Weeds are the bane of any landscape’s existence. They’re the only elements in your yard that require absolutely no maintenance. You don’t need to water them. You don’t need to fertilize them. They just grow—and out of control, if you let them. Through drought and frost many weeds stand unscathed, while your plants suffer if not given special attention. Here are three tips to help banish these bothersome bullies from your yard.
Don’t Wait to Tackle Them
Weeds seem to appear one day, and a few days later they’re tall and beginning to take over. When weeds grow tall you’ll have a harder time extracting them from your garden and landscape. That’s why you can’t wait to weed. Smaller weeds have weaker roots, which makes them easier to remove. So consider doing a brief walk through your gardens and landscape every other day, and if you find any young weeds don’t hesitate to remove them.
Grab Weeds by the Base to Pull Out the Roots
If you weed by hand you may be inclined to simply grab and yank a handful of weedy foliage. Avoid doing this because it causes the weeds to break away, and it leaves the bottom portion of the weeds, and their roots, in the ground. In a few days’ time you’re likely to be staring down at clones of what you thought you destroyed.
The best way to tackle weeds by hand is to grab each one individually at the base and pull slowly to remove the roots from the soil. To make weed-pulling a little more comfortable consider kneeling or sitting on the ground, using kneepads or an exercise mat. You may also think about using a small portable stool to provide more comfort.
Use the Right Tools
Using tools other than your hands to remove weeds can help speed up the process. Look for tools with solid handles, and blades or heads made of steel. It’s key to choose weeding tools that suit your preference for removing weeds—whether you prefer to weed while kneeling or standing.
Kneeling tools have short handles, approximately 6 to 12 inches. Hand rakes have finger-like prongs which are good for raking up weeds that have minor root systems and exist primarily on the surface of the soil. A hook neck tool is used to extract weeds by positioning it behind the base of weeds, digging in, and scooping out the unwanted plants. Hand shovels are ideal for digging out the roots of large weeds.
Standing tools allow you to remove multiple weeds at one time, and the long-handled hoe is an ideal tool for the task. And don’t be hesitant to use a pointed shovel if you really need to dig deep to remove the core of a weed’s root system.