Organic Weed Control Methods ~ Hoeing

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"What is a hoe?"

A hoe is a garden tool with a thin flat blade usually on a long handle that is used especially for weeding and/or loosening and breaking up soil around plants. Hoes with short handles are often called "hand hoes."

"How do I use a hoe?"

Hoeing works best when weeds are small and haven't yet begun to bloom and set seeds. Use the hoe to sever the tops of weeds from their roots just below the soil surface. Carefully scrape the soil with the hoe, it's blade will barely enter the soil and will cut the stems of the weeds. Young severed weeds may be left on the ground to wilt and break down where they are.

"How do I clean the hoe after use?"

Brush off any loose soil from a hoe, then wipe it with an oily rag to keep it from rusting inbetween usage. When not in use store the hoe in a shed or garage with the blade edge facing the wall.

"How do I sharpen a hoe?"

A hoe is a cutting tool. It works best when it's blade is kept sharp. To sharpen a hoe:

Use a flat general-purpose file to sharpen the blade of the hoe.

Hold the file at a 45 degree angle on the edge of the blade. (It may help to place the handle of the hoe in a vice-clamp to hold it securely while you sharpen the blade.)

*Sharpen the hoe using strokes going in only one direction, do not use "back and forth" motions. Only a few strokes should be neccesary to sharpen the blade of the hoe.

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