If you have just started venturing into the world of gardening, chances are, you have little to almost no knowledge about gardening unless if you have done your own research. If so, you probably have observed that gardeners use tools to help them, but are they really necessary?
Well, the short answer here is – yes and for various reasons as well. One of the basic gardening tools that you will need is a garden hoe. At first, it may seem just like a normal tool that can be used just like a garden rake. But in reality, if you use the hoe wrong, it could ruin your soil.
Moreover, you could get yourself injured. I myself have encountered these problems, and I lost a lot of plants due to my mistakes. To prevent this from happening to you, this article focuses on how to correctly use a garden hoe the right way.
5 Simple Steps On How To Use A Garden Hoe
1) Purchase A High-Quality Hoe
For starters, I highly recommend choosing a high-quality garden hoe. This is because cheap ones tend to not last long or break off easily. Furthermore, choosing the right type of hoe is just as important.
Unlike other tools, it is easy to distinguish what each type of hoe is used for. This is because the appearance of each type is different or unique. For instance, circle hoes are specifically designed for removing weeds only.
Aside from the unique appearance, each type of garden hoe is made for a specific function. Moreover, there are many types of garden hoes available out there.
2) Use Garden Gloves
A lot of gardeners do not use gloves when they use their garden hoe. This badly leaves a negative impact on the user’s hands, especially if the quality of the material of the garden hoe is in rough shape.
Although it is not necessary, I strongly suggest you wear gloves, just in case you stumble upon hidden rocks or solid soil that might push your hands into the wood of your garden hoe, leaving you cuts and splinters.
Use garden gloves that are comfortable to work with so that you won’t be bothered by them while you are using your garden hoe.
3) Time The Weather
This section focuses on when should you hoe your garden. Yes, timing the weather is a great opportunity to till your garden. For instance, if you are planning on removing weeds off of your garden, the best time to do this is when your soil is dry.
Wet conditions can help as well when it comes to removing weeds that are deeply rooted in the soil. So, whatever your purpose is, make sure to consider the weather to have an advantage.
However, there are complications when it comes to working with wet soil. In terms of weeding, there are no problems with it but if your purpose is primarily to hoe the soil, then stepping on wet soil can make it compact. This makes the roots struggle to grow and scatter.
If weeding is really a must on rainy weather, then stand or walk in a garden path, not on the soil itself to avoid soil compaction. If you are planning on using your garden hoe for your soil, I suggest you do not use it on soft wet soil.
An indicator to know if the soil is too wet is that you can form the soil into a ball of mud. This means that the soil is not in the right condition to hoe with.
4) Practice Proper Posture
A common problem that I used to encounter when I used my garden hoe was muscle pain in my arms and back. This is when I noticed that I should not overwork one side of my body.
This applies to one-hand hoes and the regular large ones. Use your other hand if your dominant hand starts to feel tired. When it comes to big garden hoes or hoes that require two hands, give your hands turns of being the higher or lower one on the handle, this way you do not get easily tired.
Switching hands regularly is a great way to avoid tiring easily since using heavy garden hoes requires a lot of muscle work. Do this to continuously work on your garden without having the need to take a break.
In terms of what size you should use, make sure that the garden hoe is tall enough. This is to avoid you from crouching while working which can easily cause back pain. Moreover, use the garden hoe the right way to avoid overexertion.
5) Regular Maintenance
Maintenance is key to extending the longevity of your garden hoe. Regular maintenance involves cleaning it and placing it in the right place.
I strongly recommend cleaning your garden hoes after every use to keep them clean since dirt can easily hide the true condition of your garden hoe. You might not know that the dirt in your garden hoe is hiding rust.
It only takes a few minutes to clean. Simply scrub it with a brush then water it clean with your garden hose. The air will take care of any moisture that is left on the metal part of your garden hoe.
However, if your garden hoe is not corrosion-resistant, keep it in a place where rain or high-level moisture cannot reach it to prevent your garden hoe from rusting. If ever rust occurs, you can use sandpaper to remove it or keep it from spreading.
Final Thoughts On How To Use A Garden Hoe Properly
There is no doubt that these simple tips will help you with your journey in gardening. Hoeing is crucial when it comes to preparing your soil, which means that you must properly use your hoe in order to achieve a successful garden with no soil problems.
Well, we hope you found this article helpful and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask below. Happy Gardening!