tough row to hoe

A tough row to hoe is another way of saying that it is a very difficult task to carry out or a heavy set of burdens. By saying something is a tough row to hoe, it is referring to farming in which a certain row of dirt or soil might be very difficult to how, thus making it tough. Figuratively, the idiom means to refer to any sort of situation or even a person which is difficult to carry out and carries a lot of burdens with it.