Gardening: Go back to the hoes for easy and effective weeding | Way of life
Somewhere in your shed or garage there must be an old hoe leaning against a wall. A hoe that has not been used for a long time and has likely been replaced by a gas or electric tiller, chemical herbicide or mulch.
Recently, as Charles Dudley Warner seems to put it in the classic 19th century “My Summer in the Garden”, all gardeners need an “iron”. The hinge is not very popular.
However, revolutionary, believable, is an easy and safe way to control weeds. Maybe even easier than the many “labor-saving” methods that replaced it.
There are two reasons for hoes, rotary herbicides, herbicides, and mulches. One is to control weeds and the other is to loosen the soil surface so that rain can penetrate rather than slide across the surface.
Chemical herbicides ultimately provide an open field for weeds that resist them, but do nothing to keep the soil surface loose. Straw, leaves and other organic mulches keep the soil surface loose and smother weeds, but only if kept in a thick enough layer.
Motorized cultivators chop weeds and loosen the soil, which burns organic matter, destroys soil structures, destroys beneficial earthworms and fungi, and damages roots.
Hoeing has the same effect as motorized tillage, but most gardeners need more energy than it is worth. When used correctly, the hoe does little damage.
The hoe is easy, just grab the hoe handle. Start the engine of a stubborn grower or take away a mulch compared to the time and effort spent spraying the herbicide (mixing, wearing protective clothing, spraying then cleaning the atomizer) Do.
(However, there is no objection to mulching. Thick layers of straw and compost covering the soil provide many advantages. You cannot mulch with a hoe to control weeds. Mulching is a material. fine like sawdust. Unless stated otherwise, either or well rotten compost.)
You may not like the hoe because you used the wrong type of hoe or the weeds have grown too big between the hoes. Don’t wait until you see large weeds before grabbing the hoe. Instead, add soil every week for a week or two, and as soon as the crust of the soil starts to dry out every time it rains. This way the weed saplings are killed before they have a solid footing.
When weeds are prevalent, the only type of hoe that kills weeds is the standard large-edged garden hoe used for less unpleasant chopping motions. This hoop is useful for turning potatoes into hills and mixing concrete.
Good hoe, good way
For loose and weed-free working floors, hoes with blades parallel to the surface, such as different types of brawl (or “Netherlands”) hoes, hula hoes, collinear hoes and swan necks , are the best. hoe. When used correctly, these hoes loosen and dig the soil just a quarter of an inch below the surface, thus not causing excessive damage to the roots.
My flower garden has mulch beds of different shapes, but the vegetable beds are long, straight rows, and the soil is mulched with well-rotten compost. I add these beds with my favorite hoe, either a “winged mower” or a “string mower”. The Winged Mower has a V-shaped head-shaped blade that resembles the wings of an airplane. The wings are pointed at the front and back, and when you grab the hoe handle, it becomes parallel to the ground. Line trimmers skillfully bend the thin, strong wires, making them useful for mowing near small plants.
I walk backwards on either hoe and move my arms in the same fluid motion as when I wiped the kitchen floor with a sponge. Walking backwards is important to avoid stepping on the hoeed soil where each footprint becomes a solid nursery for weed seeds.
The cut soil flows over the blade and returns to its original position each time you push or pull the handle. It only takes a few minutes, about once a week, to keep the soil free of weeds and the surface loose. And you don’t need a hinged iron back!