Excerpt from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS - June/July 2010:
Author: Cheryl Long
"...Just in time for the summer weed season, we've chosen the wheel hoe as another Tool for Wiser Living. If you have a large garden, this old-time tool can really reduce weeding chores. T. Greiner describes it in his book, How to Make the Garden Pay, published in 1890:
But the tool of all tools, the modern weed slayer, the great labor saver, the greatest horticultural blessing
of the age - that is the modern wheel hoe. This above all others frees the gardener from undesirable work, cuts down
the labor account one-half, and makes tillage light and pleasant. The advantages connected with the possession of
one of these tools cannot be overstated, nor emphasized too strongly, nor told too frequently. This tool reduces the
unpleasant task of weeding to a minimum. Now the half-grown boy runs the wheel hoe up and down the rows of vegetables
'for fun' and recreation, and accomplishes in one-half hour what a man with a hand hoe could not perform in a whole
Grit: Rural American Know-How, June 2010:
Author: Hank Will
Photo Credit: Karen Keb
"...When it comes to weeding, nothing beats a wheel-hoe-style garden cultivator for getting the rows cleaned up quickly, efficiently and easily. I recently obtained the Hoss Tools Deluxe Wheel Hoe garden cultivator ($295 and worth every penny as a functional art form) and put it to work last Saturday knocking down the weeds that sprouted up between the rows of my heirloom, open-pollinated corn.
The Hoss Tools Deluxe Wheel Hoe is a beautifully crafted (made in U.S.A) garden cultivator that harkens back to the good old days when quality American-Made tools were the norm, not the exception.........I've enjoyed using wheel hoes in my own gardens over the years, and although I misplaced my most cherished antique Planet Jr. several years ago (a casualty of some move), Hoss Tools' Deluxe Wheel Hoe is every bit as satisfying to use - and frankly the quality is 110 percent that of the old Planet Jr...."
* The Hoss wheel hoe is sold here
Excerpt from THE WASHINGTON POST - 8/19/2010:
Author: Barbara Damrosch
"...A few generations ago, wheel hoes were standard equipment for market gardeners and for home gardeners who
grew much of their own food. An octogenarian neighbor who was raised on a large farm recalls how 20 workers
would show up each morning and reach for just that implement. In those times, it was the tool by which large
acreages were managed. Few would recognize it today.
A wheel hoe is simply a hoe blade mounted on a wheel. The wheel is there to lessen the work of moving the blade along, keep it a consistent distance from the soil and lend force to its cutting action. Wheel hoes are designed so that you can weed close to crops planted in straight rows. They also do a championship job on dirt paths between beds. Nothing else makes such quick work of weeds in hard, trodden earth that would normally have you on your knees, stabbing peevishly with your trowel.
Modern versions of the wheel hoe are more efficient than the ones my neighbor remembers because they use an oscillating blade, like that of a hula hoe, which cuts on both the forward and back strokes. Walk at a comfortable pace, pushing back and forth, and weeds are severed just below the surface so that none can regrow. Weeds too small to see are dispatched as well...."
Excerpt from GROWING FOR MARKET - June 2002:
"...All wheel hoes have detachable implements so that you could theoretically use one frame and just attach a different implement each time you needed to use it. However, we've found that we use three implements often enough that it's easier to have a separate frame for each one. Our three favorites are the stirrup shaped blade, the furrower, and an adjustable tine cultivator.
I use the stirrup hoe to cultivate salad greens. Most of our greens are planted in 100 foot rows about two and a half feet apart...I push the wheel hoe along either side of the greens and once down the middle. The stirrup runs about one centimeter under the soil surface. This wipes out the first tiny weed seedlings and also destroys some germinated weed seeds...
Our second favorite attachment is the furrower. It's shaped like a little plow, and though it will cut through shallow sod and flip it over nicely, we mainly use it for making furrows and throwing up a line of dirt. It makes a furrow that is barely deep enough for potatoes, and perfect for peas, beans, and favas. After seeding, we run the wheel hoe alongside the newly planted row and it throws soil over the seeds...
We have collected a variety of tine cultivators, but our favorite one has five tines in two rows which can each
be moved or removed individually. We use the full complement in sandy soils, but for rougher ground three usually
suffice. Molly uses this wheel cultivator to prepare ground for planting or transplanting. The tines are great
for working in compost or other soil amendments, and they also disturb tiny weed seedlings.