Garden Hoe Guide: Stirrup Hoes to Wheel Hoes

Every gardener will have their favorite and most-used tools, and they tend to be those that are traditional. A rake is a necessity for clearing away leaves, grass cuttings and other debris, while a collection of trowels, spades and other digging implements will be found in any good garden shed! Then there are the power tools such as lawnmowers, strimmers and more, but one that is often overlooked although equally useful is the garden hoe. An ancient and traditional tool, and one that has a place in every garden, its the best way of removing weeds. 

But thats not all it can do as there are many more uses for a garden hoe that render this simple item a must for gardeners. There are also many different types of Hoe, ranging from the simple type we all think of when hoes are mention – the stirrup hoe – to those with wheels. We will look at wheel hoes in a little more detail in a moment, but first, lets talk about the main types of a garden hoe.

Different Types of Garden Hoe

Think of a garden hoe, and you probably think of the type with a long handle and a flat blade. This is the ‘digging hoe’ so lets have a quick look at the four main types of garden hoe:

Digging Hoe – this is the traditional type of Hoe that is used by gardeners and was once used widely by farmers. It is good for breaking the ground and removing weeds or other plants and is sometimes used as a scraping device for clearing paths and similar. 

Draw Hoe – another popular type, this will have the usual long handle but a blade that is angled perhaps towards the user. Drawn in that direction along the ground, it is best for clearing weeds or debris from paths or bedding areas and is a highly effective tool.

Oscillating Hoe – not as common as the two above, this version features a moving blade and is quite a complex device but used less commonly thanks to it being quite expensive.

Flat Hoe – the flat Hoe is designed with a blade that glides through the soil taking away a small upper layer and is good for turning soil or removing weeds.

So, four of the main types of Hoe there, but were here to look at the benefits of a wheel hoe over the standard stirrup hoe, so lets get a bit more on wheel hoes.

What is a Wheel Hoe?

A wheel hoe is really a machine that can be used for many different garden jobs and is not just a hoe. What you will find is a frame with a pair of wheels and handle, and a spindle onto which several fitments can be added. These include hoeing devices like the oscillating Hoe we mentioned before plus tiller blades and aerators, which are great for turning over soil beds and giving the lawn a good airing, respectively.

Wheel hoes are, by their nature, more expensive than the traditional type of Hoe, but they do have their uses. For example, if you have a large lawn and want to keep it in good order, this is a device you could consider for the job. Similarly, if you look after a spacious flower or vegetable beds that need attention before they are used in the season, a wheel hoe will make your job a lot easier and save plenty of time. They are found in hardware shops and garden centres and come in a range of sizes and types.

The question remains: do you really need a wheel hoe? The answer is that you will only find one of these useful if you have larger spaces to tend, and if your ground happens to be uneven, then you may find it difficult to use as it will be hand-pushed. The choice is up to you, but with so many different designs of traditional, standard Hoe to choose from there is strong competition in terms of what you can achieve with a wheel hoe, and why you should pay the extra price. Have a look at what is available, and perhaps try one, and you may find youre better off with a standard hoe. 

What to Look for in a Hoe

If youre getting together a list of jobs in the garden, then its sensible to check that your tools are in good order, and if you need a new hoe, look for one with a strong handle and a quality blade. You know the brands you prefer and, when it comes to garden tools that will be used often, it is often the case that paying more for quality brands is more cost-effective than settling for the cheaper option. Buy the best you can afford and enjoy keeping your garden tidy and beautiful. 

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