Row by Row Episode 14: Wheel Hoe History from Planet Jr. to Hoss

Wheel Hoe History of Plant Jr. & Hoss Wheel Hoes

On this week’s episode, Greg and Travis talk about wheel hoe history from the Planet Jr. to the modern day Hoss version. The wheel hoe history begins with the Planet Jr. which was a staple piece of farm equipment in the early 1900s. However, the production of the Planet Jr. Wheel Hoe was ceased in the 1960s. It wasn’t until the 21st century that the Wheel Hoe regained popularity as the ideal weeding and cultivating tool for small market farms and backyard gardens. Planet Jr. made a single wheel model and a double wheel model of the wheel hoe. The double wheel model was similar to the modern-day version of the High Arch Wheel Hoe, with the extra clearance for taller crops like corn, beans or peas. Greg and Travis have some old Plant Jr. catalogs that they show and explain the difference to the modern day Hoss attachments. The major differences are the manufacturing of these attachments now that Hoss has evolved too. Back in the day, all of the Plant Jr. attachments were manufactured by casting. Now, we no longer having casting companies that make tools like this and if so it is not as great of quality and consistency is not the best. Greg talks a little bit about the two different handles that Plant Jr. offered which was a standard pistol grip handle and the steam bent handle. The standard pistol grip handles were cheaper to manufacture and the steam bent handles were used for the horse-drawn machinery. However, Hoss offers both the pistol grip handles and the steam bent handles on our website. Greg explains that if you are interested in the history of the Planet Jr. there is a Facebook group that you could join to learn more about the wheel hoe history.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Greg has some pickled okra in a jar and mentions that it is one of his favorite snacks from the garden. He pickles the okra with two different recipes, a sweet version and a spicy version. According to Greg, the best-pickled okra variety is the Red Burgundy. Travis mentions if you happen to grow to much okra a great way to preserve it is by pickling. Travis talks about some of the eggplant varieties growing in his garden this year. He mentions that he grows the unique varieties as opposed to the traditional Black Beauty variety. He especially likes the Japanese style eggplant which is long and slender and really great for frying eggplant chips. Travis also has a chamber bitter weed that he pulled from his garden. Which will grow between pepper plants that have been trellised up. More of a tropical week it will grow extremely fast and spread really bad in the garden if not controlled quickly. Greg says the best way to deplete this weed is by removing it mechanically from the vegetable garden. The tool of the week is the high carbon steel garden trowel that was made by a blacksmith in Missouri.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about pruning eggplant and nematode control. Travis mentions that he always prunes his eggplant mid-season because the plants get too wide. For nematode control, the guys suggest employing strategies of crop rotation, cover crops, and solarization. Proper crop rotation of nematode-susceptible crops should be practiced so that the nematode populations don’t continually flourish. According to university research, cover crops of mustard are effective in reducing nematode pressure. In addition, solarization with a clear tarp can create enough heat to kill the nematodes.

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