Gardening: Expert offers advice on using hoes
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Removing weeds from your garden can be a difficult task, especially if you don’t use the right tools. Many gardeners recommend getting down on your hands and knees to remove the unwanted plants. However, there could be a far easier way to remove the weeds without straining your back.
An expert at BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine has suggested that a Dutch hoe is the “perfect tool” for keeping on top of weeds.
They said: “A Dutch hoe is the perfect tool for keeping on top of weeds in beds and borders.
“Warmer weather helps seeds in the soil to geminate leading to unwanted weeds popping up everywhere.
“While digging over the soil just brings more seeds to the surface, running over it with a hoe whips weeds out quickly without disturbing what lies beneath.
“If you keep on top of your beds by hoeing regularly you’ll banish annual weeds for good and weaken persistent perennial offenders.
“There are different styles of hoe but the dutch hoe is one of the most common and easiest to use.
“It’s sharp, wide and open blade slides just below the surface of the soil, severing weeds from their root.
“If you hoe on a warm dry day and leave them on the soil surface, they will wither and die in no time.
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“Dutch hoes are also easy to control and manoeuvre – perfect for getting in between plants in beds and borders.
“There push and pull action helps them deal with large areas quickly.”
There are a plethora of different Dutch hoes on the market.
When you choose one, the most important thing to consider is how comfortable it is for you to use.
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If you’re looking for a garden hoe, it’s worth noting that carbon steel blades will need to be sharpened regularly so they work efficiently.
Carbon does rust astroturfing than stainless steel, however, it can be sharpened easily.
Handles are usually made from wood or aluminium.
Wooden handles can feel more comfortable as they are warmer in your hand.
But they can feel quite heavy and could weather more easily if left uncovered.
Aluminium handles are lighter but can feel cold and offer less grip.
Remember to look at the length of the handle as this will tell you whether you need to bend over or stand up straight while hoeing your garden.
A short handle could lead to back strain while a longer one could be more comfortable.
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