Hoe and Harvest Update from May Dreams Gardens

At first glance, you might think my new hoe is not a hoe, but I assure you it is. It has moving parts so I'm tempted to call it a hoeing machine or a hoeing contraption, but its primary purpose is to break the soil and chop down the weeds, which is what a hoe does, right? So it's a hoe.

Here it is... The "Ro-Ho Gardener".
Isn't that something? I got it from my former neighbor, the one who is moving after 45 years of living next door to where I grew up. I did an online search and didn't get any "hits" for the Ro-Ho and can't find another one for sale on eBay, so I think it is pretty unique.

I did get a few hits for the manufacturing company, but mostly for obituaries for people who worked there at one time.

So I'm not only very happy to add this to my hoe collection, I'm also pleased to put information about it on the world wide web, via this post, so if some other lucky gardener happens to find one or have one, they will get a "hit" if they search online for it, and maybe we can compare notes.

Here's the business end of it.
You push it forward through the soil (dirt, if you aren't fancy about your gardening talk) and the wheel with the teeth turns and chops down the weeds and then the tines in the back turn the soil (dirt) over. I can tell you that if you push this regularly through the garden, you'll get a good work out!

My neighbor first showed it to me at the same time he commented about some weeds in the garden I had planted over there. I got the hint and took a turn with this through that garden and can report it does a pretty good job knocking down weeds. I think he also knew that once I saw the Ro-Ho Gardener and tried it out, I would have to have it. He was right about that. We negotiated a bit, arrived at a fair price (the price he named), and now it's mine, part of my hoe collection.

Have you ever seen a hoeing contraption like it? Do you have one in your tool shed?

Here's what the weeds see right before the Ro-Ho Gardener chops them down.I'd sure be afraid if I were a weed and saw the Ro-Ho Gardener heading my way. It means business!

And tonight I was a little afraid to look at the squash plants to see if I had more zucchini to harvest. I did. But I also suddenly have tomatoes! Isn't that the way it goes? We wait and wait and it seems like forever before we harvest the first big ripe tomato and then suddenly the tomatoes all start to ripen at once. The tomato in the lower right hand corner is a 'German Johnson', my favorite. I'll let it sit a day or so to further ripen and my-oh-my will it be good.

And I'll keep watching for the Perfect Tomato, and when I harvest one, and I know I will eventually, I'll pull out all the stops and rituals for it, so check back for that.

Wait, something is missing from my harvest trug.

I forgot to check the 'Cue Ball' squash. Yep, there were four more round zucchini squash.

I'm having a very good squash year.

How's your squash doing this year?


  1. That is a cool device. I am still using a shovel and regular toothed hoe, but that would be better.

    I wonder--does anyone do double-digging any more/ Makes me tired just thinking about it.

  2. Now that is a cool hoe, Carol. I think I might even use that one. LOL.

  3. Maybe that's the same hoe Charles Dudley Warner rhapsodized about! Well, maybe not, but it looks like you got an oldie and a goodie.

    I've been meaning to confess to you that I never use my hoe. Wait, I think I did about five years ago.

  4. What a perfect hoe to add to your collection. You must be pleased about that unusual and rare find.

  5. Now that is a SERIOUS hoe! Love it :-)

    I'm almost to having to make zucchini bread to keep up with the squashes. We've had it steamed, stuffed, fried, in spaghetti sauce, in meatloaf.....

    It's yummy, though :-)

  6. I have to confess too -- I don't even own a hoe. My zucchini survived cucumber beetles, but lost the battle with the squash vine borer. So I am enjoying watching you harvest.

  7. No I've seen everything. If there is another weird hoe out there I'm sure you'll find it.

  8. I have never seen one like it :-) Could I borrow it please for my allotment ? LOL

  9. Heh. My thought on the hoe is more mundane; ro-ho ho and a bottle of rum! Although I have a feeling that drinking and hoeing won't mix, especially not with this contraption.

    As for the squash my experience is that it's easy to get squished when the harvest is getting serious. (Oh dear, I think I'm reading blogs too late again. Forgive me my bad puns.)

  10. So cool for you!!

    You know, you do a much better job of recording your produce than I do!

  11. Does that hoe dig the weeds back into the soil? My own favorite weeding tool is probably not a "hoe" in the strict sense of the word. I wrote about it here: http://bumblebeeblog.com/journal/2007/4/22/the-joy-of-weeding-042207.html.

    By the way, I'm back from Chicago. Wow. Those gardens!
    --Robin (Bumblebee)

  12. That looks like a hoe and cultivator all-in-one. I feel as you do about hoes - love them and couldn't garden without one.

  13. Now, that's one serious garden tool! Wouldn't Charles Dudley Warner be in seventh heaven with this baby? I have little yellow squash, but NO green yet!! I'm waiting....

  14. YOur Ro Ho looks like it will be a lot easier on your back.

  15. Leave it to you to find a one of a kind hoe!!! Good job and I have to say that the Ro Hoe is really fun to say. Squash is coming in but planted mostly yellow as that is what the EM prefers! Stop teasing with all those tomatoes.

  16. EAL... I don't know of anyone doing double-digging, though occasionally in the fall, out of desparation, I dig a long trench in the veg. garden and bury some of the plant refuse. It isn't true "double-digging, but it is hard work!

    Kylee... thanks, I'm glad you like it well enough to think you might use it.

    LostRoses... It is an oldie and a goodie, for sure, and why I am I not surprised you haven't used your hoe in five years?

    Robin's Nesting Place... I am pleased to own this new hoe!

    Colleen... thanks, it is a weed-cutter, for sure. And I'm surprised you haven't made zucchini bread yet!

    Heather... No hoe? You are missing out!

    Eleanor... I'm always on the look out for a new and different hoe!

    Chris... The logistics in having you borrow this might be a little costly, otherwise...

    Rosengeranium... Too funny. Yes, hoeing and drinking... bad combo!

    Me... Thank you for the kind words!

    Robin(Bumblebee)... It does turn the weeds back into the dirt, in a manner of speaking. I went back and read your post... I'm still thinking about getting a hoe like yours, though I have one that is pretty close, just smaller.

    Carolyn Gail... Finally, a gardener who understands hoes! How can anyone garden without a hoe?

    Bev... Indeed Charles Dudley Warner would be in awe of this tool.

    Laurie&Chris... Don't be fooled, it does take a fair amount of strength to push it through the soil.

    Thanks all for the nice comments!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  17. Layanee... our comments crossed paths. I picked another tomato this evening! I should post a picture of it, just for you! Ro-Ho is fun to say. I am not a Ro-Ho Gardener!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  18. Oh, cool! I have one of these Ro Ho things too. It belonged to my grandmother, although I don't recall ever seeing her use it. Mine is quite rusty though, and I don't know if the manufacturer's name is still visible anywhere on it. Truthfully, I haven't looked at it in a long time - I'm just keeping it as a memento.

  19. Oh, Carol, you are torturing me with those cute little zucchinis again!! They're so delectable looking.

    I couldn't resist googling too, and found another garden blogger ... no location but might be Kansas... who mentions using an "ancient Ro-Ho cultivator" way, way down in the middle of this post.

    An EBay listing from May 29th shows one sold from Roachdale Indiana for $42.00 - people still like them!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  20. Replying to your comment on my blog(www.pinwheelfarm.blogspot.com)as well as comments on yours:

    Yes, I'm in Eastern Kansas.

    Yours is very nice and new! I'd love to findonelike that!

    I have several of these & similar--I think two with the teeth and one with straight-edged blades. Garage sales and auctions, very cheap ($5?) I'm always on the lookout for them in any condition because I depend on them and know they won't be easy to replace. Mine are very rusty and abused--handle on one replaced with an old push lawnmower handle.

    I do not use them for weeds, because I mulch everything & so don't hoe--just hand pull what does grow. Light sandy silt loam "dream soil". What I use them for is preparing seed beds for planting...incorporating a dusting of lime or compost if needed and breaking down light clods in an almost-no-till system. It works up a seed bed just deep enough to make seed furrows. I do a no-fossil-fuel (except transport) market garden using this method.

  21. Entangled...I'd love to see a picture of your Ro-Ho Gardener!

    Annie in Austin... You are an extraordinarily talented sleuth. Thank you find the links. I'd gladly send some zucchini in return.

    Natalya... Thanks for the reply comment. Mine is hardly new. I suspect it is about 35 or 40 years old, based on what my neighbor told me about it when he sold it to me.

    Thanks all for the comments!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  22. Carol, I posted a picture and a brief note about my Ro Ho cultivator. I wonder how many of these are still in use.

  23. Galesburg, Illinois! That's my dad's home town. Where my parents went to college (Knox) and met (my Mom's from New Mexico). Small world, ne?

    I'll have to ask my dad if he has ever heard of the Rowe Manufacturing Co.

  24. MSS...It is a small world. Can't wait to hear if your dad remembers this company!

  25. You won't believe this, but we just inherited a genuine Ro-Ho and rushed immeditely to google it and found your site. Some friends of ours are moving and could not pack the Ro-Ho with them. Funny story that goes with it- Our friend's grandfather bought this device to till up the garden at their cottage in MN. Ours actually has the original "tow rope" that came with the Ro-Ho. After one use, the "towers" said that's enough. So our Ro-Ho only has one official use in a garden.

  26. You will also find that if you turn your ro-ho upside down, it will do excellent light tilling and will even cut grass and weeds off, the upper brace isn't a brace at all, but a blade. I have 2 of them and they are very handy. I believe the person who invented this to be something of a genious, so versatile.

  27. The original Ro-Ho may be impossible to find, however, Lehmans Rotary Cultivator looks to be nearly identical.


    I like their Low Wheel Cultivator too.


  28. We are 100 year old family owned garden centre in Western Canada and sold Ro-Ho Gardeners for decades.About 10 years ago we got a letter from the Rowe Co.stating that they were no longer going to make this great machine..too bad.
    Spencer @ Early's in Saskatoon,Sask.

  29. I have a ro ho but mine has wheel in front and five tines in back and a bar in front for cutting weeds

  30. I would love to get my hands on one of those! I'm off to eBay to see what I can find.

  31. Funny, I had never heard of these Ro-Ho tillers before. Your date of post says 2009, and now I went searching and find them everywhere! You have caused them to come out of mothballs perhaps? I sure wouldn't mind owning one! ~ Lynda

  32. I have two. One is planet Jr. Which has the tool holder. And other is just wheel with cultivator loop.

  33. Just bought 1 for $40.00. Very excited to find it. Mine is completely original. I would like to know how to verify the manufacturing date.

  34. Here’s your ‘hit’ from Alaska! My mom gave me one of those! So tell me, are you tall or short? I might have to adjust the angle, I’m short and it’s really hard to push through my dirt, have you experienced that? Anyway, I’ll be using it in my garden tomorrow!


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