Friday, May 11, 2012

Sustainable Tool: The Warren Hoe

Headed out for some gardening paraphernalia this weekend?  If so, I highly recommend you treat yourself to one of these:  a warren hoe.

The warren hoe has a head that is shaped like an arrowhead, with a point at the end and flattened sides.  I find that this makes it the perfect tool for precision breaking of dirt clumps, which are so prevalent with our clay soil, and then scraping the newly pulverized dirt where ever you want it.  Therefore, this is my favorite tool for working in the potatoes, burying the new stems under a cascade of soil.

I also find that the warren hoe allows me to weed much more effectively than does a traditional straight-head hoe.  I realized that one of the preferred techniques for the traditional hoe is to "scrape" the weeds away, but I am much more of a hacker when I weed.  I want to really chop those suckers out of there, and the warren hoe allows me to do so with much less risk of hitting a vulnerable tomato stem.  Of course, I can always scrape as needed with the sides.

With gardening, it is really true that working with a quality tool can increase your enjoyment and therefore increase your work time.  I love my warren hoe.  What is your favorite garden tool?

The Analysis

Fast:  I get my weeding done faster and with more precision with this tool.

Cheap:  Cost will depend on quality.  Get something well-made enough to withstand some "hacking" if that is your preferred technique; you don't want that head flying off at an inopportune moment.  On the other hand, you really don't need to invest in those expensive "decorative" tools with the copper heads.  You are going to get it dirty anyway.

Good:  A tool for tomatoes and potatoes and summer happiness.  I'll take it!
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