"The most efficient implement yet designed for extensive garden cultivation."

—Updated: 16 December 2020—

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The quote above comes from Eliot Coleman, and is found in his excellent book, The New Organic Gardener. Coleman is, of course, right in his assessment, and anyone who already owns a good wheel hoe with an oscillating stirrup blade will verify this.

Yes indeed, such a wheel hoe is the ideal tool for keeping weeds under control in any serious home or market garden. Properly used, the wheel hoe with a stirrup blade will cultivate soil and hoe weeds ten times faster than a hand hoe. Better yet, hoeing with a wheel hoe is far easier than using a hand hoe. In short, a wheel hoe makes gardening more enjoyable and more productive.

The only problem with wheel hoes is that these simple tools are downright expensive. I paid well over $300 for my first  already-made, low-wheel hoe.

Such a high price tag for such a simple device has excluded many gardeners from owning this remarkably efficient tool. That is what motivated me to develop an inexpensive homemade wheel hoe design. 

I started building and testing homemade wheel hoe prototypes in my garden back in 2007. By the spring of 2009 I felt confident that I finally had a good design (you can read about it here).

Figuring out a simple and effective design involved a lot of time and a lot of money, but my intention from the beginning was to share the how-to details of my wheel hoe design with the rest of the world here on the internet. And here we are...

I call my homemade wheel hoe the Planet Whizbang. "Whizbang" is a dictionary word that means “conspicuous for speed, excellence, or startling effect.” That description certainly applies to my wheel hoe. 

As for the prefix of “Planet,” that is a nod to the famous Planet Jr. wheel hoe that was manufactured by Samuel Leeds Allen. Planet Jr. wheel hoes were once a common fixture in most every home and commercial garden in America (back when most everyone in this country was a serious gardener). 

You can read more about the old Planet Jr. and how I came to develop my modern incarnation of the tool at this link: Introducing The Planet Whizbang Wheel Hoe.

If you have some basic handyman skills, you can build your own Planet Whizbang wheel hoe. Your homemade Planet Whizbang will be every bit as sturdy, functional, and useful as those expensive, already-made wheel hoes. It will be a tool that you can use for the rest of your gardening days, and then hand down to your grandchildren.

I made and sold pre-cut wheel hoe parts kits on this web site for 11 years. I sold well over 1,000 kits. The feedback I got was powerfully satisfying. But I've decided to stop selling the kits (as of December, 2020). 

While I've enjoyed selling the kits to fellow gardeners, I'm 63 years old... It's time to retire some of my entrepreneurial ventures and free up a little more time for other pursuits. 

Now, I sell a 23-page PDF download with specifications and instructions that tell you how to make your own Whizbang wheel hoe from scratch.  

And I still sell the hardened spring-steel stirrup blades.

You will find details about the PDF specifications and blades at my main Planet Whizbang web site. Here's the link: Wheel Hoe Plans at Planet Whizbang
Yours for successful gardening,

Herrick Kimball