Garden hoes are essentially poles to which a blade has been appended, at a 90-degree angle. The poles (handles) are about 4.5 feet long. These tools are an old-time favorite in the war against weeds.
A garden hoe is wielded with a swinging motion. Grip the handle at the end furthest from the blade with one hand. With the other hand, grip the handle somewhere around the middle.
Use the garden hoe to slice into the soil around weeds. Raise the garden hoe up, so that the blade is out away from your body (either to your left or right side) and approximately at shoulder-height. Then swing the blade down towards the ground and slightly back towards your body, striking the ground at approximately a 45-degree angle. Ideally, you'll penetrate the soil deeply enough to get under the roots and lift out the whole weed, roots and all.
Garden hoes can also substitute for steel rakes when you need to level off the soil across a small area.
On Page 4, we'll put the steel rake to use....