For those of you who like gardening tools and/or are looking to buy a holiday gift for someone with a green thumb, may I make a small recommendation:
I recently purchased a 5.75-inch Garden Hoe from Rogue Hoe, and got a chance to use it this weekend on some light weeding duties around Chez Ka-Bar. A little more expensive than the run-of-the mill hoe you can buy at a garden center or home improvement palace, Rogue Hoe blades are made from recycled agricultural disk blades. The blades are noticeable stronger than the cheap stamped jobs you can buy most anywhere, and the hoe seems to both take and keep an edge on it much more than a normal hoe.
I easily chopped through weed roots that were bigger than my pinky finger without working much at all, and smaller weeds and grasses in my planting beds surrendered without a fight. Much better than using nasty chemicals or spending a few hours on your hands & knees if you ask me. The Rouges come in a number of handy shapes and sizes, start at around $28 (mine cost me $41 including shipping & handling), and are a noticeable upgrade over a box-mart implement.
(I’m not getting any kind of re-imbursement for plugging these tools. They’re well-made in Missouri, and I’m simply a happy customer who thinks others may find these fine tools of interest as well. You can buy them at a number of different places on the web, but the prices are nominally the same once you factor in shipping & handling, so why not buy direct from the manufacturer and give them a few extra bucks?)