. Most of the time it’s hard to work around the rain and you just have to make things work, but if you have a choice, hoe when the soil is dry and when it’s going to stay dry for at least a day or two.
More technique
There are three basic ways to kill weeds with a hoe: slicing them off, pulling or dragging them out of the soil, and burying them. Slicing the weeds off is usually the goal with a sharp blade but frequently that turns into pulling or dragging the roots out. Even when the hoe is dead sharp, it will clog occasionally if the weeds are thick or the soil conditions are sticky. I wear thin gloves when hoeing and frequently clear my blade with my fingers when it starts to clog. Rakes also pull and drag weeds out, leaving them on the surface to desiccate. With both the rake and a hoe, especially when working in more mature crops, you can usually concentrate on slicing or dragging weeds between rows, while simultaneously hilling a bit of soil in the row to bury weeds. Especially on tightly spaced crops this is much faster, and safer than trying to get the blade of the the hoe close into the row. I’ve found that most blades, when moved with any speed at all, will push soil over about 1-2 inches on either side of the blade. This means that a pass with a 5” wide hoe, actually effects a 7-9” swath of soil. The slower you move the blade the less this happens, although the chunkier and wetter the soil the more it happens. So, when I’m selecting a blade width for 12” row centers, I usually look for something about 6” wide for tender crops and small seedlings. For larger crops that will take some hilling I might go up to a 9” wide blade. There are many crops that benefit from some hilling in the row as well, ranging from roots like carrots and beets, to alliums, to the obvious ones like potatoes. With a straight thin blade, you can make the blade effectively narrower by pulling it at a slight angle. This also helps the blade shed material that would otherwise clog it.
I debate a bit about working the entire bed surface at once as I slowly walk down a bed, or concentrating on quickly moving down a single line at a time, walking up and down the bed multiple times. In general I find it fastest to work single lines, which doesn’t require me to constantly reposition the hoe on the bed. I also find I’m less likely to miss sections with this slightly more methodical pattern. In widely spaced crops I frequently break that pattern to wind between plants at the same time as I move down the row.
Working with weeds
Some crops, once they are established, can tolerate a relatively high rate of weed competition and still produce profitable crops. I’ve had this experience in crops like sweet corn and winter squash. For these crops, I think about the crop that will follow in the next season to justify extra hoeing. Keeping weeds from going to seed and perennial weeds from putting energy into their roots by limiting top growth pays off in subsequent seasons. In addition, the easiest time to kill the weeds is when they’re small, so investing extra labor early in the season can reduce your labor later in the season as well as in following seasons. The one other advantage to keeping weed pressure low that I’ve found is that it speeds harvest because the crop is easier to see, and easier to get to. The disadvantage is that it always feels expensive and it’s easy to second guess whether it is money well spent.
As much as I love the look of a clean field and the mulching effect of cultivating soil, I recognize that there is also a price that the soil pays. Constant cultivation and tillage breaks down organic matter and soil structure over time. I’ve heard of farmers who work very successfully with weeds as a part of their cropping system and I am alway looking for more information on how these systems work so that I can reduce my energy inputs and the damage I’m doing to the soil. In my thinking, weeds are incredible scavengers, helping to bring nutrients to the surface and to keep them cycling, frequently providing habitat for beneficials, and they help to hold soil against wind and water erosion. For these reasons I am not weed phobic, I just try to pay attention to the weeds I have, what they are telling me, and whether they are benefitting my long-term goals in the times and places that I see them, or if I need to limit their growth.
In the fall and winter I rarely cultivate out weeds, and I appreciate mats of chickweed that fill in where I haven’t been able to seed a good cover crop. Chickweed tends to cultivate out easily when I don’t want it, and it only germinates in cool weather so it’s not a problem for the majority of my planting season. It also grows relatively slowly and low so it usually won’t smother cash crops quickly, like many of the summer weeds we have will.
I also use mowing, instead of cultivating, in some situations in the summer where I want to reduce tillage, but I don’t want a cover crop or weeds to go to seed. This creates a type of sod, and sod is a great way to build organic matter and to keep nutrients cycling close to the surface. Mowing does create some compaction in the soil because the tractor has to drive over, but it usually takes less horsepower than tillage, and doesn’t cause the other types of damage that tillage does. In places where I want to maintain good pathways I use weeds or cover crops to create a sod which creates mowing work, but eliminates cultivating work in those spots. This works well in high traffic harvest crops like summer squash and I like it for separating melon varieties as well.
Looking past the weeds
I just finished hoeing a few rows of carrots and beets with my good friend Michael Ableman and a few of his interns during which I remembered a few other reasons I like cultivating. Beyond the goal of eliminating weeds, spending a little time at the end of a hoe (or even cultivating on a tractor) provides an excellent opportunity to look briefly at every plant in the field and to “feel” what is happening in the soil as you watch the surface interact with the tool. Cultivating can also be considered field scouting for moisture problems, pest and disease issues, variety evaluation and assessing other needs like trellising or even harvest timing. When I’m hoeing I have time to think about the crop and what it needs, weigh options, see the whole field, all while doing something productive with my hands. Most simply, it helps me understand the plants by spending more time with them at times in their growth cycle between the times that I am forced to be there at planting and then again at harvest.
Josh Volk farms on the edge of Portland, Oregon, and consults with farmers around the country on their farming systems. He can be reached at


Different Garden Hoes – Learn How To Use A Hoe For Gardening

The right choice of tool in the garden can make a big difference. A hoe is used to dislodge weeds or for cultivating the garden, stirring up and mounding the soil. It’s an important tool for any serious gardener, but did you know that there are multiple types of garden hoes? Some are better for specific jobs, like weeding, while others are designed for bigger or smaller spaces. Choose the right hoe for the job and both the garden and your muscles will thank you.

Types of Garden Hoes

All hoes have the same basic structure and purpose: a long handle with a paddle, blade, or stirrup at the end, typically at an angle to the handle. The uses for hoes are to cultivate garden soil and to remove weeds. Even with this basic design there are a few variations, and using hoes in the garden successfully means choosing the right one:

Paddle, or Draw, hoe. The basic garden hoe goes by many names, including paddle, draw, chopping, or planter. The paddle at the end of the handle is a small rectangle (approximately 6 by 4 inches or 15 by 10 cm.), angled at 90 degrees. This is a good general hoe that can help you dislodge weeds by the root or mound and shape soil. You can find versions of this with smaller paddles for tight spaces and in lighter weights. If you aren’t sure how to use a hoe that is more specialized, this is a good place to start.

Stirrup hoe. Also known as a shuffle or loop hoe, this hoe has an attachment that looks like the stirrup on a saddle. While the paddle hoe is usually used by pulling it back or making a chopping motion, you can use the stirrup with a back-and-forth motion that really helps to dig out stubborn weeds without displacing a lot of soil.

Collinear, or Onion, hoe. The paddle or blade on this type of hoe is long and thin, often about 7 by 1 inch (18 by 3 cm.). This hoe is designed to weed in narrow spaces and the blade rides parallel to the surface of the soil. Because of the angle of the blade, you can use it without bending over, which is great for the back.

Warren, or Dutch, hoe. This hoe has a flat blade or paddle, attached at a 90-degree angle, but unlike the basic paddle hoe, the shape is a triangle or spade. The pointy part faces out and is used to get into tight spaces or to dig out difficult weeds.

In addition to the above types of garden hoes, you can also find a hoe with a shorter handle. These are great to have if you prefer to garden while kneeling or sitting.

Keep all the different garden hoes in mind as you plant your garden. Depending on the type you have or plan to get, you can space your vegetables to ensure the hoe will fit between them. This will make the chore of weeding a lot faster and easier.

Picking the right gardening tools can save you time, money, and a whole lot of wear and tear on your body, especially when it comes to hand tools like your trusty garden hoe. It’s a simple tool: a blade on the end of a handle that you can use to kill weeds, break up ground, mark out rows, and more.

Today, though, there seems to be no end of bells and whistles for your hoe: stainless steel blades, combination hoe/cultivator heads, even telescoping handles! So what’s really going to get the job done quickly and easily? In this article, we will compare 7 of the best garden hoe to find out which one is the best of the best.

Our Pick

For Weeding and Cultivation: Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator

For light cultivation and maintenance weeding in established gardens and beds, the Flexrake Hula-Ho makes your work quick and easy. It requires minimal maintenance and holds up well with frequent use.

Check the price on Amazon ›

For Heavy Duty: Rogue Garden Hoe 575G

For moving dirt or breaking up heavy soils, the Rogue Garden Hoe comes out on top. The heavy-duty construction coupled with its relatively light weight makes it a good choice even for gardeners with limitations.

Check the price on Amazon ›

What Makes a Good Garden Hoe

Well, it depends a bit on what exactly the job is.

A scuffle hoe, which cuts weeds at the root whether you’re pushing or pulling, is great for keeping down weeds in an established garden, but it’s not so good at breaking up packed earth or making furrows for planting. Heavy duty draw hoes chop through tough weeds like butter, but they’ll also take out your plants as well, so they’re not good for tight spaces.

Before picking out your garden hoe, take a moment to think about how you’re going to use it.
In general, new gardens, heavy soil, and big weeds call for a heavy, wide-bladed draw hoe. Maintenance weeding can be done with a scuffle or stirrup hoe. If you’re working in tight spaces or around delicate plants, try a hand hoe. A combination cultivator and draw hoe is an excellent multi-tasker during planting season.

Don’t forget to consider your own preferences! If you know working with heavy tools makes your back and arms ache, opt for a lighter aluminum or fiberglass handle instead of wood. It’s better to have to replace a lightweight tool that you’ll actually use than to buy a heavy duty one that gathers dust.
No matter what your style preference, make sure your hoe fits you. Unless you’re using a hand hoe, you’ll want a hoe with a handle at least 54″ long. Taller folks may want a handle as long as 74″. That allows you to balance the weight of the head with the weight of the handle and keeps you from having to stoop.

It’s also important to remember that your tools need maintenance.

Heads or handles may need to be replaced over time. Many companies sell replacement parts, but you can avoid a lot of that simply by taking good care of your tools.

After using your new hoe, rinse off any soil and store it out of the weather. Some models have self-sharpening blades, but for those that don’t, a quick swipe with a knife sharpener will keep them in good shape. Wooden handles may require occasional sanding and oiling; repair or replace cracked handles to avoid injury.

All right. You’ve taken some time to consider what you need from your hoe, and whether it’s going to be manageable in terms of size, shape, and maintenance. Even now that you know what you’re looking for, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming. Not to worry. I did a little digging (pun maybe intended) to find some of the best hoes available.

6 Best Garden Hoes We Reviewed

1. Tru Pro Forged Eye Hoe

This design is an oldie but a goodie. The heavy duty forged head is mounted on an ash handle using a “friction fit.” That means it’s basically pounded down onto a handle from the narrow end (where you hold it when you use it) to the wide end. Every time you draw the hoe toward you through the soil, you’re further tightening the head down onto the handle. The solid head won’t bend like welded versions, and the ash handle provides a good combination of strength and flexibility.

What we like:

  • This hoe is built to last! Heavy-duty construction means that with proper maintenance, it will still be going strong after years of use.

What we don’t like:

  • It’s no featherweight. The combination of wood handle and forged head are too heavy for some gardeners, and there’s no way to opt for a fiberglass option due to the design of the head.
  • Some assembly may be required; depending on where the hoe ships from, you may need to attach the blade to the handle after it arrives.

Check the price on Amazon ›

2. Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator

The Hula-Ho, or action hoe, is a modern take on the traditional stirrup hoe. Like its predecessor, it cuts and pulls weeds below the surface of the soil whether you push it or pull it, but the Hula-Ho has the added advantage of flexing back and forth to keep the blade at the perfect angle for maximum weed destruction with minimal effort. The blade is self-sharpening.

  • Gets through large areas of weeds quickly and thoroughly.
  • Not too heavy even for senior gardeners despite the wood handle. The minimal movement required to get the Hula-Ho through weeds makes weight a non-issue.
  • It’s very durable, but if you do happen to damage the head, there are replacements available so you don’t have to buy a brand new hoe.
  • Doesn’t perform as well in very heavy or very rocky soils.
  • Not a good multi-tasker. While it’s unmatched as a weeding tool, that’s about all it does. It’s not good for making furrows, hilling up squash or potatoes, or any other task that requires actually moving soil.

Check the price on Amazon ›

3. Bond LH016 Culti-Hoe With Telescopic Handle & Non-Slip Grip

This hoe is a lightweight multitasker designed to make short work of breaking up ground for planting and weeding. For added durability, the handle is made of steel with a rust-resistant coating rather than aluminum or fiberglass. The Culti-Hoe goes from 25″ to 37″ and locks in place by simply twisting the handle. It works well in small spaces, and the double-sided head means you won’t have to switch between tools when you go from loosening soil to moving it.

  • Great tool for raised beds.
  • Particularly good for elderly or disabled gardeners; the adjustable handle and light weight make it easy to handle while seated.
  • Too short to be used comfortably from a standing position except in raised areas.
  • The locking mechanism of the telescoping arm can come loose while you’re using the tool.

Check the price on Amazon ›

4. Rogue Garden Hoe 575G

The Rogue Garden Hoe is part of the Rogue Hoe line, which features extremely heavy-duty products designed to seek and destroy weeds wherever they may grow. This garden hoe can take on large weeds, heavy soil, rocks, and sod without any trouble. The 60″ wooden handle helps you gain leverage, and the 5.75″ head is wide enough to take out weeds while still fitting in between rows and plants. The head is also sharpened on all three sides and holds its edge well. Even better, this hoe comes with a lifetime guarantee.

  • Easy to handle, light-weight tool.
  • Works from multiple angles; because the blade is sharpened on all three sides, you can take out even the hard-to-reach weeds.
  • The blade stays sharp with minimal maintenance.
  • The blade and tang are made of hardened steel, and a sharp shock can cause the blade to snap off the handle.
  • Though the 5.75″ head is great for general gardening, it’s not big enough to conveniently clear new areas or remove sod

Check the price on Amazon ›

5. Tomita Japanese Garden Landscaping Triangle Hoe

This is what’s known as a chopping hoe, which is a common design in parts of Asia. It’s a small hand tool with a triangular stainless steel blade on 15″ handle. The sides are sharpened, allowing it to slice through weeds when used as a scraper, and the narrow point easily loosens dry and compacted soils. It can be used for precision work, especially in between plants and rows

  • Lightweight tool, great for those who work seated or kneeling.
  • Unique design makes it a true multitasker, which is rare in such a small tool.
  • Not useful for weeding or cultivating large areas.
  • The blade may bend or nick with rough use, especially in rocky soil.
  • Without gloves, the smooth painted wood handle can be slippery.

Check the price on Amazon ›

6. Corona Clipper SH61000 Diamond Hoe

The diamond hoe is a scuffle-type hoe designed to glide along beneath the surface of the soil slicing weeds off whether you’re pushing or pulling. The diamond-shaped blade is sharpened along all four sides, which makes it highly maneuverable and well suited to small spaces even a stirrup hoe can’t handle. Corona’s Clipper features a 62″ wooden handle and a highly sharpened carbon steel head.

  • Covers large areas quickly with minimal effort.
  • Nimble enough to work in small areas without damaging your plantings.
  • The angle of the head can make this hoe difficult to handle depending on your height.
  • The head/socket assembly is attached with a screw that may loosen and require maintenance.
  • Without gloves, the smooth painted wood handle can be slippery.

Check the price on Amazon ›

For light cultivation and maintenance weeding in established gardens and beds, the Flexrake Hula-Ho makes your work quick and easy. It requires minimal maintenance and holds up well with frequent use.

Check the price on Amazon ›

For moving dirt or breaking up heavy soils, the Rogue Garden Hoe comes out on top. The heavy-duty construction coupled with its relatively light weight makes it a good choice even for gardeners with limitations.

Check the price on Amazon ›

It may seem overwhelming at first to consider such a wealth of options when all you want is a simple garden hoe! But now that you know how different types of hoes suit different types of jobs, you can choose the one that best suits your needs. In the end, it all comes down to what you know…or rather, what you hoe!

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A gardening hoe is used for shaping the soil and controlling the weeds. It can also be used for harvesting root crops. This tool is very important even in small gardens. It is as significant as a spade or a fork. Why use a gardening hoe? Removing the weeds can be accomplished rapidly with a hoe. It can also kill the weed seedlings which have not yet grown above the ground. This can help in making your task much easier.

When to use a gardening hoe? It is best to till before the weeds start to grow on the surface. Weed seedlings are always developing beneath the surface. If you can hoe regularly then these weed seedlings will be killed. Thus, it is excellent to do it as early as possible. Hoeing is best when the surface is dry. Once the weeds are chopped off with the hoe, rerooting will be harder if the surface is dry.

Best Gardening Hoe Reviews

1. Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator

Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator – Get it via Amazon

The Flexrake 1000L Hula-Ho Weeder Cultivator can do it all! It uses a self-sharpening heat-treated blade that works excellently below the soil. It can easily chop the weeds from its roots. The 54″ handle is smooth and durable. It can help in eradicating back strain, making it perfect for people who are suffering from back problems. This tool is made in the USA and it comes with one replacement blade.

2. Prohoe Rogue Garden Hoe with 5.5 Inch Blade

Prohoe Rogue Garden Hoe with 5.5 Inch Blade – Get it via Amazon

Prohoe Rogue Garden Hoe with 5.5 Inch Blade is the perfect match if you are planning to do some serious digging. Also known as the ‘dirt digging machine’, the Rogue Garden Hoe uses a high-grade steel blade which is sharpened on all sides. It is great for cultivating a new ground. The blade can cut at all angles and it does not need to be sharpened. With its unique shape, it can be used between plants. It is a versatile tool that can be used by both men and women.

3. Ames True Temper Triangular Warren Hoe

Ames True Temper Triangular Warren Hoe – Get it via Amazon

The Ames True Temper Triangular Warren Hoe works best for making furrows. The triangular-shaped head is perfect for cultivating the soil in between plants. The ears on the back can let you easily pull out the soil. This tool uses a durable blade and a 54″ handle. It is covered by a 5-year warranty. If you are preparing your beds for planting different types of crops then this is the best tool to use.

4. Corona Clipper SH61000 Diamond Hoe

Corona Clipper SH61000 Diamond Hoe – Get it via Amazon

The Corona Clipper SH61000 Diamond Hoe has a diamond-shaped blade that is made of carbon steel. It is sharp enough to effectively cut weeds by pulling or pushing. The unique shape of the blade is ideal for cutting weeds in hard to reach areas. This is also an excellent tool for loosening the soil.

5. Flexrake Classic Flower and Vegetable Tiller

Flexrake Classic Flower and Vegetable Tiller – Get it via Amazon

The Flexrake Classic Flower and Vegetable Tiller look nice! It has a traditional design that is appropriate for those who want to get close and personal with Mother Earth. It is made of a carbon steel blade and has an oak handle so you can guarantee that it can last longer. This is a multi-purpose tool that can be used for planting, digging and weeding.

6. Ames True Temper Kodiak Garden Hoe

Ames True Temper Kodiak Garden Hoe – Get it via Amazon

The Ames True Temper Kodiak Garden Hoe is a basic type of paddle Hoe wherein the blade is inserted through the goose-neck for excellent alignment. It has a 52″ wooden handles which can help in preventing any back pains. Wooden handles are better than fiberglass handles because it is much easier on the hands. Just clean and oil it regularly so that it can last longer.

7. Ames Onion Hoe 1841100 with 52-inch Handle

Ames Onion Hoe 1841100 with 52-inch Handle – Get it via Amazon

The Ames Onion Hoe 1841100 with a 52-inch Handle is longer and thinner compared to other basic hoes. It is intended for sliding easily under the foliage. It might not be suitable for crowded beds, however, it’s very useful for weeding. The bottom and side edges of the blade are well sharpened, for more flexibility. This gardening Hoe has a blue square blade that is made of Chrome ferrule.

8. Bully Tools 92348 Loop Hoe with Fiberglass Handle

Bully Tools 92348 Loop Hoe with Fiberglass Handle – Get it via Amazon

The Bully Tools 92348 Loop Hoe with Fiberglass Handle is great since it can chop in both forward and backward directions. With scuffle hoops, you don’t have to pull it towards yourself again and again. Just tussle it on the soil. This particular Hoe can also be used as a cultivator if your soil is not too consolidated.

9. Dewit D25 Heart Shaped Push Hoe with P-Grip

Dewit D25 Heart Shaped Push Hoe with P-Grip – Get it via Amazon

If you don’t like using the traditional hoe then Dewit D25 Heart Shaped Push Hoe with P-Grip is the best one for you. It has more capability than a scuffle hoe. It works just like a scuffle hoe, however, its heart-shaped blade is very effective in eliminating weeds since it can chop into the sod. It has a flat blade with a spiked edge. The “V” groove of the blade is excellent for snatching out those bigger weeds. The hoe blade has the capability of rotating at any angles when necessary. Very nice and very thoughtful!

10. Ames Action Hoe 1866300 With 54-inch Handle

Ames Action Hoe 1866300 With 54-inch Handle – Get it via Amazon

Ames Action Hoe 1866300 With a 54-inch Handle is a preferred choice for any housewife. This is because this Hoe can remove weeds by using back and forth motion instead of scraping the weeds using the stroke-and-lift method. In this way, the oscillating blade can efficaciously shear the weeds. This Hoe can save you a lot of time cleaning up your weeds.

Gardening Hoe Types

Gardening is a relaxing hobby. However, if you don’t have the right tools then it can be very stressful. A gardener needs a gardening hoe in order to accomplish his essential tasks like weeding and tilling. When it comes to gardening hoes, keep in mind that they are not created equal. There are basic distinctions between them.

A gardening hoe is composed of a long shaft with an angled metal blade at the end. There are several types of gardening hoes and they usually differ in their appearances and functions. Some are multi-purpose while others can only be used for a certain purpose. Generally, there are two major types of gardening hoes. These are the draw hoe and the scuffle hoe. A draw hoe is intended for shaping and furrowing while a scuffle hoe is used for weeding.

The blade of a draw hoe is angled at ninety degrees to the handle. The gardener will chop it into the ground then drag it towards him. It can also be used for digging the soil. The Eye Hoe is a common design of a draw hoe. It has a hole at the head, which is used for inserting the handle.

Draw Hoes

  • Grub hoe or grab Hoe or pattern Hoe has a heavy and wide blade.
  • Ridging hoe or warren hoe or drill Hoe has a triangular or heart-shaped blade. It is usually used for making trenches and furrows.
  • Hoedad or “Hoedag” is mainly used for planting trees.
  • Mortar hoe has a square blade and it is typically used for blending mortar and concrete.

A scuffle hoe is very effective in weeding since it can remove the outer layer of the soil. It has two designs – the Dutch hoe and the hoop hoe.

Scuffle Hoes

  • The Dutch hoe or push hoe uses a blade that is sharp on all sides for cutting the weeds efficiently.
  • The hoop hoe or action hoe uses a double-edged blade. It is excellent for chopping off weeds especially in loose soil.

What To Look For When Buying a Hoe

The most significant thing to consider when purchasing a gardening hoe is its blade material. Mostly hoe blades are made of stainless steel and carbon steel. A hoe made of stainless steel has a low level of soil adherence. This means that it is capable of penetrating more on the soil. At the same time, it is also much easier to wipe after using and it will not rust. Furthermore, a carbon steel blade is made of tougher material. This means that it does not warp or bend easily.

Another factor to consider is the shaft material. Wooden handles can greatly absorb impacts, however, it can get rotten if it is not stored properly. Nonetheless, you can use Boiled Linseed Oil to protect it from various elements. Steel handles are heavier, however, they are durable and will not get damaged right away. Additionally, handles that are made of fiberglass and aluminum are lighter which gives you the chance to Hoe for a longer period of time without feeling any weariness.

Regardless, there are also handles which are sold separately and can be used with other heads for various purposes. This can save you some money if you are buying several independently shafted tools. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your gardening hoe now and start chopping those weeds then use a wheelbarrow to gather the debris. Gardening is not only a relaxing hobby but it’s also good for your health.

From a simple penchant for yellow flowers as a child to becoming a full-time gardener, nature advocate, and garden designer, I am extremely happy to finally have a platform for me to successfully spread knowledge and expertise in the garden. After highschool graduation, I took many courses related to garden design to feed myself with more knowledge and expertise other than what I learned from my mom growing up. Soon as I finished courses, I gained more experience through internships and most especially, garden shows! I also tried to join as many garden design competitions locally. For any garden design inquiries, ping me!

When I was making a list of all of the tools I willneed to start my vegetable garden, I was conflicted with the choice between afew different gardening hoes. So, I did some reading online to find out whatthe different types of gardening hoes are, as well as what they are used forand how to buy them.

What are the types of gardening hoes, how are theyused, and how can I buy one? Gardening hoes come in many different shapesand sizes, with the most common types including paddle, stirrup, collinear, andDutch hoes. Although these tools are all used for various purposes, the mainfunction of a gardening hoe is to get rid of weeds and cultivate your garden. Agardening hoe can be purchased at your local hardware store or can be shippedto you through an online purchase instead.

At first glance, a gardening hoe might seem like themost simple tool that exists in a garden. Constructed of a metal head at theend of a wooden stick, most people would not expect the process of choosing andpurchasing a gardening hoe to be so complex.

However, there is a wide variety of purposes that eachof these tools are used for that are all necessary for a successful gardeningexperience.

What Is a Gardening Hoe and How Is It Used?

A gardening hoe is a helpful tool that assistsgardeners in pulling weeds and shaping soil without having to complete the sametasks by hand. The long handle that extends away from the gardener makes itconvenient to pull weeds and dig through the land for any reason without havingto physically bend over.

With so many types of hoes to choose from while purchasing tools for your garden, it is important to know the differentfunctions that each one is used for as well as how it will affect you withfrequent use. Some gardening hoes are great for people who have back problemsbecause they do not require any kind of bending over or use of excessive muscleforce.

Other kinds ofgardening hoes will not be ideal for gardeners who are not able to put theirback into every motion while working in the garden for extended periods oftime. Depending on your needs as an individual, it is vital that you make aninformed decision when purchasing a gardening hoe for your yard, as your choicewill impact a lot of factors going forward.

Paddle Hoe (Draw Hoe)

One of the most basic types of garden hoes are knownas paddle, or draw hoes. They are also commonly referred to as chopping orplanter hoes as well.

The appearance of one of these tools is a standardrectangle paddle located at the end of a wooden handle. The paddle is usuallyabout 6 to 15 inches long, with a width of up to 5 to 10 inches, depending onthe size of the individual hoe.

Regardless of size and dimensions, the end piece on apaddle hoe sticks out from the handle at an angle of 90 degrees. This type ofgardening hoe is perfect for pulling out weeds directly from the root.

Additionally, paddle hoes can be used to simply breakup the soil and split it up manually. It can even be formed into a certainshape using the end of the paddle.

Stirrup Hoe

This type of hoe can also be referred to as a loop orshuffle hoe. Stirrup hoes have an attachment that looks similar to a saddle’sstirrup. The stirrup is the ring-shaped object that is located toward thebottom of a saddle that is commonly found on a horse when someone is riding it.

This piece serves the purpose of holding the foot ofthe rider and assisting them in climbing onto the saddle, very similar to astepping stool.

Just like the stirrup on a saddle, a stirrup hoe hasan attachment that looks just like a loop with open space in the middle. Theseare most commonly used to dig out weeds that will not easily come out by handor with another gardening tool.

In order to operate a stirrup hoe, the gardener canperform one of three motions. First, they can place it on the ground around theperimeter of the targeted weed and pull it back toward themselves in order topull it out.

Secondly, they can carry out a forceful movementup-and-down in a chopping motion in efforts to break the dirt around the weedand loosen it for easier removal.

Alternatively, the gardener can use a back and forthmotion to pull out the weed in question without moving the soil around toomuch. Stirrup hoes are increasingly convenient in this way because the gardenerwill not have to put too much effort into repairing the broken soil after they areused to remove stubborn weeds in the garden.

Collinear Hoe (Onion Hoe)

Collinear hoes, also known as onion hoes, have a longand thin paddle at the end of their handles. The average measurements for theseblades are approximately 7 inches long and just 1 inch wide.

The purpose of this tool is to gain access to smallspaces without damaging nearby plants or soil. In order to use a collinear hoe,the gardener will have to maneuver the paddle in a parallel motion onto the topof the soil to remove the weeds.

This specific kind of gardening hoe is convenient oversome of the alternatives because the person who is using it does not have toput their back into the work as much as usual. The blade is so sharp and willeasily cut through even the hardest areas of soil, which makes it much easierfor the gardener to get the job done without injuring their back.

Warren Hoe (Dutch Hoe)

Warren and Dutch hoes have a more flat blade at theend of the handle, but they are not square or rectangular. The paddle on awarren hoe can either be triangular or spade. This is a very unique type ofblade because almost every other type of gardening hoe that is available on themarket will follow a similar design.

Similar to the collinear hoe, warren hoes are designedto fit into smaller spaces with the sharp points of the shapes facing outwardand digging into the soil.

Heart Hoe

Contrary to the most common gardening hoe shapes anddesigns, the heart hoe has a V-shaped blade at the end of the handle. Just likethe name suggests, this kind of tool looks very similar to a heart.

Using this tool does not require pulling it backwardrepeatedly, but instead allows the operator to turn the blade at any angle. Thepoint at the tip of the “V” makes these rotations increasingly easy.

Hand-held Hoes

Along with all of the most common types of garden hoesthat come attached to a long handle that is used while standing up, there arealternative types of hoes with short handles. These handles can be held in onehand and will require the gardener to get closer to the soil in order tooperate them.

To use a hand-held gardening hoe, the gardener willneed to sit or kneel on the ground directly in front of the weed that needs tobe removed. These tools are ideal for those who are more detail-oriented thatwould like to see what they are doing up close. However, they can also cause astrain to the back with frequent use.

Do I Need to Purchase a Gardening Hoe for My Garden?

Although the action of pulling weeds can be done byhand with a sturdy pair of gardening gloves, the use of a gardening tool easesthe burden on the gardener tremendously.

By using one of these long-handled tools, there is noneed to bend over the soil and use arm and body strength to manually pull weedsout fo the ground.

When the topic of essential garden tools comes up,most experienced gardeners and farmers will list gardening hoes as one of themost essential tools that anyone can have in their garden.

With the ability to reach small places and easily digup annoying weeds with a few backs and forth motions, maintaining andcultivating a garden does not get much easier.

Aside from gardening hoes, there are other even moreconvenient tools that can be used for the specific task of pulling weeds and upkeeping the soil in a garden, including electrical cultivators.

These machines perform the same functions as gardeninghoes, but even faster and easier. They are maneuvered with both hands placed ona handle and pushed forward just like a lawnmower.

Electric cultivators are increasingly convenient foruse in any garden, but these types of machines can become very expensive. Asthe quality and ease of use go up, so does the price for garden cultivators. Tobe more specific, the average price can go up to hundreds of dollars.

Gardening hoes are very ideal when cost is beingconsidered because the price to purchase one is much lower than thealternative. Even though they require slightly more work and movement from thegardener, they help get the job done faster than it would be by hand.

The time and amount of work you are willing to putinto your garden will make the decision of what kind of tools you will need toinvest in for your garden.

What is The Best Type of Gardening Hoe For My Garden?

The characteristics of a good gardening hoe willdepend on who is purchasing the tool. Different types of hoes suit differenttasks, gardeners, and the needs of the individual plants in their garden.

If you prefer not to do much heavy lifting while youare carrying out your day-to-day gardening duties, you should choose an optionwith a lower weight. Although the handles can have varying densities, you wouldbe the safest with a tool that has a smaller or thinner blade.

If you have thick soil or large weeds, you will wantto select a draw hoe or a stirrup hoe. Both of these tools will be able to cutthrough multiple weeds at once and will be great for the beginning of thegarden as well as weekly maintenance.

The handle of a gardening hoe can come in differentmaterials including aluminum and even glass. These materials are generally morelightweight and easier to carry for those who are not fans of the heavy liftingthat can sometimes come with these gardening tasks.

Regardless of your preference in style, you shouldmake sure the length of the handle is sufficient for your height. The standardhandle size is about 54 inches, while someone taller might require up to a75-inch handle.

How Should I Go About Buying a Gardening Hoe?

Once you have educated yourself on all of thedifferent types of gardening hoes that are available on the market, you will beable to make the correct decision regarding which type of tool, or tools, youwill need for your garden. After that is established, you will most likely beready to purchase one. So, where is the best place to find what you are lookingfor?

One of the best places to find and purchase gardeningtools will be your local hardware or home improvement store. As long as thestore of your choice has a section that is specific to gardening, you will mostlikely be able to leave with exactly what you need.

Purchasing a garden hoe in person can be more idealthan online because you will be able to assess the quality of the tool inperson before paying for it. While inside of the store, you can hold it andpractice performing the back and forth or chopping motions just like you wouldin your garden.

If there are any issues with the tool as far asweight, size, and quality, you will be able to know right away before you bringit up to the check-out counter.

Just like almost any other product that exists in theworld, gardening hoes can be purchased online. This is the most convenientoption because you can shop directly from your mobile phone or computer andhave your product delivered to your doorstep.

You can even purchase one of these tools online from atrusted retailer in your area as opposed to traveling to the same store just tobuy it in person. This can be convenient if you have already gone to the storeto try out the product in question but waited to actually buy it. This wouldcut out the process of having to carry the long-handled tool back to your carand drive it all the way back home.

Alternatively, most local hardware stores will offertheir customers the option of ordering a gardening hoe online and picking it upin person at the store. This is ideal for the tools that have great productdescriptions and photos but are not currently available at your local store.

This way, you will be able to examine the quality ofthe item before even leaving the store in the event of any issues.

Before making the purchase of any gardening tool,regardless of the method in which you choose to buy it, you should always beaware of the return policy as well as any warranties that the brand or storemight offer to the customer just in case any problems arise after you have leftthe store.

Buyers should be increasingly wary of online retailers’return and refund policies because these types of purchases are more likely togo wrong.

What Should I Expect to Spend on a Gardening Hoe?

Now that you know the difference between all of themost common types of hoes that are used by gardeners, you should be able toassess your individual needs and make a choice of what you will need to startyour garden. The next factor that must be considered in this process is howmuch you will be spending on your brand new gardening tool.

The price of the garden hoe you choose to buy willdepend on the brand, size, and type of tool, as well as where you buy it and ifit is bought online or in person. Some brands that are more quality orwell-known among gardeners will charge higher prices for their supplies. Inaddition, hoes with larger or more effective paddle pieces might cost more thana smaller tool.

Buying a gardening hoe in person at your localhardware store could be a more cost-effective option in comparison to making anonline purchase with all things considered. Any kind of online purchase willinevitably come with additional fees for taxes and delivery.

These fees can pile up if you need the tool deliveredfaster than the standard delivery option, so the time frame in which you willneed to use it should be considered when you decide where to purchase it.

Some of the most popular brands for gardening toolsare Tru and Flexrake, which offer gardening hoes for an average price of $40.

The lower end of costs for the basic gardening hoe canbe anywhere from $15 to $35. This is relatively inexpensive in comparison tothe alternative electrical tools that can be used for the same purpose. Anytype of gardening hoe can fall into this price category depending on thematerial, quality, size, and brand.

Some of the more expensive options that you can findat your local home improvement store can range anywhere from $40 up to $70.Before making a gardening hoe purchase, you should always do research oncustomer reviews for each individual product to get an accurate idea of thequality you will be receiving.

The last thingyou would want to do is pay a premium price for something that will end up notworking. This even applies to in-person transactions, because the quality couldhold up nicely in the store but become completely different within just a fewuses.

What is the difference between a garden tiller and a cultivator?

Contrary to the traditional garden hoe, garden tillersand cultivators are both automatic machines that can be pushed around and usedsimilarly to a lawnmower in order to break up the soil and cultivate the gardenwith little to no effort. Although both of these machines serve similarpurposes, they are not exactly the same.

Garden tillers are larger and more powerful mechanicalmachines that are able to break apart stiff areas of soil and move them aroundaccordingly. There is a variety of special blade replacements that can beattached to perform tasks of different intensity levels.

Cultivators, on the other hand, are electricalmachines that break up the surface of the soil into a more fine texture. Theyare smaller and less powerful than garden tillers and do not dig as deep intothe soil as their counterparts.

Electric cultivators can also get rid of weeds and behelpful in the upkeep of any kind of garden, similar to the functions of amanual gardening hoe.

Both of these machines work together in the process ofcreating and maintaining a garden but are not necessary for a thriving garden.Anything that can be done with a tiller and cultivator can be done manuallywith tools such as gardening hoes.

Why is wearing gardening gloves necessary for gardening?

Aside from the large gardening tools that are used toplow through the soil and dig holes in the ground in preparation for theplanting of seeds, there is another piece of equipment that is equally asnecessary for the task of planting and caring for any kind of garden.

Gardening gloves are some of the most importantsupplies that are needed to work in a garden at all times. The purpose ofgardening gloves is to protect the fingers and hands from cuts, infections, andany other injury that can happen when the bare skin is exposed outdoors.

There is a long list of hazards that are present inany garden, so gloves should always be worn no matter how small the task mayseem.

To name a few injuries out of the long list of thingsthat can happen while gardening, the hands, and fingers can experience cuts,lacerations, as well as coming in contact with bacterial infections andpainfully breaking nails.

Without the use of gloves, the soil can collect underthe fingernails and be transferred onto the body, face, or anywhere else insidethe house and spread toxic chemicals and germs.

How should gardening gloves be cleaned and taken care of?

It is important to consistently clean and care foryour gardening gloves just like any other tool that is used in the garden. Thisway, they can be used for a longer period of time without needing any repairsor replacements.

If gardening gloves are tossed around and not properlymaintained, they can become permanently stiffened or stained and will have tobe replaced with a brand new pair.

The care instructions for each type of gardening glovewill depend on the material it is made out of. The most popular types ofgardening gloves that are used by most gardeners include leather, cotton,rubber, latex, and nitrile. Leather gloves will require a more thoroughcleaning and maintenance process than almost any other type of glove.

Since leather can incur damages from too much water,they must be brushed off with a soft-bristled cleaning brush before they arewiped down with a damp cloth. The damp towel or cloth should not have anyexcess water and will usually have a special saddle soap on the tip of it thatis worked into the material of the glove.

They will then be wiped off with a clean towel andair-dried before being treated with special conditioning oils.

Cotton gloves, on the other hand, are much easier tocare for. Just like a cotton t-shirt, they can be tossed into the washingmachine in your laundry room and air dried on a clothing line.

Rubber gloves will need to be thoroughly washed offwith water and a dishwashing liquid, and air-dried in an open environment toavoid any molding or mildew formation. This is the exact process that latexgloves will go through after being used in the soil to prevent any permanentdamage. Regardless of the type of glove you have purchased forgardening, they will all need to be cleaned immediately after use and cared foraccording to the manufacturer’sinstructions.

The History of the Garden Hoe

Farmer image by Benjamin Huseman from

The hoe is such as basic and useful garden tool that few gardens are without one. The tool consists of a flat blade at the end of a long stick and is used for cultivating, chopping and digging. The hoe is such a practical tool that its existence dates back to the first gardens of history.


Evidence of the first hoes exists on cave paintings that date back to the fifth millennium B.C. The paintings show a tool that resembled a long, forked stick. Early farmers used these hoes to dig up weeds, create furrows and chop plants.


Hoes from fifth century Mesopotamia were made of worked stone, bone and animal horn. By the 14th century, metal working techniques improved to the point that a hoe blade could be shaped precisely.


According to “Grit,” archeologists say early hoes were custom made and were hard to come by. A broken, stolen or lost hoe would halt the cultivation and production of plants long enough to endanger a food supply and lead to starvation. Thieves of garden implements like hoes were prosecuted. Even as late as the Revolutionary War farmers offered rewards for the return of missing tools. It was common to see hoes mentioned specifically next to items such as silks and spices on ads of shipping imports.


Early hoes helped farmers avoid bending or stooping to hand-pull weeds. They also helped aerate soil, create furrows or trenches, mix soil components and pile soil up among roots. This prevented stress on various joints, which helped farmers work for longer periods of time.


Metalworkers have been able to invent variations of the basic hoe. Modern farmers can choose to use a simple hoe, or a hoe-like tool such as the grubbing axe. Heavy equipment attachments such as scraper blades also resemble the hoe.

Garden Hoe Illustrations & Vectors

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EPS file Woman working in the garden with weeding hoe. Illustration silhouette of a woman working in the garden with weeding hoe. Isolated white background. EPS file Garden tool for gardening work. Spade, rake, hoe. Vector illustration. Garden tool for gardening work. Spade, rake, hoe for kitchen garden. Agriculture Equipment Tool Garden Wheelbarrow Spade Rake Fork Hoe Trowel Cartoon Vector. Design Garden tools mini-set. shovel, rake and hoe vector illustration. The garden tools mini-set. shovel, rake and hoe vector illustration Garden hoe, agriculture tool cartoon vector Illustration. Isolated on a white background Farmer Gardener With Garden Hoe Cabbage. Business card template showing illustration of a farmer gardener with garden hoe working cabbage patch and vine done in Garden tools mini-set. shovel, rake and hoe vector illustration. The garden tools mini-set. shovel, rake and hoe vector illustration Farmer or gardener with hoe in vegetable garden. Farmer hoeing and weeding soil with garden draw hoe in vegetable garden of farm vector design. Bearded man with Top view of flower pots with garden shovel, rake and hoe. Isolated on white, earth day concept Little boy with garden hoe. Illustration of Little boy with garden hoe Gardening service and garden plants logo templates for gardener and agriculture. Vector isolated icons of tree leaf and sprout, gardening tools of spade, rake Garden background with grass,flowers,butterflies ,watering can a. Nd hoe sample Start of the garden. With a tomato seedling, gardening shoes, hoe and spade illustration over white Gardening service and garden plants vecotr icons templates for gardener agriculture. Gardening service and garden plants logo templates for gardener and Garden and farm tools, vector. Garden work tools, vector agriculture and farming equipment. Shovel, spade, rake and fork, pitchfork, axe and sprayer, trowel Garden tools illustration. Vector card with hand drawn garden tools – fork, spade, hoe, rake and lawn rake. Beautiful design elements Korean hand hoe Garden Tool Cartoon Retro Drawing. Retro cartoon style drawing of a Korean hand hoe , a garden or gardening tool equipment on isolated white Hand fork and hoe Garden Tool Cartoon Retro Drawing. Retro cartoon style drawing of a hand fork and hoe , a garden or gardening tool equipment on isolated white Push hoe Garden Tool Cartoon Retro Drawing. Retro cartoon style drawing of a hand push hoe, a garden or gardening tool equipment on isolated white background Planting or gardening men with sprouts and spades or hoe isolated characters. Garden or orchard men planting trees or bushes in ground vector isolated male Japanese cuttle-fish hoe Garden Tool Cartoon Retro Drawing. Retro cartoon style drawing of a Japanese cuttle-fish hoe , a garden or gardening tool equipment on Japanese cuttle-fish hoe Garden Tool Cartoon Retro Drawing. Retro cartoon style drawing of a Japanese cuttle-fish hoe , a garden or gardening tool equipment on Cute Young Girl in Overalls and Rubber Boots with Hoe, Farmer Girl Cartoon Character Working in Garden Vector. Illustration on White Background Female gardener holding hoe and bucket african american country woman working in garden gardening eco farming concept. Full length vector illustration Trowel and hoe. Garden trowel and hoe on white background Female gardener holding hoe and bucket country woman working in garden gardening eco farming concept full length. Vector illustration Realistic Garden Round Concept. With boots gloves watering can shovel rake trowel hose hoe buckets wheelbarrow of dirt isolated vector illustration Realistic Garden Equipment Template. With gloves boots fertilizer bags bottle buckets hose shovel rake trowel watering can hoe wheelbarrow of dirt vector Garden tools banner, poster vector illustration. 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I recently rediscovered my oscillating or scuffle hoe, which had been tucked away in our basement for way too long. And now I am wondering how I survived without it all last summer. Basically, a sharp hooped blade on the end of a long stick, these beauties allow you to easily weed large areas without bending over by simply dragging and/or pushing the end blade along just under the soil surface, slicing through plant stems and severing them from their roots.

I got mine at the local garden store—but there’s an even greener option for those of you who don’t mind doing a little work: You can simply make your own. And all it takes is a few easy to scavenge items:

1) A bamboo or giant grass pole, or wooden dowel (about the full length from your toes to the tip of your fingers if you hold them above your head).
2) Some lengths of steel strapping, typically used to hold heavy cargo in place (this can easily be salvaged from dumpsters)
3) Some bicycle inner tubes

To be specific, this DIY version, created by Dr. Eric Brennan—a scientist at the United States Department of Agriculture (Agricultural Research Service), ORGANIC research program in Salinas, California—doesn’t appear to have the angled blade of a scuffle hoe, which adjusts slightly to maintain it’s ideal cutting angle.

But that doesn’t appear to be slowing Brennan down when it comes to weeding. In fact, the description on his YouTube channel claims this design beats out any of the standard commercialized designs that are out there. Anyone tried making one of these yet?

(A big thanks as always to Permaculture Magazine for finding this video. They spend even more time geeking out on this stuff than I do…)

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