Garden History – The Hoe

There are many different kinds of tools for the garden and yard but there are a few that
have such useful purposes they are a necessity to own.

One is the hoe. This is probably my most used garden tool. A hoe has a flat blade and has
various shapes, which are more useful in certain soils. Modern hoes have a metal tool
end and are set on a long wooden handle. They are used mainly for weeding and for loosening soil.

The earliest known hoes were forked sticks. These were mentioned in older writings and
drawn in caves showing people farming and growing crops. Heavy flaked-stone implements were mounted with bitumen and used in Mesopotamia. These primitive hoes were used in the 5th millennium B.C. They were used at the same time as flint-bladed sickles and grinding stones.

Hoe blades have been made of animal antlers and shoulder blades, and of shells. As time
progressed and new ideas and resources were discovered: variations on the hoe, such as
the pick, the adz, and the plow appeared. These variations rapidly changed at the tool
changed from bone to stone and copper. Then later to bronze, iron, and steel.

Modern garden hoes consist of two types, the drag hoe and the thrust hoe. Truck farms use light scraping hoes, chopping hoes, and multi-bladed hoes. Large-scale agriculture
has a cultivating tool called a rotary hoe, which is used for weeding.

The hoe symbolizes garden horticulture that sustained high civilizations, such as those
of pre-Columbian America. Looking back through history gardening has
existed since the beginning of time and the changes have been recorded and serve as
history of early civilizations and as a learning tool for growing. And the use of tools and their advances also benefited other areas of science and discovery.

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