Choosing Gardening Tools – Rakes and Hoes

The are basically two different types of rake, used for different purposes. Those which look like a strip of metal with nails driven into them, used for smoothing and levelling the soil.

Garden Rake

Garden Rakes with more than twelve tines can be hard to use (unless you’re very strong.) As with all garden tools, try to buy the best you can afford. A good rake will last much longer than a cheap one. The tines will not break off or bend.

The other type of rake is a lawn rake or a spring tine rake as it is also known.

lawn rake

As the name suggests, it is used on the lawns particularly in autumn for raking up dead thatch(cuttings which have stayed on the top of the lawn) and leaves. It can also be used for raking in grass seeds after sowing.

Once again, there are basically two types of hoe – the dutch hoe which is pushed and the swan nacked or draw hoe which you pull towards you as well as push.

With the Dutch hoe you push it backwards and forwards as you walk backwards.

dutch hoe

That way you do not walk on the soil you have just cultivated and press the weeds in.

The swan necked hoe or draw hoe is used for weeds which have grown too large for the dutch hoe.

draw hoe

It can also be used for earthing up vagetables.

Although I said there are basically two types of hoes, there is one more which is useful. That is an Onion hoe. This is a small hoe which is useful for working between rows of vegetables and other plants which are being grown close together.

A wheel hoe is a hand pushed tol with a single wheel at the front and a cutting blade behind. It can be useful if you have large areas of garden which you need to hoe, since it is very much quicker to use.  Because of its size, it is not very useful in the flower garden and if you are on a tight budget, this is one of the tools which you can do without.

As with all your tools, before buying, get a feel for them. Make sure that the handle is the right length for you.  Make sure the handle is long enough that you can work almost upright without straining your back.

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