About us

The Circlehoe® was Created by a Gardener for Gardeners. When you get the opportunity to use the circlehoe®, there is a good chance you'll say, "Finally, this is a tool designed and crafted by a person who actually had to use it!" Ralph Henningsen, the circlehoe® inventor, has had his hand in gardening for over fifty years. He grew up in Sonoma County spending his younger years playing in some of Luther Burbank's first experimental gardens. As a young man, he worked on farms and in orchards and was involved in the Future Farmers of America.

The design for the Henningsen circlehoe® evolved during a period of about 8 to 10 years. Henningsen says "During each growing season the frustration of having whacked too many of my plants became more and more intolerable. So, every year I would modify some off-the-shelf product trying to whip up some kind of a high performance weeder/cultivator. Ultimately, I built a forge and started to beat the steel into a blade shape that would provide the desired affect in areas of my maturing gardens where plants were close together."

"One of the most significant revelations that influenced this new hoe design came about from an observation that often plants in areas not receiving as much attention were actually thriving more robustly than plants in areas where weeding and cultivating had been intense." "Digging down and around plants in the garden to better see what was happening in the normally unobserved subterranean parts of my garden was an incredible revelation! There were territories being established, enlarged and invaded by root systems of unimaginable complexity. This did not seem to relate at all to the apparently benign part of the plant connected to it and observable above ground. At this point, my approach to the design of the hoe changed radically.

"An important observation was seeing the amount of damage that I had imposed upon those plants most vigorously cultivated... it was a subsoil bonsai program. Many of my plants, though still alive, were set back due to undercutting the root system. At this point the design of the hoe changed from a tool that was an aggressive cultivator to one designed with more consideration for the subterranean parts of a plant. After some tweaking, the hoe ended up in the form that it is today."

In 1997, Henningsen had a hoe design that answered his own needs as a gardener. He took his new hoe public at local Farmers Markets showing and selling the hoe directly to gardeners. Locals, as well as, people from across the country passing through these markets purchased the Henningsen circlehoe®. Response from customers was enthusiastically overwhelming. Satisfied customers came back to buy the hoe as a gift for friends and family.

In 1998 the circlehoe® was discovered by Lauren Swezey, a Senior Garden Writer for Sunset Magazine. Sunset Magazine was so receptive to the unique design of the hoe that it was selected by Sunset's Senior Garden Editor, Kathleen Brenzel, to be featured in the 100th Anniversary issue, May 1998, and declared one of the century's top 25 Western contributions to gardening. "There are not a lot of new tools that come out on a regular basis. But of all the new things out there, this piqued the curiosity of all our garden writers, and they all tried it and liked it. It works very much as he says it does," said Brenzel. Lauren Swezey chose the circlehoe® as her 'tool of choice' to demonstrate at the Taste of Sunset shows. "And it was a natural, Brenzel said, when they found themselves putting together a list of the 100 'Best of the West' garden, travel, home and food contributions, for their centennial issue." Such strong support from Sunset magazine was all it took for the Henningsen circlehoe® to be off and running.

Who We Are. We are a family owned business in beautiful Southwest Oregon run by a group of people who love to garden! As Master Gardeners, we believe in sustainable and organic gardening practices. Founder and co-owner, Ralph Henningsen, invented the circlehoe after many years of trying to find 'a better way' to weed.

The products we offer are of the highest quality materials and have been well-tested by all kinds of gardeners including weekend gardeners, Master Gardeners and Horticulturists.

American Horticultural Society
Garden Writers Association
Master Nursery Garden Centers
National Home Gardening Club
Oregon Association of Nurseries
Oregon Master Gardener Association

For additional information

webmaster: webmaster@circlehoe.com
Ph: 800-735-4815Fax: 541-956-9777
Index Innovations, Inc.
6534 Tunnel Loop Rd
Grants, Pass, OR 97526
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