Self-taught Gardener with a Very Ignorant Question

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Salmonberry, Jul 21, 2006.

  1. Salmonberry

    Salmonberry Registered Nut

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    I have had a few gardens, some large and overwhelming, some small that I wanted to be bigger. My mother would never garden as she wouldn't want to get her hands dirty. I'm completely different and love to play in the dirt.
    So, basically, I have had to teach myself.

    So my question is, what is the appropriate way to use a small hoe to eliminate small weeds? I am so afraid to take out the plant I want to keep or to hurt its roots (with a scuffle hoe) that I just end up pulling by hand which takes forever with the tiny weeds.

    I had a Hmong gardener who was using rows instead of beds try to teach me to loosen up the soil around my plants with a small hoe, but again, I was afraid of injuring the plants. Her hoe was shaped like this ^. Can anyone give me a tutorial?

    Salmonberry
     
  2. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Throw away the hoe and follow Ruth Stout.
     

  3. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yeah, forget the hoe. Mulch instead!
     
  4. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Basically, use the hoe as far away from your garden plant as possible and move towards the weed under the dirt. Once the weed is loose, stop moving the hoe. Really, consider yourself more as scraping the ground than digging it. Oh and lots of practice.
     
  5. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    Make the hoe sharp. I think most, if not all, people forget to sharpen their garden tools. I use an angle grinder. A nice short, heavy angle like an axe. That way you don't have to wail away to cut things up. Just nice little taps to slice the surface and/or weed stems. Uses less energy, too.

    I started making my own implements because I can never find what I really want (or what really works.) My first was a heavy, short handled adze. Great for getting right up to the plant and slicing down the close weeds. I have ideas for a long handled hoe. The weeds always get stuck around the shank and it drives me up a wall. (I can only imagine the neighbors looking at me while I'm hoeing, swinging it around in the air trying to get the caught up weeds off it. Must look like I'm having a flash-back or something.)
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If they are tiny, throw some mulch on top of them.
     
  7. susieM

    susieM Well-Known Member

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    Google Ruth Stout, or get the book about how to have a green thumb without an aching back.
     
  8. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    I second what Valent and CatsPaw said. Until you get the hang of hoeing you can pull the weeds directly around the plant and hoe the rest.
     
  9. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    the hoe advice seems right. i try to be as gentle as i can and just go shallow around the plant and loosen the weeds. i then scrape some dirt around the base of the plant if it needs it.

    mulch gardening is great if you have plenty of mulch. i have read the ruth stout book. she was great. it is a good method but i have never been able to get a deep bed of mulch on the entire garden. i don't have the heart to use things like cardboard and paper and such. i try to mulch as much as i can around plants and hoe where i cannot.