To swoe or to hoe?

Ever since working on a large market
garden, I have been a staunch fan of the swoe, that golf club of
precision and surgical application. I used to do all my veg with it,
leaving it standing up and proud at the end of the row, marking where
you had got to. The stainless steel and the shape of the blade
(thanks to Wilkinson Sword) means that you can use it in wet
conditions, when you have no other choice but to tackle those pesky
weeds.

 

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But a few years ago, neighbours were
moving and were dumping a skip full of useful stuff, including a
Cultiweeder made by Wolf tools. This has a 3-pronged cultivator part
and a small sharp hoe combined into one tool, depending on which end
is up. I thought it would be more of a hobbyist tool, but it has
survived true field punishment and has proved to be really useful and
was a constant companion last summer. You can cut off topgrowth with
the hoe and then swivel round and have a go at the roots with the
blade. The cultiweeder is useful for ground preparation too and the
hoe is good for compacted paths baked hard in the summer.

 

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Of course, if you really want to motor
then a wheel hoe can work wonders, as long as the soil is not too
compacted, with the added benefit of an amazing workout for your
pecs. Great for taking out those flushes of annuals that we'll be
getting right now….  

 

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Ashley Pearson

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