Hoeing and, at the same time, removing weeds from the garden throughout the season is considered one of the most unpleasant tasks. Young people avoid him at all costs; older people have already hardened their skin, but I think hoeing with classic hoes is the main culprit for the sullen posture of older farmwives. I believe that in the 21st century, we can garden more efficiently and with less effort.
Why Do We Hoeing and Removing Weeds From the Garden?
By hoeing, we make sure that weeds don’t grow, and at the same time, we loosen the soil, which quickly hardens if, unfortunately, it is not protected by mulch. By loosening the soil, we reduce the loss of moisture from the soil, as water molecules have a tendency to rise through solid matter (= compacted soil). When we water the soil, we break the water channels and reduce water evaporation. That’s why vineyards were sometimes watered during droughts, and the saying went: “If you hoe well, it’s like watering once.”
Is There Any Other Way?
Yes, hoeing becomes more manageable if you follow the principles of soil preparation with compost mulch described on the soil preparation page and do not turn the soil. In this way, the seeds are kept in the depths, and the compost does not introduce seeds into the garden. In February or March, the beds prepared this way are lightly watered several times (do not incorporate compost into the soil) to disrupt the germination process of all potential weeds. Even later in the season, such compost mulch remains light, does not become scaly, and does not become overgrown with weeds. We still regularly dig the beds with compost mulch and remove a few weeds here and there, but believe me, it is such an easy and excellent job that you will really enjoy it.
The Golden Rule
Many people don’t like weeding either because they have the experience of weeding areas with tall, dense weeds, where they dedicate themselves to weeding once, maybe twice a season. However, when we are consistent enough, weeding the garden becomes easier. Remember the golden rule – weed the garden once a week, at least in the rough, because this way, we don’t let the weeds grow, and at the same time, we prevent the soil from becoming soggy. Campaign hoeing is not a solution because the soil (if it is not covered with compost) has already forgotten that it should be light and soft.
“Attack” the Weeds With the Proper Technique and Tools
On hot summer days, we always dig in the evenings. At that time, all forces are directed into the soil, so in dry periods, we will best ensure that as much moisture as possible remains in the soil (knowledge of biodynamics). We choose the right tool that simplifies and speeds up the work. Let’s also pay attention to body posture! There are quite a few friendlier alternatives to the classic hoe. Among them, the hardened hollow hoe has recently started to rule the gardens.
Once the Coarse Mulch Is Laid, It Is No Longer Necessary to Hoe
It is recommended to use mulches made of fresh organic material for the summer months, which are applied only on sufficiently warmed ground. Straw, leaves, hay, and other mulches insulate the soil and do not allow the soil to warm up enough in the Sun, so we must not rush! We place them on the heated floor sometime in June. Until then, we water the soil regularly. Before applying the mulch, the soil must be watered, watered one last time, and then sprinkled abundantly. When the ground is covered with coarse mulch, weeding the garden is no longer necessary. Do not forget to cover the paths. Let me repeat that if you use compost mulch throughout the year, you can hoe regularly all season long.
A Final Thought About
Hoeing and Removing Weeds From the Garden
Our garden is mainly covered with compost, so it is easy to hoe and remove weeds. For larger plants (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, pumpkins, cucumbers, ..), we also use coarse mulch, which we lay in June (potatoes germinate earlier) and do not hoe after that. This system has proven to be extremely simple and effective in the care of the garden during the summer months and has an abundance of positive effects on the soil itself and, consequently, on the plants.