The wheel hoe first came into widespread use in the U.S. in the late 1800s with the manufacture of the Planet Jr., which provided a low-cost tool for increasing productivity on small-scale farms, where horse power — and later, motorized cultivation — was limited. At the turn of the century and into the first few decades of the 1900s, many market gardeners and other smallholders typically used a single horse to plow the fields in the spring, then cultivated throughout the rest of the growing cycle with wheel hoes. Down to this day, the wheel hoe is an ideal cultivation tool for the small-scale market gardener, urban gardener, high tunnel or greenhouse grower, homesteader, or avid backyard gardener. As a lightweight, versatile, and maneuverable push-tool, the wheel hoe's ergonomic design provides the user greater leverage than a traditional hand hoe, enabling one to cover ground more quickly. Among its many advantages, the wheel hoe offers:
Fossil fuel-free, fume-free cultivation in the field or the protected-culture setting.
Ergonomic design, allowing the user to remain upright while cultivating.
Versatility, accommodating an array of attachments and adjustments that make cultivation of various crops and row configurations possible.
Suitability for no-till and low-till systems.
Durability and longevity, with few breakable moving parts.