Around our garden, the Hoss Wheel Hoe is most useful during planting time. We use the wheel hoe to lay off rows where we plant our potatoes and other crops. We find this to be a quick, easy, and very effective way of planting most of our crops. If you are interested in purchasing a Hoss product, please click any of the images, or Hoss links on this page. Using these links will reward us with a small commission, and will not increase your cost. Thank you very much.
Depending on the crop, we start out by making either a ‘furrow’ or a ‘hill’ for our row. In the case of potatoes, we make a furrow. This is easily done using both the left and right plows of the Hoss Wheel Hoe Plow Set. Attach the plow which ‘throws to the right’ on the right side of the hoe, and attach the plow which ‘throws to the left’ on the left side of the plow. The picture below should help to visualize this configuration.
The Hoss Website (and associated videos) shows usage of the Wheel Hoe in very sandy soil. It obviously works very well in those conditions. We typically show a slightly different situation. We have loam soils, and, at least for planting situations, we use the wheel hoe immediately after tilling with our tractor mounted tiller. This leaves a light and fluffy soil which behaves much like the more sandy soil.
In other soils (we haven’t lived here all of our lives) which have more clay, the wheel hoe will still work very well when used behind a roto-tiller. However, it will not be optimal when used on compacted soil. We recommend using a tiller for your primary tillage, and using the Hoss Wheel Hoe for the more detail work.
Covering the Potatoes
Back to our planting…after we get the rows (furrows) made, we place the potatoes (with love as Katriel says) into the furrow skin side up. Then, we reconfigure the Hoss Wheel Hoe Plow Set to cover or ‘fill-in’ the furrow we just made. This reconfiguration is straightforward. We simply remove both plows and trade sides. Put the ‘left throwing plow’ on the right side, and the ‘right throwing plow’ on the left side. You can experiment with how far apart these need to be. Our experience is that they need to be almost all (if not all) of the way apart. You can ‘push faster and deeper’ if they are not filling your furrow as much as you would like.
Here is a complete video of the potato planting operation.
Planting Corn with Wheel Hoe
Several crops (like sweet corn) can be planted in the same exact method as the potatoes. With corn, you need to be a bit more careful about how deeply you cover it. Usually only 1 1/2 inches or so. In this video, we plant the corn by hand, in furrows prepared just as like we described above.
Planting Small Seeds on Ridges
For small seeds which do not need to be covered deeply like radishes, lettuce, etc. You can use the wheel hoe to prepare a ridge instead of a furrow (with the plows throwing toward each other). Then, you can turn the wheel hoe over, and use only the wheel to make a small depression in the ridge. You can then plant your small seeds in that depression. This picture isn’t perfect, as we weren’t using the ‘ridge’ for this particular crop, as neighbor Bob didn’t think it was necessary. However, we are using the wheel to compress the soil ever so slightly for a perfect seedbed. After distributing the seed, you can cover with a rake, or by hand (obviously the Katriel ‘with love’ approach).
There are many ways to plant a garden. In fact, Hoss has a more sophisticated approach available which we’ll discuss in a future post. However, this post shows that a wheel hoe can be used to make planting easier, and for a small to moderately sized garden, it might be the most effective approach.
Click any of the Hoss links, or photos above to be directed to the Hoss website, where you can purchase your very own Hoss Wheel Hoe.