Hoe, or How, a well known implement of husbandry, designed for eradicating weeds from gardens, fields, etc. This tool is of great utility, and ought to be more frequently employed in 6tirring the unoccupied corners and spots of land, during the more vacant seasons of the year, by which operation the soil will be considerably improved.
To facilitate this important ob-ject, we shall present to our readers three hand-hoes, much superior to-those in common use, and which, from their simplicity, deserve to be more generally known.
The first is the Portuguese Hoe, lately described and recommended by the patriotic Lord Somerville, and of which the following is a representation :
The handle of this implement is from three feet to three feet four inches in length ; and, as it is both light and short, it is peculiarly calculated for strong lands and mountainous situations : because the hoe, by its weight and pointed form, cuts deeply into the earth, without requiring much exertion.
The second is the Horse-hoe invented by Mr. Mark Ducket; of Esher, Surrey:
This hoe is furnished with a ring or loop, as above represented, near the bottom of the handle, for hold-ing a strap, which is fastened round the waist of the persons at work, as they walk backwards. It is eminently useful for cleaning crops of every description, whether drill-ed or hand-set in rows. Mr. Ducket has judiciously availed himself of a short handle, and heavy iron work, the exact reverse of the common hoe, which requires great exertion to make any impression on the soil (excepting on the lightest sands), especially if it has Become dry and hard.
It is evident from the preceding cut, cut that Mr. Ducket's hoes, by their convex form, earth up as well as down ; 'though the same implement may also be made with straight Cages; namely, for drilled or dibbled crops at six inches in-terval ; for clearing pease, beans, &C. at 18 inches distance; and for dressing crops of any description, at 12 inches interval. - Should these hoes, however, from their straight edge, be unequal to cope with stiff land, Lord Somervtlle suggests the expediency of adopting the conical edge (or the edge opposite to that in the horse-shoe hoe) which will remarkably increase their power. Lastly, his Lordship observes, that three flat hoes at six inches ; two flat ones at twelve inches; and three horse-shoe hoes, form the whole number requisite ; and that they ail screw into the same frame and handle.
The last hand-hoe, we shall notice, is constructed on an improved principle, by Mr. James M'Dou-gal, now of Oxford-street, London ; for which the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, etc. in 1793, conferred on him a premium of twenty guineas. - This contrivance, which is represented in the annexed cut, consists of two principal parts : the first of them is a beam of wood, which, at its fore-end, has a semicircle, forming two handles, between which one man walks, and draws the implement forward. At the other end, this beam is divided, and moves on two small gudgeons, by which it is accommodated to the height of the hands of the person drawing, and room is allowed for the movement of a wheel.
The farther end of the opposite beam is held by another person, who guides the hoe, and regulates the depth to which it penetrates the ground, while he at the same time assists its action by pushing it forward. The fore-end of this beam is also divided so as to admit a wheel to run between the sides, which serves to adjust the depth, and to ease the draught, in working the implement.
Mr. M'Dougal's hoes are made of cast-iron, and fixed in a mortice in the hinder beam, by means of a proper wedge : they may be made of different forms or dimensions, in proportion as is required by the peculiar nature of the work.
The design of this contrivance is to clear land from weeds, and to loosen the soil in the intermediate spaces of pulse or grain, sown in equi-distant rows, while the plants are at the same time sufficiently earthed up, in consequence of which they vegetate with increased luxuriance.
It is calculated to. effect these objects in an eminent degree, and, from the simplicity of its construction, and the facility with which it is worked, it claims the attention of enlightened agriculturists.