Instruction manual for a hoe?

The thought for today is about garden equipment. Initially, I was going to find the difference between the two types of hoe. We have a Dutch hoe which appears to be the common one. There is another sort, with the blade at right angles to the handle, but I am struggling to find what this is called, apart from just “hoe”.

Whilst searching, I happened across this page, “Description on how to use a hoe”, which made me realise – I have never been taught to use tools.

My garden, how does she grow

I do not do gardens, apart from general hacking back with my scythe when the neighbours complain, but I do have a well stocked tool shed courtesy of the previous occupants. If I wanted to do some localised ploughing inbetween plants, I would reach for my hoe. Its long handle and narrow blade makes it an ideal tool for breaking up a small patch of earth. I selected the best tool in my armoury for the job and that tool was my Dutch hoe.

I now find out that a Dutch hoe is essentially a weed seeking and destroyer. It is not used for digging.


This episode has made me realise, there are lots of tools out there and they do not come with manuals. It is assumed that everyone knows how to use common equipment. Another example that comes to mind is a stapler. How many people are aware of the swivel base that makes the staple legs bend outwards so it acts more like a pin?

Not sure what point I am trying to make here, but my philosophical question is this. If using a tool achieves a purpose, but not the purpose for which it was designed does it really matter? If I use a hammer to attach a screw to wall, is it bad workmanship even if the picture stays on the wall?

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