Weeding Tools

Many weeds can simply be pulled out by hand, especially when the ground is moist. All digging and drilling tools work best when the ground is moist, so it is best to weed after a rainfall or after watering (for up to a day or two afterwards).

Dandelions and thistles have deep tap roots ( a root that goes straight down into the soil). These roots usually need to be dug out of the ground to at least 4 inches or 10 cms. deep, or the plant will grow back.

It is best to throw weed seeds out in the garbage rather than in your compost, unless you know that your compost will heat to at least 130 degree fahrenheit to decompose the seeds.

Hand Digging Tools

These have a handle and a long metal prong (often the longer the better) with a fork at the end. Just push in beside the root and lever the prong back and forth to make a hole around the root and then pull or pry it out.

Step Digging Tools

These generally work well if the ground is moist. They tend to be easy on the back. Marks’ Choice is available at Home Hardware stores (e,g.  Chesney’s Hardware) and is one of the best. Hound Dog metal versions are available at most hardware stores.

Standing upright you step on the pedal to push the prongs in around the root. Then you twist a few times in one direction and pull out a plug of soil with the root. If the ground is dry, you will only pull out about 2 inches or 5 cms. of root - usually not enough to stop it from growing back. When the ground is moist, enough of the root comes out to be effective.

Dandy Digger

This is a long metal pole with a small blade at the bottom. It attaches to a portable drill. You then drill down into the weed as deep as you can into the root. The Dandy Digger chews up the root so that it won’t grow back. If you use a battery-operated drill you need a model with at least 18 Volts of power. If the weeds are growing around tree roots, especially around poplars, you may not be able to get enough of the root out with the Dandy Digger to be effective.

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