Weeds among your plants rob them of space, nutrients, water and sunlight, reducing growth and quality. Remove weeds as soon as they emerge or before they reach 3 inches tall, as large weeds may become more difficult to remove and likely cause more problems for surrounding vegetation. There are a variety of tools to help control weeds--with different uses and levels of effectiveness--use the tools that work best for your situation.
Garden sprayers are available with 1- to 4-gallon tanks to accommodate both small- and larger-sized weed infestations. Sprayers are easily filled through their funneled top with your choice of weed control solution, including chemical herbicides or natural weed killers like vinegar. Most feature a nozzle that adjusts to provide different application levels of solution. The nozzle's attached wand lets you hold the tank in one hand while you spray the solution from the opposite hand. Most tanks are clear so you can check the solution level as needed.
Mechanical Weed Removers
Weed removal tools manually remove weeds by their root. Most tools are placed on top of the weed and then you push the tool into the ground to grab the weed. Turn the handle, pull up and the weed has attached to the tool's prongs. Release the weed into a trash container by pressing the tool's release button. These tools are long so that you never need to bend down to pull weeds and the handles usually feature padded handles for added comfort.
Weed torches hook to a refillable propane tank and are lit with a spark lighter. Most weed torches heat up to around 2,000 degrees F to effectively kill weeds or any other unwanted vegetation. While many weed torches use an open flame, some models use radiant heat which uses a heating element instead of a flame. Place the tip of these torches directly over the weed and hold for a few minutes to give the heat time to kill the weed. Weed removal by way of heat or flame burst weed cells which also eliminates any possibility of wind-borne seeds.
Garden spreaders work by spreading granular herbicide and fertilizer combination products, or other lawn application products while you walk behind it. A rate control lever, usually located on the spreader's handle, allows you to choose how much product you apply. Manufacturers of lawn application products specify the correct setting for the spreader on their packaging.