Looking for a Scuffle Hoe

northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)May 4, 2010

Hello everyone:

The new anti-pesticide laws have my garden in a total mess of weeds. I have done some research and come to the conclusion that I would like to buy a Scuffle Hoe (sometimes called a Dutch Hoe), but I cannot find one in Canada. Has anyone ever heard of this hoe and bought one in Canada? Can you tell me where? I tried Lee Valley and they don't have it, and it doesn't come up anywhere else. I wonder if it goes by another name in Canada. Please help?

Notherner.

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ianna(Z5b)

Lee Valley tools have a hoe called a loop hoe which is very similar to the scuffle hoe and a collinear hoe which is similar to a dutch hoe. I must say though that these hoes are only effective on lightly weeded areas and not at all effective with weeds like dandelions. They do need a lot of arm power to work them. They work in grounds that have already been broken and tilled and you are addressing only weed seedlings on the surface..
What sort of weeds are you dealing with?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 9:46AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hi Ianna: I went to Lee Valley when I first decided I wanted a good hoe and tried them all, but decided on the scuffle because they came recommended by a gardener who gardens from a seat, and another vegetable gardener. I just like to buy something that comes recommended so that's why the post.
I am dealing with all kinds of weeds. I have dandelions, and I have a tool for that which is working quite well. It also works on the broad leaf weeds in the lawn. I need the hoe for several small weeds that have germinated in my garden beds and which I cannot identify. I am a deadheading 'queen' and do not usually have any re-seeds so I don't what they are. I also have a few weeds in my vegetable garden which has lain fallow over the winter and which is not yet planted. I expect that to take off in a few days as it warms up. I am also dealing with wild violets and they just have to be hand pulled, so I am quite overwhelmed.
Thanks for your input, I'll see what else turns up on this post. Perhaps I will return to Lee Valley and get one of theirs. I have quite a bit of arm power - a former athlete, gymnast, and sportsman - so I think I can handle it. Happy Gardening!!!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:06PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Dear Northerner,

I meant no disrespect by inquiring further on the hoe. This is just because it was the very hoe discussed in another forum and the person who got it was not very pleased with it. She wasn't fully informed on it's usage...

I can sympathize on your battle with violets. My cousin has had this problem for years and I've had to help her handpick every single bulbettes and seedlings. It hasn't been fully eradicated yet.

My favorite tool on dandelions is my pitchfork. I do have the original version of the weed puller too but I find it not to be too effective on established large dandelions.

In anycase, have you approached Rittenhouse for the hoe you need? I'm providing you a link to their site and please do check out their loop hoe which is like the scuffle hoe (not the one shown on lee valley tools) and as for the dutch hoe -- they have a version that's a winged one meant to catch the offending weed and cut them down. Hope this helps and good luck on your quest.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoe

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 2:49PM
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north53 Z1b MB(zone 1b Canada)

I have the Lee Valley loop hoe, and I don't find it very useful. The cutting edge is only on one side of the loop, and hence I often get it flipped upside down, and then of course it won't work. I find it too small and clogs up quickly in heavy soil.
So I'm also in the market for a good weeding hoe. So far I haven't found one.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 3:25PM
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oilpainter(3)

The best hoe we ever found is a small triangular one. It is about 3 or 4 inches wide from the handle to the end of the blade and the blade goes to a point on each end and back to the handle on an angle. It is great for working between rows in the garden and because of the point not too hard to use. Sorry I don't know what it's called.

My husband tills the garden 3 or 4 times before planting time. To get the weeds growing and mow them down. Not that we have many weeds because we never let them seed.

I find the best tool I use in my flower beds is the garden claw. It serves the purpose of a tiller in turning over the ground. It works great in soft soil but is useless in tough clay.

For some weeds like purslane however there is no substitute for hands and knees digging out and destroying. One small piece left behind will sprout over night into another plant.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 7:06PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hi Everyone: I FOUND A SCUFFLE HOE

Ianna, I am sorry if I sounded offended or disrespected by your comments. On the contrary, I was very happy that you seemd interested in my predicament, and took the time to discuss it with me.

Oilpainter, I think I have seen the one you describe in the Lee Valley catalogue. It seems the scuffle hoe is small enough to get between rows. I often have grass getting between my pepper plants and it's tough on the knees getting them out.

After I responded today, I called Lee Valley again to see if they had it by another name. I went through the whole catalogue with Stuart, and he suggested that I try Ritchie Feed & Seed. This is a large, well-established garden and farm business with two locations in the Ottawa area. I do not think it is a chain but I visit about 2 times a year because it's the only place I can always find ProMix and they have a large variety of seeds. If I want something a little off the beaten track, I am almost sure to find it there and their staff is very helpful. Well, they do carry it for $36.99. So I'll be of to pick mine up tomorrow. I don't know if they have mail-order service, but they are on the internet. If it's not the best thing since sliced bread, it will certainly be better than my old heavy, dull, regular hoe. Now I really have to get to work!! Happy Gardening all!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:58AM
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SteveHouston

As the owner of at least 4 different versions of the scuffle hoe, and as a user going back about 45 years, I think I can venture some comments on them. You can't go wrong with any of the versions of scuffle hoe. You could even have a weld shop heat and straighten the metal shaft part of a standard hoe and make a scuffle hoe out of it - though I would think this is the last resort. (This parenthetical is being written after the post was completed. I would recommend the following three, in no particular order, depending on what you can obtain, sorry I can't help with sourcing in Canada. The Spear and Jackson Dutch Hoe, the Clarington Forge Dutch hoe or the Rogue model that fits your needs - they have a wide variety of blade sizes. The "loop" hoe would be #4 out of 4 in my opinion.)

My Hoes and comments:
Hoe #1 was a "winged" version like the Rogue hoes. I got this one first about 45 years ago and still go back to it. It does not keep an edge, as Rogue claims for theirs. But it gets under the top soil and works in both directions. I find it easy to use, but hoeing is NEVER effortless with any hoe, scuffle or "standard". One of the major advantages of the scuffle hoes over the old garden variety hoes is that they work without having to pick them up and drop them down constantly.

Hoe #2 was a version of the Dutch hoe with a flat piece of steel as the "blade" to which is welded a "u" shaped piece of steel which is then attached to the handle. I probably use this one mcuh less frequently than the Dutch hoe or the winged hoe, primarily because it is heavy and I am getting older, but I also think it is probably the most rugged. It is a less sleek version of the Clarington Forge Dutch hoe. The blade does not hold an edge but the strength is a positive in harder soil. Works in both directions. Works well for breaking up the surface, moderately well for weeding.

Hoe #3 is also a version of the Dutch hoe with a blade in the form of a capital "D" and a much smoother transition from the two arms to the handle. It also has a lightweight, I think, aluminum handle. I inherited this one from my father and I do not know the source. I probably use this one the most and would love to find another one. It tends to work on the forward stroke only but is very easy to control. The Spear & Jackson Dutch Hoe comes the closest and it or the Clarington Forge version might become #5.

Hoe #4 is one of those so-called "loop" hoes. While it has held up reasonably well, it is probably the least used of all the scuffle hoes. I just find them to feel flimsy and I am afraid that when the going gets tough they might just fold over and become useless. They do work in both directions, however, and I use it more to cut weeds at the surface rather than breaking up topsoil.

I know I can't post a picture here but if anyone thinks they might know the source of Hoe #3 we could exchange information and I might buy another one as the one I have is a kind of an heirloom from my father - and he got it because he had seen my winged version at work in my vegetable garden. When I first saw this type in use a groundskeeper at one of the universities I attended would cut the weeks under the surface and lift them to knock off the soil and then take the weed and toss it in a pile for composting. I have never gotten that good - I just leave the weeds udner the bushes.

Just as I was completing this note I went back to the search screen in another window and the Spear & Jackson Dutch Hoe is there. The blade of it and of #3 are almost identical, but Spear & Jackson uses a wooden handle. Have to look that over a bit more and I might just order one.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 1:15AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hello Steve: Thank you for your dissertation on Scuffle Hoes. I had no idea there were so many versions of them. The one I settled for was also called a Dutch Hoe. It consists of one blade, sharpened on both sides, welded to U-shaped base at an angle. As such, it works in both directions, and because of the angle it's quite simple to use with a sawing motion, saving your back. It seems to fit the description of your Hoe #2, except that I don't find it prticularly heavy (I am female). I got it a bit late in the weeding season, but I am now ready for the weeds this season, which are already raising their heads with the warm/rain cycles we have been having. It sure beats my heavy, regular hoe anyday.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 11:53PM
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tlan(4QC)

I took care of the weed with a steak knife and a bucket.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:54PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

A Dutch hoe is a very useful tool in the vegetable garden and I use mine all the time. You do not need any power if it is used properly in suitable conditions. It is not a digging tool but a cuttng tool. The blade should be kept as close to horizontal as you can manage. It is best used in dry conditions on well cultivated soil to slice through small and newly germinated annual weeds. They are then left on the surface where they dry up and die. In damp weather they can reroot. I keep the hoe going all year between rows of vegetables and it is one reason why I don't plant vegetables in clumps or squares. It is also useful in the flowergarden as long as you are very careful not to decapitate self sown plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: My hoe looks similar to this

    Bookmark   April 19, 2011 at 4:33AM
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cmmwiebe

I found this link which pictures a hoe quite close to my favourite style. I like that you can go down along a row and trim the smaller weeds right close to the plants. A little pricey!

Clayton

Here is a link that might be useful: Sneeboer Dutch Hoe

    Bookmark   April 21, 2011 at 5:10PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Flora: Thank you so much for the tutorial on using my new hoe. It was very helpful to me because I went out quite early in the Spring, tried using it in a couple of ways, and then wondered why I had really wanted it. I gave up because it has been very wet since then, but after reading your directions I realize it was too wet to use it, and I really wanted it to get between my rows of vegetables, and in between my herbs in the herb garden. When it gets drier, it will do the trick with all the little 'unknowns' which raise their little heads come May. My hoe is very similar to the one pictured in your link, so I am sure I have the right tool. Thanks again.

Clayton, the picture in your link also looks similar to mine but rather pricey indeed!! I think I got quite a bargain.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 2:50AM
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ljpother(3a)

To get between plants I like to use a modified hand cultivator. I remove two of the three tines and find the remaining tooth excellent for getting between plants and cutting/hooking out weeds. I really like the control. There is a heft to the tool which can be shifted onto the point to break up harder soil.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2011 at 11:07AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Great thinking, LJ!! What a great idea. This would work really well for getting grass out of my clumps of peonies which is quite a nuisance in my back yard.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2011 at 2:57AM
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shikyo

I think Lee Valley sells a collection of queer shaped hoes, and they are not trying to sell very functional hoes.
I've been working as gardener for the last 35 years and have been using only hoes made by Sneeboer of Netherland for 33 years. I am still using the same set of hoes. I purchased them from Agrico Sales in Vancouver, 8206 Ontario Street V5X 3E3, 604 322 6652 for about $120 each. The company has been bought over by a US company and it's name is now Agrium Advanced Technologies.
They don't carry Sneebore hoes at regular basis, however, I find them time to time. The last price I saw was $140, however, I would pay $250 for a hoe without any problem.

http://www.sneeboer.com/d/Push-Hoe-20-cm-Article-No-2005-i39.html

Sells for 62 Euro, so I now know why $140 in Vancouver.

I weed with them, however, I also use for lawn edging. When I take care of beds I only carry a hoe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sound of Wind

    Bookmark   June 14, 2014 at 7:40PM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Thank you very much for this update, Shikyo. Actually, I ended up buying a hoe from Ritchie's Feed and Seed and didn't really need to use it until a couple of weeks ago. We have had a very wet spring, and I needed to weed a couple of beds and the hoe I bought as a Scuffle Hoe was absolutely useless. I have been away since then, and was not looking forward to 'hand weeding' these two beds, which I what I will have to do, so this information is welcome. I may not be able to get one this year, but it always helps to have good tools on hand.
P.S. Love your bowls. May invest in one or two sometime.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:54AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

As an update to my above post, the scuffle hoe worked fairly well on dry wiry weeds, cutting them off at ground level. But on fresh soft leaved weeds which are a bit damp, it just glosses over them.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 2:06AM
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bev1635

found mine at Connon Nursery in Trenton, ON
Love it

    Bookmark   October 20, 2014 at 11:18AM
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