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WHY USE A HOE?
If you take a look at the experienced allotment growers planting scheme you will notice that the plants are arranged in a straight line. You will also notice that they are arranged so that there is sufficient space between rows to allow access for weeding, specifically with a hoe.
Planting in a straight line has a couple of key advantages and one of them is that it makes hoeing much easier and less likely to cause damage to the plants. Where plants are arranged randomly, it's difficult to quickly weed with a hoe because constant sideways movement of the hoe is needed rather than simply pulling or pushing it in a straight line.
So, when you plant vegetables, do it in a straight line and keep the rows well separated to allow easy access.
WHEN TO HOE?
The second consideration is the level of moisture in the soil. It's best to hoe when the soil surface is dry. When the weeds are chopped off by the hoe they stand much less chance or re-rooting if the soil surface is dry.
HOW TO HOE?
When weeding with a hoe the objective is to cut the weed from the roots at just below soil level. A centimetre either way is not crucial but cut too deep or too high and the effectiveness can be considerably reduced. The ideal point to cut the weed is about one to two centimetres (half to three quarters of an inch) below the soil surface. Cut too low and the weed may be dragged to the surface intact where it may re-root. Cut too high and sufficient greenery may still exist so the weed simply continues growing.
Click the link at the bottom of the page to see the
commonly available types of hoe and their good and bad points.
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