Garden hoes have been around nearly as long as gardening. Despite their timeless design, different gardeners reach for certain hoes first.
Garden hoes are among the oldest tools of agriculture. Records exist of their use by Egyptian civilizations from about the same time the first wheels turned, more than 5,000 years ago.
Photo by Heather Cole
“Through my 30-plus years of gardening, particularly heirloom tomato growing, I’ve found that I’m a pretty basic gardener — a tool minimalist, but a hands-dirty specialist (no gloves for me). With our rocky, clay soil in Raleigh, North Carolina, my most useful hoe-type tool is a very old (20 years or more) blade weeder, second in use only to my short-handled, three-tine cultivator.” -Craig LeHoullier
Photo by Susan Angus-LeHoullier
“I love both of my scuffle hoes — the stirrup hoe and the diamond hoe. They slide just under the soil’s surface, effortlessly killing young weeds and leaving a ‘dust mulch’ to conserve moisture. I keep my hoes clean, dry, and sharp so they’re always ready to save my aching back if I weed early and often!” -Ira Wallace
Photo by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
“It might be best not to tell the CobraHead folks that I use this hoe to scrape down the chicken roosts, or that I stained the handle a strange color because it’s my go-to tool for many tasks and I needed it to be easy to find. This thing will shave down any weed when it’s sharp, and it’s great for making shallow planting furrows. I also use it to pull down row cover the wind has blown into trees, and I’ve picked up a rat snake with it, too. As a weeding tool, the long-handled CobraHead is in a class of its own.” -Barbara Pleasant
Photo by Barbara Pleasant
“Our favorite hoe is the Rogue hoe. We use it in the garden and (as you can see) in our burn piles. It’s sturdy, strong, and is the one we reach for first.” -Cody aka Wranglerstar
Photo by Mrs. Wranglerstar
“My hoe has ‘deep-seeded’ history! Not only is it my go-to tool to move soil around easily, but it represents a significant change I made in my life 10 years ago. It’s part of my story and journey when I left my corporate job to pursue my landscape and gardening business, Two Women and a Hoe. Who knew a hoe could literally change someone’s life?” -Jan Bills
Photo by Aly Darin Photography
“The long-handled CobraHead weeder and cultivator is the only hoe I need to get everything done in the garden. It can be used either shallow or deep and allows me to precisely cultivate. It’s also indestructible, which is good for someone like me who leaves it out in the garden frequently during the frantic spring season.” -Doug Oster
Photo courtesy Doug Oster
“From my collection of vintage hoes, this old Dutch hoe is my favorite. My dad had one just like it, and when he gave me my first patch of garden to tend as a child, I used to get this hoe from the shed and try to wield it to work the earth to a nice fine crumb like he did. The handle on that old hoe was longer than me, but I felt like I was a proper gardener! For me, this design seems to get the job done in a gentler manner than the pull or draw hoes, gliding through the soil with a light push of the hand.” -Heather Cole
Photo by Country Trading Co.
Heather Cole's diverse collection of vintage hoes.
Photo by Heather Cole
A close-up of Heather Cole's favorite hoe from her collection.