tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

tough row to hoe

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

tough row to hoe

 and hard row to hoe
Fig. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. It's a tough row to hoe, but hoe it you will. This is not an easy task. This is a hard row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough

tough row to hoe

Also, hard row to hoe. A difficult course, hard work to accomplish, as in He knew he'd have a tough row to hoe by running against this popular incumbent. [First half of 1800s]
See also: hoe, row, tough

tough row to hoe

n. a difficult task to carry out; a heavy set of burdens. This is not an easy task. This is a tough row to hoe.
See also: hoe, row, tough

tough/hard/long row to hoe, a

A difficult course to follow; hard work to accomplish. This metaphor comes from nineteenth-century America, when most people lived in rural areas and cultivated at least some land. David Crockett used it in his Tour to the North and Down East (1835): “I never opposed Andrew Jackson for the sake of popularity. I knew it was a hard row to hoe; but I stood up to the rack.”
See also: hard, long, row, tough