The stirrup hoe operates like any other hoe, cutting the weeds just below the soil surface. However, because it is pulled rather than pushed it is easier to control reducing accidental damage to plants.
Types of Hoe – Dutch, Draw & Stirrup
For years now I’ve had three hoes in my shed, a normal Dutch hoe and a narrow Dutch hoe for weeding in tight spots and a draw hoe that I use for drawing a trench or earthing up.
Both the Dutch hoes require frequent sharpening but so long as you do that, they do an excellent job. They can be a little tricky to control, especially around tight packed plants. Now I must admit that, after years of practice, I rarely cut a plant off with the hoe but it does happen.
The Dutch hoe is pushed with the blade horizontal and just below the soil surface. This cuts the weeds away from the their roots leaving them to die. Usually accidents happen when I push a bit too hard and send the blade into a wanted plant.
The stirrup hoe works on exactly the same principle of cutting the weeds but the stirrup hoe is worked by pulling the blade back. This does make it easier to control and I’d suggest a lot easier for someone who’s not used to hoeing.
The blade is self-sharpening too, pulling it through the soil keeps the blade with a good edge whereas I have to stop every half hour and sharpen my Dutch how.
Happily, it’s not expensive to buy the stirrup hoe, which comes either as head only or you can buy it with a handle but most good hardware shops will sell a broom handle that will do the job for a couple of pounds.
The stirrup hoe is available direct from the manufacturer in the UK.For more information, usage instructions etc. and to purchase go to Stirrup Hoes