Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wheel Hoe

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...Image via Wikipedia

The Wheel Hoe

With a wheel hoe, the work of preserving the soil mulch becomes very simple. If one has not a wheel hoe, for small areas very rapid work can be done with just a basic hoe.

Here are a few practical suggestions that will reduce this work to a minimum:

  1. Get at this work while the ground is soft; as soon as the soil begins to dry out after a rain is the best time. Under such conditions the weeds will pull out by the roots, without breaking off.
  2. Immediately before weeding, go over the rows with a wheel hoe, cutting shallow, but just as close as possible, leaving a narrow, plainly visible strip which must be hand- weeded. The best tool for this purpose is the double wheel hoe with disc attachment, or hoes for large plants.
  3. See to it that not only the weeds are pulled but that every inch of soil surface is broken up. It is fully as important that the weeds just sprouting be destroyed and that the larger ones be pulled up. One stroke will destroy a hundred weed seedlings in less time than one weed can be pulled out after it gets a good start.
  4. Use one of the small hand ones until you become skilled with it. Not only may more work be done but the fingers will be saved unnecessary wear.

The skillful use of the wheel hoe can be acquired through practice only. Make sure to watch the wheels only: the blades, disc or rakes will take care of themselves.

Now for the serious raised bed gardener who wants to save the back, a small tiller can make short work of all this. It will do everything the wheel hoe can do, but with power. It keeps the weeds down and breaks up the soil allowing for oxygen, nutrients and water to feed the plants. The key is that it needs to be small, not only to fit in between plants, but also for lifting into the raised beds. I’ve lifted full size tillers into raised beds before and it’s not easy or pretty.

When it comes to small tillers, every gardener knows that the Mantis is the best. It weighs only 20 pounds and works like a full size one. It has a money back guarantee and one of the best warranties in the industry. Besides, if I buy something, I always try to make sure it can be used for more than one purpose and the Mantis can be used not only at the beginning and end of the season, but all throughout. Plus, with all the attachments the Mantis can do a whole lot more.

And to sweeten the pot further, right now they’re having a special where I can get you FREE shipping and a BONUS 2 FREE attachments (you save $99). Click the Ad below for details.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

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