Last Spring I decided to build my own wheel hoe. I didn’t want to spend several hundred dollars to buy a commercial model. Using some scrap plywood and salvaged lawnmower wheels, I built it in just a few days. Here is an example of my double wheel hoe that I built for just about $30.
I used 1/2″ plywood for the frame and body and some salvaged lawnmower wheels. I experimented with various wooden handles but I eventually settled on some lightweight electrical conduit pipe as it is very light, durable, and cheap to build.
I looked at the old Planet JR wheel hoe designs from the first part of the century. They did a lot of experimentation back then and they found that by placing the plowing points far behind the wheels, the effort to push and use the wheel hoe was much easier. I liked how they used slots in the frame to make various attachments useful and to adjust for width and spacing of the plowing points. Lastly I also admired the simplicity of the design with the only moving parts being the wheels. The company made both single and double wheel models and in my experience the double wheel model is probably the most useful for me. I do like the single wheel version for cultivating between the rows when the vegetable plants are large and the space is limited.
I did use some old cultivating teeth that I found at an antique shop, but these can also still be bought new online for a reasonable cost. Various other attachments can be used also such as a stirrup hoe and turning plows, etc. In my experience I found that the simple cultivating points to be by far the most useful for light cultivation and weed control.
Anyone who has just a few hand tools such as a saw and drill can make their own wheel hoe just like this one, and they will quickly find it to be the easiest way to control weeds in their garden. I was simply amazed at how easy and efficient it was to keep my garden plots clean and pristine all summer. Even someone my age can easily push the wheel hoe. I spend about 10 minutes a week and my garden plots are all beautiful, healthy, and weed free!
I am in the process of drawing a set of plans and instructions so that you can also build your own wheel hoe. I am drawing the plans to build either a double or single wheel version, depending on your needs. If there is enough interest I will publish these plans soon and with winter fast approaching, now is the perfect time to build your own and have it ready to go for your next springtime garden!
Drop by my Facebook page and let me know if you are interested in these plans! https://www.facebook.com/authorextraordinaire