Unfortunately for us all, weeds go hand in hand with gardening. It takes so much care and attention for your garden to bloom properly. But what’s really frustrating is when weeds grow rampant without any tender loving care whatsoever. No matter what you do to keep weeds at bay, one way or another they always come back to spoil your hard work!
Common Ways to Get Rid of Weeds
There are several ways of tackling these persistent garden destroyers.
One way of deterring weeds is with mulch, a solid and popular option that gives other beneficial aspects to your plants.
Another way of dealing with weeds is by using herbicides. That being said, more and more people are looking for a natural approach to take care of their garden without adding chemicals or other compounds to the mix.
If you are one of those people who are trying to avoid adding excess products to their garden, than chances are you may be interested in the old fashioned approach:
You may want to attack your weed problem by simply hoeing weeds out of the ground.
But what exactly is hoeing? How is it done effectively? Keep on reading below to find out all there is to know about hoeing out those nasty weeds.
What is a Loop Hoe?
A hoe is a versatile hand tool used to remove weeds, clear soil, and harvest root crops . These tools have been used since ancient times. A stirrup hoe, or loop hoe on the other hand is a bit different. Instead of having a downward curved blade at the end of the stick like a traditional hoe, a loop hoe has a thin steel loop that is 3 inches wide.
Loop Hoe vs Traditional Hoe
A traditional hoe is indeed useful and an essential part of your gardening toolkit. But if the only thing you need is to get rid of weeds, using a traditional hoe will stir up too much soil in your garden.
A loop hoe on the other hand is more specifically aimed at gently stirring up the soil around your plants, helping remove weeds without ruining the garden in the process.
Popular Loop Hoe Uses
If you have a delicate arrangement in your garden that simply must be kept a certain way, a loop hoe is made for your specific type of gardening needs. You wouldn’t want to clear this out with your standard string trimmer or brush cutter. You could do damage to precious flowers. So you need a precise tool that won’t do damage.
Since it is just a metal loop, it allows you to move around the soil without damaging sensitive plants. Individuals who use loop hoes tend be those with flower gardens or plants that would otherwise be destroyed by using a traditional hoe.
How to Use a Loop Hoe
A loop hoe is so easy to use, a teenager could do it (I would have said child, but you never know these days). All you need to do is a back and forth motion between the plants while holding on to the handle in a comfortable position, it is that simple! It doesn’t matter how much you move around the soil, just move it until you see the weeds displaced.
You can use this hoe by moving it back and forth without too much soil disturbance. And since the blade is sharp on both ends, every back and forth motion will cut through weeds and roots. This makes it easier on you since you essentially double your productivity. You’ll be able to weed your garden quite quickly.
After effectively removing from your garden area you can use a rake to gather them up easily and cart them away.
Long Handle or Short Handle?
It all comes down to personal preference. If you are under 5’11’”, chances are you will prefer the shorter handle. And of course, if you are 6’0” and above, you should aim for the longer handle instead.
When using a loop hoe, it’s best to hold it at roughly a 45 degree angle to the ground, Therefore you want to make sure you can maintain that position without putting excess strain on your back.
What Hoe is Best for the Job?
If you are looking for a simple way to get rid of those irritating weeds without having to displace all the soil in your garden, a loop hoe is perfect for you! In the below video you can see how easy it is to use and how you can do a lot of weeding without disturbing your plants.
If you are looking to get weeds in a narrower space, another option is the blade shaped collinear hoe.
Trying to get out a stubborn weed in an almost impossible angle? A dutch hoe has a flat blade at a 90 degree angle that allows you to get deep in the soil and pull those hard to reach weeds out.
The loop hoe is a tool you will likely use more often than the other two, but it is always good to know your options.
Be sure to continue doing your research and happy gardening!