This DIY wheel hoe, one of the many creations of the farmer-designer Herrick Kimball of Planet Whizbang, is for those of you relying on human-powered cultivation.
Herrick offers the full set of plans to build his low-wheel hoe, and users can purchase various parts kits from the site, or use the specifications provided to find or create their own parts. For those that are finding their own, the site also links to online suppliers of various parts that you will need.
Find the wheel hoe plans here.
Explore the site to check out some other designs and articles written by Herrick, including plans for a cider press, a DIY garden cart, and chicken butchering how-to.
Skills needed: Simple metalworking (welding steel, or finding someone who can); also available commercially with an Allis G belly mount from Roeter’s Farm Equipment, but their version may not be optimized for your application.
Summary: Tine weeders, like those built by Lely or Kovar, are often used on vegetable farms for cultivation of transplanted crops or sturdy direct seeded crops like corn and beans. Usually they are used “blind” (see video), raked over a crop while being pulled behind a tractor, and therefore their use is limited to those crops that can tolerate the “raking” action of the thin, flexible tines, spaced 1.5″ apart.
This project creates a version of the tine weeder that can be belly-mounted to a cultivating tractor, so that individual tines can be lifted up so as not to engage the soil. This allows the tool to be used in between rows of crops that cannot stand the raking, such as just-germinated small seeded crops like carrots, beets and greens.
This is a good tool for a smaller farm that cannot afford many different types of cultivators; it can be used for many different crops, however by itself it is not an ideal cultivator for all crops, since it is not aggressive enough to kill more tenuous weeds such as perennial grasses, velvetleaf, bindweed, or weeds that have established beyond a “white thread” stage. Horsepower requirements are very low.