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Hoeing the veg patch

Controlling weeds with a hoe is very effective. It allows you to easily kill weed seedlings, including those that have not yet appeared above the ground.
Hoeing the veg patch
If your veg is planted in lines, with space between, then hoeing is easy.

If your veg is planted in lines, with space between, then hoeing is easy. You can guide the hoe between rows, with a gentle push or pull, and not disrupt your chosen plants.

Hoeing is more difficult if your chosen plants are arranged randomly: it can be difficult to tell which is a weed seedling and which is a young veg plant, and sometimes it's not easy to manoevre the hoe between clumps of plants.

When to hoe

The best time to hoe is before you have a problem with the weeds, even before they appear on the surface. Weed seedlings are developing all the time just below the soil surface and if you hoe regularly these weed seedlings will be disturbed and killed.

It's good to hoe when the soil surface is dry. This means when the weeds are chopped off they won't reroot in moist conditions.

Hoeing early in the morning allows the weed growth to lie on the surface and dry out as the day passes.

How to hoe

First, make sure that when you hoe you are as upright as possible. This makes it easy on your back. The length of the hoe is key to this.

Also, keep your hoe blade sharp. Use a file or grinding stone to sharpen the hoe. This allows you to cut the weed from the roots just below the soil level.

Push or pull the hoe through the soil, approx one or two centimetres deep.

You can leave the uprooted weeds on the soil to dry in the sun.