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How to Hoe a Garden

By Diane Watkins ; Updated September 21, 2017
Use a hoe to remove weeds in the garden.

Weeds are a huge problem in the garden. Left alone they can take over and choke out desirable plants. Proper cultivation kills the weeds while they are very young and eliminates the problem before it can take over. Regular hoeing kills the weeds and loosens the soil. The garden will be neat and the plants will enjoy a good growing environment.

Remove weeds while they are still small, before the roots have a chance to take hold. Begin cultivating the garden soon after planting; weeds hoed out at this point will die and not come back.

Keep the hoe sharp. Using a dull hoe is like trying to slice a tomato with a dull knife. Use a rasp or a metal file at a 45-degree angle to sharpen the hoe whenever needed.

Start at the beginning of a row and work your way methodically through the garden. If you hoe only part of the garden, begin the next day where you left off.

Hold the hoe the same way you would hold a broom. Starting at the base of the garden plant, use short motions pulling the hoe toward you.

Use the sharp edge of the hoe to disrupt the root of the plant. Run the blade edge just below the soil, chopping off the plants. Avoid damaging the garden plants, while cultivating as close as possible to the base of the plant.

Scratch the soil surface with the hoe, gently loosening the soil and uprooting small weeds. Leave the small weeds on the surface to die.


Things You Will Need

  • Hoe


  • Find a hoe that fits your hand and does not require too much bending.
  • Keep the wood handle in good condition to avoid splinters and unnecessary calluses on your hands.

About the Author


Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and Web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.