Doing the Hula Hoe

About this time of year, an amazing thing happens at ground level.  It only took two days of rain, each about a week apart, to be the catalyst for this phenomenon.  I’m talking about weeds.  Hundreds of thousands of little tiny seeds of God-knows-what have found their way into my back yard to create a blanket of fuzzy green babies.  The pathways are covered with them, the “lawn” – which is actually a dead patch of dirt right now – is cropping up with them, and my old raised beds are beginning to look like I planted something on purpose, even though they have gone fallow all summer here at the house.

What to do?  Given that we grow things organically around here, spraying a weed killer is not an option.  Hand picking is overwhelming, not to mention that I still have the backache from last year’s attempt to rid the yard of these little devils.

Enter the Hula Hoe, my favorite gardening tool for weeding.  A hula hoe differs from a regular hoe in a couple of ways.  Firstly, a hula hoe is made from a band of metal, rather than a flat plate, that makes a circle – or a rectangular hula hoop.  Secondly, it’s sharp on both edges of the band so that you can achieve a cutting action with both forward and backward motion.  To use a hula hoe, run the band through the top layer of soil, cutting off the weeds just below the surface.  You can go deeper to reach the roots of those that resprout where they stand.  Simple as that.  Not only is it the easiest thing to use, it keeps the soil in place, instead of piling it all up at one end of the plot or the other.  It makes quick work of an otherwise tough job.  You can purchase one from below.

In my mind I’ve always dreamed of having a short handled hula hoe that I could use like a hand trowel for “close up” tasks, but I wasn’t sure they existed.  Imagine my delight when I found one on line!

You can bet that’s going on my Christmas list this year.

To take care of your hula hoe, it’s important to keep it stored in a dry place where it won’t get wet and rusty.  Any tool will lose it’s effectiveness when rust dulls the blade.  If kept clean and dry, your hula hoe should last a lifetime.

Do you have a favorite tool you can’t live without?  Share it with us here.

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