Circle Hoe

Alas, I have run out of the garden tools I wish to write about—except for this one.  It is one of my favorites and I would have told you about it sooner had it been available.  The company in Grants Pass, Oregon, for various reasons has not had the long-handled version of this tool in production for several years.  A recent call to them revealed a possible resumption of production.

The circle hoe is, as the name implies, a hoe with a circular blade at the end.  When the hoe is held in the standard position, the circle attains a vertical position.  When you pull the hoe towards you, the sharpened edge of the lower surface slices through the soil to cut off the roots of weeds below the coil level.

So why is this tool special?  The circular cutting blade is 1/8-inch-thick so if you have the strength, this tool will transfer that strength to cut through well-developed tap roots.  The cutting surface is small, so there is little soil resistance as you pull through even clay soils. The sides and back of the blade are dull so you can maneuver closely around plants without damaging them.  The circle hoe is better than a hula hoe in that it is not only stronger, but less soil is disturbed.  If you are weeding in bark cover or a mat of pine needles, less material is messed. 

Happy weeding,

Stan, The Tool Man

Impaler, Spade & Hoe

Yesterday, LaVille was digging up bulbs using what is called a transplanting spade.  When I showed this shovel to you, I said it was perfect for digging holes for transplanting from gallon pots.  I probably should have described it instead as a short, light-weight shovel that is the right tool for a woman to use.  Now I realize that sounds sexist.  Does it help if I tell you that I have used this spade a lot.  In fact is probably the reason that I got a herniated disc in my neck because I used it in a jabbing motion to dig an irrigation line through tough soil.  Anyway . . . let’s simply say that it is an easy digging tool because the blade is narrow and therefore finds less resistance when penetrating the soil.  Then too, the blade is long so it penetrates to a depth where bulbs are abiding.  The grip at the end of the 4 foot handle allows you increased torque leverage (The shovel doesn’t twist in your hands easily).  If I piqued your interest,  google “transplanting spade.” 

 

While LaVille was digging, I was working with the circle hoe.  The neighbor has many huge privet trees.  The birdies love the fruit and kindly deposit the seeds when they perch in our pine and hackberry.  Privet seedlings sprout up through the pine needles covering the ground.  The circle hoe allows me to sever the weeds without disturbing the pine needle ground cover too much.  Every now and then I come across an oak seedling that a scrub jay has planted.  The circle hoe is strong enough to penetrate the soil to uproot the acorn.  You know, if you have some interest in this hoe, I would let you practice using it around my yard . . . for free! The circle hoe is available from gardensnob.com.

 

My impaler didn’t work well today.  (The impaler is a stick with a nail at the end.)  You see, our neighbor (the same one with the multiple privet trees) has a huge magnolia tree in his front yard.  His house is on our west side.  Needless to say, a good number of magnolia leaves end up on our front landscaping.  For the last two weeks I haven’t been able to clean up the front yard.  When I finally was able to get to the task today, the “poker” as I call it did not pick up the leaves very well.  The leaves were so dried up that the leaves did not cling to the galvanized nail.  The nail’s penetration created too large of a hole, or the leaf shattered.  So if you are going to use an impaler to gather up large leaves in your landscaping, get to it before the leaves have a chance to become brittle.

Stan, the Blog Man