The Dutch hoe is a really useful piece of gardening equipment that makes a great addition to any gardener's toolset. Here are some helpful tips on choosing a Dutch hoe, together with some advice on how to use one without hurting your back.
Choosing a Dutch hoe
When choosing a Dutch hoe, always look for one where the head and neck are forged from one piece of steel. Always buy the best quality tool your budget will stretch to, and avoid cheaper makes where rivets have been used to attach the head of the hoe to the neck. These are usually made from cheap mild steel and quickly succumb to rust. As a result, the rivets work loose and the tool will fall apart.
Dutch hoes are available with blades in varying widths. Choose one in the mid-range as the widest can be unwieldy and are really too big for the average domestic gardener's needs. Handles are usually wooden, fibreglass or tubular aluminium covered with a plastic coating. The handle you choose is really just a matter of personal preference, although traditional wooden handled hoes will need to be kept under cover and protected from the elements to prevent the wood from rotting. A wooden handle may need light sanding from time-to-time to prevent the wood from becoming rough and to prevent splinters.
How to safely use your Dutch hoe
Although a Dutch hoe makes an indispensible weeding tool, incorrect use can give you terrible backache.
To avoid this problem, always choose a hoe that's the correct length for you. Measure the handle for length by placing the hoe head on the floor next to you. The tip of the handle should at least reach your ear or slightly further.
When using your Dutch hoe, stand upright and hold the tool as if you were holding a broom, rather than an axe. Adopt a stance with your feet slightly apart, and with one foot placed just in front of the other. Keep a slight flex in your knees. If you work with your knees locked, all the stress of working the hoe transfers straight to the small of your back. A little bend in your knees directs the strain of the work to your legs.
Make sure that you can maintain this comfortable position and work with the hoe out in front of you, not right at your feet. Now you can progress steadily backwards as you work, without fear of straining your back. If you feel your back begin to ache, this could be because you're bending over, or have the hoe too far away from you. Adjust your stance until you're comfortable and start again. Break hoeing down into short sessions, rather than trying to complete the whole garden in one hit. This gives your back a chance to recover in between workouts.
A Dutch hoe is a really useful item of garden equipment that's perfect for weeding. Choose a good quality tool with a handle that's long enough to suit your height. Always work with slightly bent knees to keep the strain off your back and keep your weeding sessions short.Share
9 October 2015
Hello. My name is Dean and this is my home and garden blog. Last year, I decided I needed to improve the look of my home. I visited several home and garden centres and various different shops but I just couldn't find the items I wanted. I had this dream of creating a really cool and funky look based on an African design I had seen. My friend suggested that I customise the items to create the look I wanted and began to give me some lessons. I really enjoyed the process and I learnt a lot about how to improve your home and garden.