HOE (through Fr. hotte from O.H.G. houwd, mod. Ger 'Have; the root is seen in " hew," to cut, cleave; the word must be distinguished from " hoe," promontory, tongue of land, seen in place names, e.g. Morthoe, Luton Hoo, the Hoe at Plymouth, etc. ; this is the same as Northern English " heugh " and is connected with " hang "), an agricultural and gardening implement used for extirpating weeds, for stirring the surface-soil in order to break the capillary channels and so prevent the evaporation of moisture, for singling out turnips and other root-crops and similar purposes. Among common forms of hoe are the ordinary FIG. i. Three Forms of Manual Hoe.
garden-hoe (numbered 1 in fig. i), which consists of a flat blade set transversely in a long wooden handle; the Dutch or thrusthoe (2), which has the blade set into the handle after the fashion of a spade; and the swan-neck hoe (3), the best manual hoe for agricultural purposes, which has a long curved neck to attach the blade to the handle; the soil falls back over this, blocking is thus avoided and a longer stroke obtained. Several types of horse-drawn hoe capable of working one or more rows at a time are used among root and grain crops. The illustrations show two forms of the implement, the blades of which differ in shape from those of the garden-hoe. Fig. 2 is in ordinary use for hoeing between two lines of beans or turnips or other " roots." Fig. 3 is adapted for the narrow rows of grain crops and is also convertible into a root-hoe. In the lever-hoe, which is largely used in grain crops, the blades may be raised and lowered by means FIG. 2. Martin's One-Row Horse Hoe.
of a lever. The horse-drawn hoe is steered by means of handles in the rear, but its successful working depends on accurate drilling of the seed, because unless the rows are parallel the roots of the plants are liable to be cut and the foliage injured. Thus Jethro Tull (17th century), with whose name the beginning of FIG. 3. Martin's General Purpose Steerage Horse Hoe.
the practice of horse-hoeing is principally connected, used the drill which he invented as an essential adjunct in the so-called " Horse-hoeing Husbandry " (see AGRICULTURE).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)