I think it was roughly 15 years ago when I treated myself to a Wolf Garten hand trowel and fork set from the garden centre. They are still going strong now which isn’t surprising as they’re built like a tank.
After I’d had them for a week I nipped back and treated myself to a double hoe. That has a flat blade on one side and three prongs on the other. I find it one of the most useful hand tools I have. It’s offered with a choice of handles so instead of the standard small handle as with the trowel and fork, I went for a longer handle which is useful when reaching across a bed.
I have a 3 prong cultivator (not a Wolf Garten) of similar vintage that has a metal handle. The handle has bent and that makes it surprisingly hard to use, so I decided to replace it. Because my growing areas are split apart, I find tools tend to migrate between sheds. This gets annoying as I can’t recall which shed I left something in so much walking back and forth. I decided to go mad and get another hoe whilst I was at it.
Wolf Garten Cultiweeder
Looking around, I came across an intriguing combination of hoe and cultivator by Wolf Garten called a Cultiweeder. One side is a 3 pronged cultivator and the other a hoe blade. Like all the Wolf Garten tools, not cheap and that’s without the handle. Handles are available in different sizes and I bought a wooden 140 cm (55 ins) one.
Since this does the job of 2 tools and the handle can be used with other tools, I reckon it’s a good price for quality. I’m not sure if the guarantee is 10 years or 35, the website seemed to indicate both, but I’m pretty sure it will outlast my needs.
Using it as a hoe, the weight of the cultivator prongs actually helps to control the blade. Keeping it just under the soil surface is a doddle. When you come up against a clump of grass or a perennial like a dandelion, flip it over and using the cultivator to dig or pull it out.
Diamond Shaped Cultivator Prongs
The cultivator prongs end in flat diamond shapes. They make a huge difference when using it compared to an ordinary cultivator where the prongs just end in points. You get the tines into the soil and level, holding the handle at a comfortable angle, then just pull through the soil. The flat tips help hold it level and the soil is broken up into a fine tilth above.
I’ve been sowing green manure field beans. They’re going in rows 20 cm (8 ins) apart with the beans sown at 10 cm (4 ins) spacings. They go in 5 cm (2 ins) deep and the ideal tool for drawing the drill is the blade on the double hoe. It’s so easy to click off the Cultiweeder head and click the double hoe onto the long handle.
Conversely, I was weeding in the polytunnel and the long handle is too long to use comfortably in there. The handle I use with the double hoe is better but not ideal. I may get a 1 metre wooden handle for use in the polytunnel.
You can buy Wolf Garten tools from a garden centres, online stores and Ebay but I found the best price at World of Wolf – free delivery over £25.00 clinched it.