This is the tool for easy digging all around the garden and farm. Used by small farmers around the world daily, this tool is the quickest way to dig and cultivate large areas of ground with the least effort.

Some of the many uses of these hoes are:

Grubbing weeds, mounding potatoes, turning sods, making row crops, clearing paths, chopping and turning old weedy beds, digging ditches, turning in green manures and more. See the videos at the bottom of the page to get a feel for how useful and effective these tools are.

Over-grown weedy bed completely cleared in 1 hour 20 minutes by a 5ft lady (me!)

The grub hoe (which has many names – adaza, jembe, mamooty..) is used all around the world by millions of small farmers everyday. I imported the heads after looking all over New Zealand to find one for use in my own market garden, and not finding them anywhere. I had the handles made in Christchurch and have been using them every day in my own garden. They are the tool that I couldn’t be without, I am able to accomplish more in a shorter time with less back ache than I ever could with a spade.

The hoe heads are made of solid forged steel and the ash handles are either 150cm or 120cm long. The shorter handles are not just for shorter people – some people find that when they have a lot of ground to clear and are swinging the hoe around, a shorter handle is easier to manage and less cumbersome – even though you may have to bend a little more.

Grub Hoe (L), multi-purpose grubbing. Grape Hoe (M), lighter and wider for garden beds. Trenching Hoe (R), good in clay soils and grubbing thistles.

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Care and Maintenance of Hoes 

These hoes should last a lifetime with the proper basic care, such as wiping down the head and the handles with a damp rag after each use and not leaving them out in the rain. The head may start to rust if left to get wet in which case the best thing is to immediately dry it thoroughly and lightly sand the rust away with a metal sandpaper. The edge usually stays sharp simply through use, I’ve never chipped or dented one in years of use.

How not to break the handle

It’s very tempting to try to lever huge clumps of weeds out by slicing the head underneath and then leveraging the handle to pop the weed out as if it was a crow bar. Although the handles are strong, they will snap if they are used like this too often. It’s far better to keep the blade really sharp and get a good swing going to lift weeds out the ground. Short handles are better suited to being used like this. If you should snap the handle and would like a replacement, I always have spares!

How to keep the head on the handle

The head may over time become loose on the handle. Unfortunately, because of the very small taper of the hole, it’s tricky to get a permanent fix of the head onto the handle. This is the best advice I have at this point, but will always update these details should I find out more: If the head starts to become loose, even just a millimetre of movement, whack the head on as far as you can with a hammer. I have used epoxy resin and epoxy glue to strengthen the handle and seal the head and you may wish to give it another coat if the head becomes loose.

Don’t just take my word for it, grub hoes have a fan base across the world:

Here is an excellent site from the USA:  www.easydigging.com

and the main seller in the UK is:  www.get-digging.co.uk and here you will find many more photos and testimonials.

Even older folks who have rocky soil can break in new ground while having a banter with friends…

and here’s a time lapse video of grape hoes being used to make raised beds

Names from Around the World:

England: Azada, Chillington Hoe

Africa: Jembe

India: Mamooty

Brazil: Enxada

Borneo: Chunkil

Germany: spanische Hacke

……do you know them by another name? Email me and I’ll add it to the list.