Hoe vs. Spade: Which One is Better for Gardening?

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When it comes to gardening, there are a few essential tools. Two of those tools are a hoe and spade; which is better?

What Is A Hoe And What Are The Benefits?

The specialty tool called a hoe is utilized by gardeners for weeding, hilling, and edging. It has a long handle and a blade that is usually angled. 

Hoe vs. Spade: Which One is Better for Gardening? 1
Hoe

The Pros of Using a Hoe:

– The angled blade makes it easier to weed.

– It’s excellent for hilling and edging.

– It’s lightweight and easy to use.

The Cons of Using a Hoe:

– The blade can bend if you hit a rock or root.

– It’s not as good as a spade for digging.

– It’s not as good as a spade for transplanting.

What Is A Spade And What Are The Benefits?

A spade is also a gardening tool used for digging, transplanting, and edging. It also has a long handle, but the blade is flat. The benefits of using a spade include: 

Hoe vs. Spade: Which One is Better for Gardening? 2
Spade

The Pros of the Spade:

– The flat blade is perfect for digging.

– It’s excellent for transplanting.

– Can be used to edge gardens with precision

The Cons of the Spade:

– It’s heavier than a hoe, making it harder to use for extended periods.

– The blade can bend if you hit a rock or root.

– It’s not as good as a hoe for weeding.

Key Differences Between The Hoe And Spade

Weight

One of the main differences between hoes and spades is weight. Hoes are typically much lighter than spades, making them easier to use for extended periods. If you have a large garden with lots of heavy work, then a spade is better as it can handle more weight. However, if your garden space is on the smaller size or your ability to lift and move heavy things is limited, then a hoe would be the better option.

Blade Shape

The blade shape is another critical difference between hoes and spades. Hoes have angled blades, making them great for weeding, hilling, and edging. Spades have flat blades, making them perfect for digging, transplanting, and edging.

Purpose

The final key difference between hoes and spades is their intended purpose. Hoes are designed for lighter tasks such as weeding, hilling, and edging, while spades are better suited for heavier tasks such as digging, transplanting, and edging.

Now that you know the key differences between hoes and spades, it’s time to choose the right one for your garden.

How To Choose The Right Hoe Or Spade For Your Garden

When choosing a hoe or spade, consider: 

– The size of your garden

– The type of soil you have

– The plants you are growing

– Your personal preference

If you are starting gardening, we recommend opting for a hoe over a spade. A hoe is easier to use and less likely to damage plants. However, if you have some gardening experience and are looking for a hoe that can handle more weight, we recommend opting for a spade. They are better for heavier tasks and can last longer.

Ultimately, if you have a small garden with little heavy work, then a hoe would be the better choice. If you have compacted or rich clay soil, a hoe with a sharp blade may be better than a spade. 

A spade would be better if you have a large garden requiring serious work. On the other hand, you might prefer a hoe’s softer edge when growing delicate plants. 

The best hoe or spade is the one that works best for you and your garden, and if you are not sure which one to choose, then why not get both so that you are prepared for anything! Remember to take care of the tools you do have and clean them to keep them at the ready for your needs. Our guide on How To Clean A Shovel will give you the best methods for cleaning your shovel or any other garden tool.

What Type Of Spade Is Best For The Garden?

There are a few different spades available on the market, but the two most common are the digging spade and the transplanting spade. The main difference between the two is the shape of their blades. Digging spades have a pointed, flat blade that is great for digging holes while transplanting spades have slightly curved blades that are perfect for moving plants around without damaging their roots.

The three spades below, from amazon, all are spades with varying blades. The Mujo is a traditional spade design with a short handle. Notice the blade shape is pointed and what is considered a flat blade, even though it has a slight curve. The Dewit Dutch shown also has a slightly curved but very sharp blade to penetrate tough hard soil to dig a hole for transplanting. Lastly but not least is the spade with a Spear Head blade crossing the digging and transplanting spade into one blade. The end of the blade is flat and curves as you go up the blade. The idea is to allow digging in hard compact soild while still being able to transplant easily.

There are so many choices and combinations of blades and handles it does get hard to know which is the best to get for your needs. Our choice is the Dewit Dutch. The cost is higher but we prefer to pay a higher cost for a quality spade that is great for digging, transplanting and edging and that will last for years to come. If your on a budget then the Mujo or Spear Head spade are also great alternatives.

What Type Of Hoe Is Best For The Garden?

There are a few different types of hoes available on the market, but the weeding hoe and the edging hoe are the most common. The main difference between the two is the shape of their blades. Weeding hoes have sharp, angled blades that make it easy to get rid of weeds while edging hoes have flat blades that are perfect for creating clean lines around garden beds.

Weeding Hoes

The weeding hoes shown below, available at Amazon, are great for daily use in garden to loosen the top layer of soil around a plant or to get rid of the weeds. The Corona is two sided with a pronged edged on one side and curved blade on the other. The pronged edge allows you to better aerate the soil around the plant for nutrients and water.

The Flexrakes blade pivots to allow the bottom scrape edge to dig into the soil and pull the weeds out by their roots. This type of blade is said to kill and weed roots left behind as contact with the steel blade has in effect killed the weed. Some say this is not true other swear by it. Whether or not you believe the flexrate does make quickwork of removing weed.

The triangle shape of the cdbz hoe provides a very sharp blade to loosens the hardest of soils and stubborn weeds. As the head of this hoe is hollow the weight is significantly reduced making it a great partner in the garden.

Edging Hoe

If you take a look at the edging hoes below, available from Amazon, each have a T handle so you can easily grip and line up the edger in the location you want with ease. The Colwelt and Yard Butler blade have saw tooth blades which will assist you in cutting through thick vegetation to get that clean edge. The Fiskars edge is more of a shovel blade design to penetrate the vegetation and hard soil.

Are There Wheeled Hoes For Gardening?

Yes, there are a few different wheeled hoes available on the market. These hoes have two or four wheels that make it easy to maneuver them around the garden, making them perfect for large gardens with many plants to weed. However, they do come with a higher price tag than traditional hoes.

The following wheeled hoes, available on Amazon, are good back savers and push easily if the ground is not hard and compacted. The Varomorus will make quick work on any size garden with their triangle blade that will cut through the top soil aerating and pulling out the weeds. The Beita is designed to get out those pesky weeds in crack and crevices that you may find in you drive or walkway. Perhaps you would prefer to have a little more power behind you when hoeing and removing weeds. If this is the case then Sun Joes mini cultivator would be the way to go. It is battery operated, which you need to buy seperately.

Do I Need Both A Hoe And Spade?

If you are starting out in gardening, we recommend opting for a hoe over a spade. A hoe is easier to use and less likely to damage plants. However, if you have some gardening experience and are looking for a tool that can handle more weight, we recommend opting for a spade. They are better for heavier tasks and can last longer. 

Tips for deciding which one to use:

– If you have a small garden, go for hoe. 

– If the soil is compact or has large rocks, use a spade. 

– For weeding, hilling, and edging, use the hoe. 

– Use a spade for digging, transplanting, and edging in straight lines. 

– If you cannot make up your mind, get both hoe and spade. 

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