Top five hand weeding tools for a new market farmer

Considering the general approach of starting with fast, wheeled tools, followed by long-handled tools, short-handled tools, and hand weeding, here’s my list (from a researcher perspective…).

  1. Terrateck double-wheel hoe with L-sweeps and finger weeders. Start here to get close to the row, or use after no. 2.

  2. Glaser wheel hoe with 7 inch stirrup. I love the wood handles, the rhythm of “push, step, pull back, step, push…” is very satisfying and helps to keep a shallow depth.

  3. Five-inch Glaser stirrup hoe. A small farm favorite for 20 years.

  4. The “homi” short-handled hoe.

  5. Hand pulling!


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  1. Bed flamer for zero disturbance stale seedbedding
  2. FAST wheel hoeing with a powered wheel. I’d have as many crops as possible set just wider than the spacing of this hoe blade: Solus Electric Wheel Hoe | Johnny's Selected Seeds
  3. I like those tine rakes for dense plantings of mixed greens. Increase seeding rate to account for crop damage: Tine Weeding Rake – 21" | Johnny's Selected Seeds
  4. A nice hori hori to attach to my belt and feel like a boss.
  5. A heavy duty Rogue hoe for those few massive weeds that were lucky enough to poke through the straw or hay mulch and would now kill my back to pull out. One swat with this baby is all it takes
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What a fun exercise! :seedling: My list is as follows:

  1. The DeWit long-handled diamond hoe with “pistol grip” is an absolute all-star in my toolshed. This tool is easy to keep clean and sharpen, maintaining a razor-sharp edge. The grip and blade design allows its user to stand up straight, easily push through large weeds, and relax while skimming in and out of the crop row with control. However, one must get used to the blade’s proportions; it glides unseen below the soil’s surface and if you mistakenly bump a crop plant, it’s gone.
  2. A close second goes to a wheel hoe with a wide oscillating stirrup blade for quickly undercutting weeds growing between crop rows. I like the look of the electric version that @bryan.brown has linked because a full afternoon pushing the wheel hoe is, indeed, a difficult task!
  3. The Short-handled hoe is simply a must-have. Handle length and blade angle are important, preferences may differ among users.
  4. The 3 1/4" oscillating stirrup hoe for scuffling away weeds in the crop row when one doesn’t have the concentration to safely use the diamond hoe.
  5. Re-using your old hoop house plastic for solarization, creating a stale seedbed before planting high-value crops (e.g., in the hoop house).

Honorable mention: I am very interested in the new stacked hand tools coming on the market, just haven’t tried them myself.

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Even better is the 12 inch stirrup for the wheel hoe and 7 inch stirrup for the hand hoe


Declaring a conflict of interest as I invented the 4 Wheel Hoe, but, the I designed the four wheel hoe to give the same accuracy and speed to pedestrian / push hoes in smaller scale market gardening as can be achieved with tractor pulled hoes, which don’t need all that pushing backwards and forwards.

It uses T hoes which don’t need to be width adjusted anywhere near as much as L blade hoes, plus, they have mini-ridgers on them so you can achieve 100% intrarow weed control in transplants and larger seeded crops (though I have used tractor mounted mini-ridgers in 5 cm high carrots!)

and it was designed to be as ergonomic as possible, though, it does have metal handles, sorry Eric!

Easily modified by the user to add wooden handles…and a cup holder!

  1. Tilther (although I see a better designed and cheaper tool of this type has recently come out). This is a good tool for very shallow cultivation / stale seed bedding of stone free beds in hoophouses.

  2. Mutineer wire weeders from Neversink tools for thread-stage or just beyond thread-stage weeds in hoophouse beds. Great for tighly-spaced crops like dill and cilantro, or to get under the leaves of root crops or heading crops.

  3. Tine weeding rake. We use these when direct-seeded crops (dill, cilantro, arugula, mizuna, hakurei, radish) have their first couple of true leaves. It works well at eliminating just-emerged weeds in and between row. We also use this rake right after we harvest salad crops (salanova, arugula, mizuna, cilantro, dill). The newly-cut crop suffers little to no damage, and we manage to clean up any left-behind crop residue and baby weeds that have been uncovered by the harvest

  4. Colinear Hoe, gets under the canopy of crops like head lettuce and bok choi. Easy to get through a bed fast.

  5. Hand hoe for scuffing the surface of the soil / eliminating just-emerged weeds between row while hand-weeding in-row slow-growing crops like dill, cilantro, carrots

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