We bought a stirrup hoe (aka Hula Ho Weeder or loop hoe) at a Mt Airy, Maryland, flea market last spring. We had seen them on YouTube but had never used one. It was inexpensive and appeared to be in good condition so we took a chance and purchased it from a guy with a stall full of what could best be described as the contents of the Smithsonian’s garden shed. In retrospect, it was a great purchase. We love the thing!
Introduced in 1961 as the Hula Ho Weeder, the modern version of the tool includes a heat-treated, self-sharpening blade that works beneath the soil surface to cut weeds at their roots on both the back and forward motions without disturbing the topsoil. What’s better, the blade is designed to sharpen itself as it’s used!
The key to the tool’s utility is a head that rocks just enough to make it work on both strokes, toward the user and away. This doubles its efficiency and makes much faster work of weeding than any other garden hand tool we’ve tried. See one in action
In addition to its efficiency, the stirrup hoe only minimally impacts the soil, thereby maintaining important microstructures and moisture-trapping residue, and reducing erosion.
The tool was invented in 1701 by an English agricultural engineer named Jethro Tull (pictured and not to be confused with the rock band).
Anyway, stirrup hoes make weeding easier and that’s a good thing. We appreciate using it, but it’s not like we fight over it. 😊
If you are thinking of buying a stirrup hoe and would like to test drive one first, feel free to drop by our farm and do a little weeding. Hurry while supplies (of weeds) last. 😊