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Most gardeners spend a large portion of their gardening maintenance removing weeds by hand, but what if we told you that there’s a tool to handle this chore for you? Discover below how to use a weeding tool to care for your garden.
Step by Step Guide to Using a Weeding Tool
Below are some easy-to-follow instructions on how to use a hand weeder or stand-up weed tool to remove the roots from weeds.
Step 1: Ensure You Have a Wet Soil Surface
Begin by soaking the soil in your garden with water to soften it. We suggest doing this overnight the night before you want to remove weeds from your garden, or you can allow the rain to do this, saving you a job. Softer earth makes weeding easier since you don’t have to fight with a hard surface. Plus, when the soil is softer, you’re less likely to break only the top of the weed and leave the root still in the soil.
Step 2: Wear Gardening Gloves
Now it’s time to put on your gardening gloves and get to work. Wearing gloves gives you a more secure grip on weeding tools while preventing soil from getting in your fingernails. Not to mention that having a layer of protection on your hands can help to prevent any soreness if you use gardening tools for long periods at a time.
Step 3: Get Out Your Kneeling Pad
Next, you’ll want to dig out your kneeling pad or knee pads to provide a cushioned surface for your knees when you have to bend over to use your weed puller. You should also find a comfortable position for weeding, ensuring that you don’t stand upright and bend down as this can put unnecessary strain on your lower back. Instead, sit down on a stool to prevent any strain while still giving you a comfortable position to target weeds.
Step 4: Insert the Weeding Tool Into the Soil
Place the tool into the flower beds and soil deep into the root to loosen the soil surrounding the weeds. Make sure that you dig deep until you remove as much of the weed root as possible.
Furthermore, place down the tool’s handle while pushing down the handle to pull the root of the weed up. Pull the weeding tool up at an angle while continuing to push down the handle into the surface.
Step 5: Dig Deep With the Weeding Tool
All the while, ensure that you dig deep with the weed puller—especially for removing weeds that are stubborn. You might find that pesky weeds are easier to remove than thick, large weeds. Continue to dig deep with the forked prongs.
Step 6: Dispose of the Pulling Weeds
Finally, it’s time for weed removal, which you can dispose of in your garden bin. Or place a bucket close for the old weed roots that you’ve dug up.
Why You Need to Remove Weeds From Your Garden
What’s the big deal of removing weeds from your garden in the first place? Below are some important reasons to keep on top of weeds in your backyard.
They Steal Water and Sunlight
Firstly, weeds block out water and sunlight from the plants in your garden since they grow vigorously, which is no surprise to hear. Since plants need a healthy water source and sunlight to grow, weeds taking this healthy dose can massively impact their growth.
Weeds can take away the aesthetics of your garden, leaving the attention on the dandelions as opposed to the beautiful new flowers that you planted next to them.
If you have edible crops in your garden, you’ll want to be conscious of weeds that will chomp them up. If weeds are mixed into your garden among low-growing leafy crops, you might find that you have nothing left after a couple of weeks. Or, for the best-case scenario, you’ll have to spend a large portion of time sorting out the good from the bad crops.
Stealing Nutrients From the Soil
The last thing you want when you’ve spent all afternoon planting new flowers is for weeds to arrive on the scene and steal all the nutrients from the soil, which your plants need. No matter how much you fertilise your lawn, there will always only be a certain amount of nutrients in the ground. And the more plants you have, the more nutrients you’ll need in the soil. So pulling weeds out of your backyard is essential to encourage the healthy growth of your desired plants.
Attract Pests and Diseases
Another reason to remove weeds from your garden is that they expose your plants to pests and diseases. In fact, weeds are a common source of pests and diseases, and uncleared weeds provide a space for pests to grow.
How to Prevent Weeds From Growing in the First Place
You might own the best weeding tool, but you might also be looking for new ways to prevent weed seeds from growing in your garden in the first place.
Water Plants, Not Weeds
When watering your garden, ensure that you focus on flower borders without watering weeds; drought conditions will deprive the weeds, preventing them from growing. You can also place soaker hoses beneath mulch to leave other weeds thirsty while you get the job done for a flourishing garden.
Add Mulch to Your Garden
Mulch is healthy for the soil in your garden and keeps weeds in check by preventing light growth. A layer of two inches will be adequate, while small mulch blocks light better than big chunks. You can even cover the surface with newspaper.
Remove Weeds After Rainfall
The best time to remove weeds by hand or use a hand weeder is after plenty of rainfall. Waiting under the soil is damp after rain provides easier conditions for removing the weeds using a hand tool. Not only is pulling out weeds when it’s dry difficult, but it can also be strenuous on your back.
Don’t Let the Weeds Set Seeds
Another effective way to prevent tough stems from growing is by stopping them from setting seeds in the first place. You can do this by cutting off every weed’s head with a strimmer or mower each time you maintain your garden. When using a mower, keep the setting low for precise cutting.
The Benefits of Weeding Tools
Not sure if garden tools are you for? Below are some of the benefits of using hand tools when gardening.
A great reason to purchase a weeding tool is to save yourself money from buying weed killers and other tools that could cost more money than a one-time fee of a weeding tool. Plus, the best weeding tools can prevent you from forming blisters on your hands while you’re weeding. Fortunately, using a tool can save you a lot of hard work of pulling weeds out by hand and straining yourself.
They Don’t Harm Other Plants
Best of all, the tool cuts through weeds without harming other plants in your garden. A weeding tool allows you to remove the entire root from a weed to prevent them from growing and not causing damage to a flower bed.
Not only is using a stainless steel or plastic hand weed tool effective at removing most weeds from your garden, but they’re also easy to use. Above all, you won’t encounter any back or joint pain while using weed pullers. Saving yourself stress and strain might be one of the most significant benefits of removing weeds using a garden tool.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Weed Pullers
Now that you’re clued up on the benefits of removing dandelions using a weed tool, below are some essential factors to consider during the buying process.
There are several materials to choose from when looking into buying weed tools, including stainless steel and plastic. The former is an excellent go-to for usability and easy maintenance. Alternatively, you can consider iron tools, which are more heavy-duty and durable. For a cheaper, lightweight option, a plastic tool is a great go-to.
You’ll also want to bear in mind the size of the tool you’ll be using. Choosing a tool with a long handle allows you to stand while you’re removing weeds. So you should check the measurements in accordance with your height so that you don’t have to bend down and put any strain on your back. Additionally, you might want to opt for a weed hand tool with an adjustable height so you can share it amongst other people and use it while you’re sitting and standing.
Aside from the dimensions, our weeding tool should feature an ergonomic design that makes it comfortable and healthy to use. Some tools feature a smooth material on the handle, which might require you to wear gardening gloves during use. On the other hand, many tools are equipped with finger grips that provide a firm grip while you’re gardening. It is also helpful if you have arthritis or are looking for support. However, if you choose a handle with finger grips, ensure that the dimensions are suitable for your finger size.
Stand-up Tools vs Hand Tools
Additionally, consider the type of weed tool that’s right for you: stand-up or hand. You won’t need to bend down for a stand-up weed tool while you remove the weeds from the ground. These also come with a long handle that is great for those with back or joint issues. In fact, a long-handle stand-up tool is excellent for putting the weight of your body behind the tool.
Alternatively, hand tools are much less expensive but require you to get on your hands and knees to get down and dirty. It is also a great choice for a gardening tool to pinpoint the weeds exactly and remove every inch of the root.
Do You Have Tips for Weed Removal?
Now you know how to use a weeding tool, your life is about to get a little easier. Simply place the device into the soil and dig deep until you’ve removed the entire root system, pushing down on the handle to reach farther into the soil. If you have any gardening tips, share your feedback in the comments.
Amy is a U.K.-based writer and editor with a penchant for helping consumers find the best home products for their needs, as well as providing easily digestible guides for living better at home. Her dedication to her work means she can usually be found elbow-deep in research or hunting down samples of the latest and greatest on behalf of her readers.
An avid DIYer herself, Amy’s passion lies in teaching others how they too can achieve their dream homes by tackling some of those pesky projects themselves! Whether it’s building furniture from scratch or turning an old dresser into a coffee table, Amy is always happy to share what she knows about making your house feel like home without spending a fortune.