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Favorite weeders

Posted by dcrosby 5MA (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 19, 11 at 12:30

Dear Garden Folk

I need to deal with some serious weeds. I like weeding and I like tools so Im looking for a tool that works with me

Theres a lovely selection in The Gardeners Edge catalog (page 6). As I cant see them in 3D I need to rely on your input to help me choose.

Any thoughts outside the GE catalog would also be appreciated

Let me know what you think.
Thanks so much!

Dale


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Favorite weeders

a link to what you are talking about ....

would have bought you an opinion ...

i guess i am having a lazy monday ....

ken


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RE: Favorite weeders

thanks!

http://www.gardenersedge.com/tools/c/12000000/filter/100000002904eq100000002825/


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RE: Favorite weeders

here you go.

Here is a link that might be useful: tools


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RE: Favorite weeders

The extended reach weeder shown is what we generally call a Japanese weeder. It is available with a long handle allowing you to weed without crawling around on the ground. It is available in right or left hand versions from suppliers specializing in Japanese garden tools. Al


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RE: Favorite weeders

the only thing that ever worked well for me.. was a heavier duty version of the one at the link ... not curved.. not japanese ... not nothing.. just plain old that ...

and i did try all kinds of foo foo things which claimed to be 'better' .... and simply wasted a lot of money i now wish i had ....

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Favorite weeders

I normally hand pull and don't use many tools but I've had rotator cuff issues for months and I've been using a long handled circle hoe. I really like it though it does take both arms...and not good for mature weeds. Great for getting starts from next to or in between perennials.

Here is a link that might be useful: Circle Hoe


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RE: Favorite weeders

i found.. that anything on a 6 foot pole.. involved too much effort to work them in the soil .. [its not that i couldnt do it.. its all about muscles that you use for nothing else in life.. and the lingering pain for days afterwards.. lol ]

yes.. if you go out there every other week .. and hoe your garden .... it will work ...

but once the soil settles.. you arent going to have much luck using any type of hoe.. unless you are over 6 feet and have very strong upper arms ...

ken


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RE: Favorite weeders

These are some serious, established weeds. Ken, I have the 3 prong cultivator and it doesn't work for me. The circle hoe, i find, doesn't work well in compacted soil. I 'm looking for a smaller tool.
Sorry to sound like a pain but i need to keep looking
Thanks for your input


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RE: Favorite weeders

Have you tried a Cape Cod weeder? That and an asparagus fork are my two weapons of choice.


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RE: Favorite weeders

for serious, established weeds .. hit with round up ..

then garden fork the bed while adding compost .. until you create a soil conducive to using a garden tool ..

not only are you trying to attack large plants.. you are talking about a useless soil ..

frankly.. NO TOOL is going to make the job easy ...

well .. there is one tool.. the checkbook.. hire some muscular young man to turn the bed and add some compost.. and then mulch heavily.. to reduce weeds by 95% ...then you wont need the latest greatest.. bestest new tool.. that wont work anyway ..

and for a nickle.. i will tell you how i really feel.. lol

there is no panacea/nirvana in the garden tool world .. trust me.. i have a pole barn full of them ...

ken


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RE: Favorite weeders

I often hand weed with an old serrated blade knife (cheap steak knife) or a cheap pair of scissors for fibrous rooted weeds. I cut the roots just below the soil surface and find they don't return. For tap rooted plants, I use a dandelion digger that is decades old (don't know if they are made any more, but I couldn't find an online image that looks like mine) that has two 3" close-set prongs that have a connecting bar near the tip. I use one with a 3 1/2' handle, DH uses one with a 5+ foot handle, so it can be used standing, but I suppose you could use one with a short handle for sitting work. For larger areas I use a stirrup hoe which cuts on the push and pull strokes. Great for removing large quantities of small weeds, such as in the veggie garden. If the tool is sharp and you have some upper body strength, it can cut through large weeds also. I think that mine is 5", but I'm linking to a narrower one that might work better in close quarters.

One note - I usually hand weed at this time of year if the weeds are already going to seed. I find I can usually get the weed out without shaking off most of the seeds when I hand weed, but I am likely to broadcast the seeds if I hoe.

Here is a link that might be useful: 3 1/4 stirrup hoe


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RE: Favorite weeders

For seedlings I use a Dutch hoe. It is not designed for weeds that have already flowered or seeded. It is meant to cut off babies at soil level. For shallow rooted weeds past the seedling stage I use a hand fork and for deep rooted weeds like dock or dandelion I use a digging fork. For perennials with running roots like bindweed or couch grass I use the digging fork and a lot of patience. I've not tried any of the various patent weeders because I find these 3 old fashioned tools do all the weeding I need. I have heavy clay soil which is either sopping wet or like a brick. Claw type weeders would be useless.


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RE: Favorite weeders

good soil would be nice. at least if i had good soil underneath i wouldn�t resent the weeds so much.
i'm thinkin' roundup may be the way to go but I can�t figure out how it works. how can it destroy weeds and not the desirable plants.?


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RE: Favorite weeders

dcrosby - "how can it destroy weeds and not the desirable plants.?"

It can't.

If you use Roundup you must be prepared for it to kill everything it touches. It's more for clearing ground prior to planting than for using amongst established plant.

For 'serious established weeds' in the garden I still think your best bet is a digging fork, not a fancy gadget. It is strong, balanced and gives you good leverage. There are 'border forks' which are slightly narrower and lighter specifically for digging amongst plants.

There's usually a reason why some tools have been used for centuries and others come and go.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden fork


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RE: Favorite weeders

get something like at the link ... use up product.. clean out.. insert full strength round up ...

carry to weed ... apply a few drops.. and let it run down the main stem if green [if it has a bark you will need to cut it and apply to the cut] ....

in a few days.. the plant will start losing vigor.. and once it does so.. the roots start shriveling .. and the plant MIGHT be able to be pulled out .. depending on root structure ... e.g. you arent going to pull out a wild horseradish ...

roundup or the generics are NOT french perfume.. they do not need to be atomized and sprayed in a drifting fashion all over the yard ...

since you are using it undiluted .... put it back in the labeled container after you finish ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: expensive applicator


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RE: Favorite weeders

dcrosby you need not struggle with your tough soil. If you will make a habit of keeping your soil covered with a layer of mulch, not only will your soil improve without your having to dig it up, but you will have a lot less weeds to remove. Al


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RE: Favorite weeders

2 things..

the garden fork...is it long enough to use like a shovel? i mean when you have a shovel and you use a foot to dig it in?
definitely gonna� do the roundup thing.. (nice link ken lol,got the message.), wait for signs of death and dig up with the garden fork. is it a tool found nursery and /or a hardware type store?
question...if i kill off the weeds in one big punch will i be able to grow in same spot next year? Also, what (besides mulch�we�re takin� kind of a big area to mulch)) will keep new weeds from taking over where the dead weeds were


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RE: Favorite weeders

ya know.. the other tools will work ... and i will yell

IF YOU DONT WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER .. to go out and weed..

all tools work better on the 2 inch seedlings of june .. as compared to the 9 foot monstrosities of sept....

ken


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RE: Favorite weeders

re garden forks - yes it has a T or D handle and you put your foot on the top of the blade to push it into the ground. The handle is not as long as a US style shovel but you do use it in a standing position. I think you call them spading forks (??). Brit gardeners normally have a spade and fork as a matching pair. A shovel is a different thing to us.

Ken is absolutely right about the timing. Get at the weeds early and often. Weeding is not a big one off job. Once you have cleared out the worst of them you need to keep at is. Little and often is absolutely what weeding is all about. In my climate weeds grow pretty much all the year round but it is not hard to keep on top of them if I watch for them and tackle them regularly.

Here is a link that might be useful: spade and fork


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RE: Favorite weeders

"if i kill off the weeds in one big punch will i be able to grow in same spot next year?" Yes - Roundup won't keep plants from growing next year. Weeds will also grow again next year, so you will need to start weeding early on an do some weeding frequently.

"Also, what (besides mulch - we're taking kind of a big area to mulch) will keep new weeds from taking over where the dead weeds were?"
Mulch is the best and as Calistoga said, it will improve your soil greatly over time. Add it to each area as you clear out the weeds. This is a chore that you can do in the late fall before snow or in early spring before plants sprout as long as you aren't walking directly on wet soil or piling mulch over the crowns of plants. I probably have more than an acre of gardens and most of them are mulched. I could never care for them without it! There are lots of sources of mulch which cost little to nothing around me. I usually start with heavy weight corrugated cardboard (grocery store is a good source) and then cover that with a loose organic mulch of some kind. I have used chips from the crew that trims trees for the local utility company and also from someone who works for a tree trimming company. If I catch them on my road they will drop it off in my yard. Some towns compost yard waste and you can get it relatively inexpensively or for free as long as you pick it up yourself. If you collect grass clippings a layer of those (not thick enough to get slimy) works well, but you may need to use rocks to weigh down your cardboard. My current favorites (since they are readily available to me) are sawdust in areas I don't want anything to grow like paths in my veggie garden or around the margins of perennial beds and wood shavings in areas that are planted. I get the shavings from DH's woodshop and the sawdust from a local mill where the wet sawdust is free.

You can also spread corn gluten which will keep many seeds from sprouting, but you have to time it right or it doesn't work, since once a seed has sprouted, it's too late. It also isn't 100%, but will help reduce weeding. It will also prevent perennial and biennial seeds from sprouting.

One other option is to plant things closely together. Most weeds like good sun to grow well, so close planting will shade out some of the weeds.

In all honesty, probably most of us use a combination of these strategies to reduce weeds, but at least some weeds will always show up in your gardens; weed seeds can stay viable in the soil for many, many years and whenever the conditions are right, they will sprout.


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RE: Favorite weeders

Thanks, eveberybody, for your thoughts and suggestions!

Dale


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RE: Favorite weeders

hi again

stupid question...

i'm going to roundup my space. after the weeds die can i work them into he soil or do i have to remove them?


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RE: Favorite weeders

Depends if they have gone to seed. If they have gone to seed, you want to remove them and put them in the trash so that you aren't adding all those weed seeds to your planting area. If they don't have seeds (pretty unlikely this late in the season) you can turn them into the soil.


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