a hard row to hoe

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a hard row to hoe

A particularly difficult or problematic task, situation, or set of circumstances to contend with or confront. Tax reform was one of the new president's primary campaign promises, but it will likely prove a hard row to hoe, given the deep divisions in congress. I know finishing this thesis will be a hard row to hoe, but I'm actually looking forward to the challenge.
See also: hard, hoe, row

a hard row to hoe

or

a tough row to hoe

A hard row to hoe or a tough row to hoe is a situation which is very difficult to deal with. With four children under six and very little money, my mother had a hard row to hoe. In a criminal prosecution against the police, the prosecutor has a very tough row to hoe. She is the first to admit that being a woman in politics has been a hard row to hoe.
See also: hard, hoe, row

a hard (or tough) row to hoe

a difficult task.
Hoeing a row of plants is used here as a metaphor for very arduous work.
See also: hard, hoe, row
References in periodicals archive ?
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards, 300 Ivan Morse Road, Suite A, Manson; Navarre Cellars Ltd.
He became the standard bearer of the new policy of the 'United Front' and had a hard row to hoe as much of the membership of the party were committed to a variety of ultra-left positions and generally united in their hatred of the Social Democrats who had the blood of Rosa and Karl on their hands.
In the end this is a story of quiet courage, of stoic endurance, of acceptance that life can be a hard row to hoe and yet we must keep planting, we must not allow the ground to remain barren; we must not give in to despair, depression or suicide.
These two albums, from 1986 and 1988 - now on one CD - include versions of The Everly Brothers' I Wonder If I Care As Much, Mel Tillis' I'm Tired, Randy Travis' Lord She Sure Is Good At Loving Me, the self-penned Walking In Jerusalem and A Hard Row To Hoe.
ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY HAS HAD A HARD ROW TO HOE IN ACHIEVING mainstream status, partly because its applicability to contemporary and future environmental problems has frequently been overstated, and partly because data from other fields (ecology, biology, archaeology, geography, etc.
Secondly, we know that trying to educate individuals who are hungry, who are not well housed, who may suffer from some form of abuse, whose health is not being watched after is a hard row to hoe.
30 which was not bad, but left with the distinct impression that the staff had a very hard row to hoe, with buildings stuck in a time warp and that no new broom had taken a good, panoramic view of the whole area for some considerable time.
It's a hard row to hoe, but it's worth every minute--we're building relationships that should last a lifetime.
After all, feature docus are a hard row to hoe, even with Oscar's blessing.
Martyrdom, as several are quick to point out, is simply a very hard row to hoe.
Yet Jude wastes his adult life telling "whiney tale[s]," mostly about how "a Negro man ha[s] a hard row to hoe in this world" and other such comforting cliches (103).
The Society's efforts to preserve important Modern Movement buildings, however, give it a hard row to hoe.
Vending on the sidewalk week after week is a hard row to hoe.
Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards, 300 Ivan Morse Road, Manson, change in domestic winery license approved June 6.