I work a small market garden with 50ft beds (30inch tops). Keeping pathways, etc free of weeds was challenging last year. Looking for wheel hoe recommendations… Brand, why, cost?.. Thanks!
I got a Valley Oak wheel hoe at the suggestion of a fellow short farmer friend. I was looking for something that would be more ergonomic for me than the Johnny’s wooden-handled models, for instance, which I’ve used but seem to be made for a taller person - meaning my body was working much harder to use it than it should have, and if I hit a rock, I was risking getting the hoe’s crossbar in my mouth if I wasn’t careful. (This happened even with the shortest length handles adjusted to the lowest height).
I had to ship the valley Oak wheel hoe from the US, and it cost around $400 cdn I believe (with an extra blade), which is more than some of the ones closer by, but I like it better than any other I’ve tried. The handles are designed in a more sensible way than some other models so your wrists aren’t strained, you can easily adjust their height with no tools, and you can change attachments (ie hoe blade to hiller) quickly without any tools. It has a steel wheel, which I thought would be too heavy in my lighter soil, but it has worked great.
I suppose it depends what you’re looking for, but I’m really glad I got this one. Hope you find something that works for you!
We like our Hoss Wheel Hoe. I think it’s the most affordable one around. It costs $259 from Lee Valley. Or it can be purchased directly from their site for $189 USD. I noticed this year that they sell a Wheel Hoe Junior with shorter handles. I’m thinking about trying it since I’m only 5’1". It’s $159 USD.
The best way to keep your wheel hoe working well is to keep the blade sharp. We bought a Work Sharp knife and tool sharpener from Cabela’s last season to sharpen all our tools and it has made such a difference. We use it on everything from harvest knives to hoes.
We bought an 11" Terrateck wheel weeder (there are three width options) from Dubois in 2017. I really liked using it in our pathways. Our soil is sandy loam and the weed pressure was never terribly heavy. I have used multiple wheel hoes and I like this particular model because it is highly adjustable, the blade is very solid and easy to sharpen, and the the wheel itself helps to break up the soil and aid in cutting tough weeds. It seems to be on the higher end in terms of price, but it is well built and comfortable to use. I believe all Terrateck tools are manufactured in France. The 11" model is listed at $390 CAD on the Dubois site with free shipping. Good luck in finding an implement that works for you.
+1 for the Hoss wheel hoe as @saladdaysfarm said. Cheap and sturdy, I was rather impressed with it overall (steel wheel version). I’ve used the Glaser wheel hoe before, and sure the quality is amazing, but at a steep price. The Hoss is a great alternative. It’s also great that you can switch tools, although it’s a little tedious to do “on the fly” as you need a wrench to loosen (or remove) the bolts.
At that price, I would by two Hoss’s versus one Glaser and have different tools on each.
Thanks for this suggestion. Which size hoe do you use on the wheel hoe? I’ve noticed that some wheel hoes have an 8 or 12 inch hoe width. Each to be purchased separately. I’m hoping to use it down my pathways which are about 1ft wide. I wasn’t sure if the 12inch hoe would be overly demanding and I’d be better off with a smaller one. Thanks
Thanks for the notes. I am considering the Lee Valley hoe… I’ve got some gift card money I could spend there Just wondering which hoe you use with it the 8 or 12 inch? How do you find it?
Thanks for this. What size hoe do you use most often, 8 in or 12in?
12in! I really regret not getting the 12in because I had to do double passes in my pathways which was very time consuming. If you don’t let the weeds grow much you won’t have a problem pushing that 12in blade around. Besides you don’t want to go too deep anyway as that will just help germinate more weed seeds.
However, if you also want to weed on or between rows of your beds, 12in is too wide in most circumstances, in which case you might want to also get an 8in blade.
100% ditto on this. Johnny’s good for a tall person and a 1-staff team (difficult to adjust heights b/c requires it’s own tools). Valley Oak adjusted like a quick-release bike tire and is much more ergonomic. I’ve especially found the women on my team far prefer the Valley Oak to the Glazer (Johnny’s) -easier to push from one’s core and less strain on the upper back/shoulders.
I’m also looking at a wheel hoe so this is good info!
It’s worth price checking the Hoss wheel hoe as Lee Valley can be a bit more expensive. I found William Dam seeds has it cheaper, as does Vesseys Seeds. Maybe try Irrigation Plus in Elmira too, as they carry it and their prices are often pretty good.
Great everyone! thanks for this.