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How to Use a Weeder

By S.F. Heron ; Updated September 21, 2017

A host of gardening implements exist to make the odious chore of weeding easier. Weeders look like a wide, two-pronged fork with thick V-shaped tines that help remove one weed at a time. Regardless of the tool used, any time you weed the garden, you'll be getting dirty, using muscles and ending up with a sore back. Weeds compete with your ornamental plants and flowers for soil, nutrients and water. It's best to pull weeds before the plant grows more than 3 to 4 inches in height. Staying ahead of these nuisance plants with regular use of a weeder implement will help keep your gardens looking beautiful and weed free.

Locate the weeds in your garden plot. Remove weeds from the soil when the plant reaches no more than 3 to 4 inches in height. Early removal will prevent seeding as well as extensive spread of roots in and around your tender perennial and annual flowers. Continually monitoring the weeds will help you determine the best time for removal.

Hold the weeder in your leading hand by gripping the handle firmly. The tines should be pointed downward. Hold bend-blade weeders so the fold of the bend points toward the soil (at the same angle you would hold a fork to eat).

Scrape away the mulch layer for easier access to the base of the weed.

Choose a weed and press the weeder into the soil about 3 inches from the main stem of the plant. Angle the weeder to approach the weed roots at a 45-degree angle. This will encourage main root removal and limit breakage of the weed. Avoid grabbing the weed by the stem to prevent breakage and loss of the main root below the soil surface.

Press down on the weeder handle after embedding the tines into the soil. Gently push the handle toward the soil to lift the weed and roots out of the soil using leverage like a seesaw.

Shake off excess soil from the weed roots and discard the weed in a yard waste bag for removal from your yard. Do not discard weeds in the compost pile or other parts of the garden to prevent an influx of new weed growth.

Continue weeding to remove as many weeds as possible. Plan to perform regular weeding to the garden area at least weekly or biweekly for proper management of these nuisance plants.


Things You Will Need

  • Weeder
  • Yard waste bags