Need to weed? Tools & tips: FF

Do you need to weed? It’s not something we want to do, but it’s something we have to do.

Some weeds are pretty, but spread aggressively. I call this one the “Root of all Evil” because it can be hard to pull and develops seed heads almost as soon as it pops out of the ground.

Need to weed
“Root of all Evil” Stork’s-bill or Crane’s Bill

About an acre of our land is planted with landscaping, fruit, or vegetable plants. We need to weed often, especially in the spring. Today I’ll share some tips and tools that may help you when you need to weed.

Need to weed tools

Need to weed seat
Bosmere N468 Kneeling Seat for the Garden

I have tried several seats while weeding, and this is my favorite. You can sit on it as a seat or flip it over and kneel on it.

Need to wead kneeler seat
Bosmere N468 Kneeling Seat for the Garden

My dogs like when I sit on it because then I’m at their level. Shelby thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to play fetch with me.

Fetching dog
“It’s time to play, right?”

When in the seat position, you can store things in the “saddlebags” of this kneeling seat. I store my garden tools, gloves, hat, sunscreen, and timer inside them.

Timer? You may be asking. Why not just use your phone? That’s an option, but after accidentally dialing people before sunrise, when I like to start weeding, I stopped using it.

Analog timer
Yunbaoit Visual Analog Timer, Countdown Clock

With this timer, you twist a dial to 60 or fewer minutes, and you can watch the shaded area count down to zero. I like seeing the time passing visually without draining my phone’s battery. If you limit how long you weed, you won’t get as sore.

Interactions with nature

Some like to listen to music while weeding to keep motivated. I like to listen to the sounds of nature around me.

Is that Raven saying, “Caw, caw, caw” or “Ha, ha, ha?”

Raven near Morning Glory, Yellowstone National Park
Common Raven

I hear the Mountain Bluebirds chortling in agreement in the background.

A bluebird day in Bend, Oregon 13March2018
Mountain Bluebird

Meanwhile, the Mule Deer hope I leave soon so they can get back to trimming my plants. They’re so helpful. NOT!

Three mule deer pruning the landscape 17July2017
Mule Deer

More tools

I buy many of my gardening products from big box stores but try to purchase local as well. I purchased these gardening gloves at Moonfire and Sun Garden Center, one of my favorite nurseries in Bend. The rubber surface on these gloves enables you to pull teeny tiny plants and bigger ones.

Need to weed gloves
Bellingham Wonder Grip gloves

Though I have other tools, this Japanese Weeding Sickle is my current favorite. I can sweep it under shallow-rooted plants or use the sharp tip to get tap roots out. Note the manufacturer’s warnings on this product—it is SHARP!

Weeding tool
Scooping under weeds with sickle blade

Sometimes I can rake weeds out and this handheld rake works well.

Weeding rake
Black and Decker Steel Fan Rake

For larger plants, this tool works great. You put it over the center of the plant, push down, then tilt it back. The stainless steel jaws grab the plant.

Need to weed tool
Fiskars Xact Weed Puller

When you want to get rid of what you have pulled, you slide the yellow sleeve to send it flying into your pile of weeds.

Need to weed tool
Fiskars Xact Weed Puller

Where do I put the weeds I’ve pulled? I like this small pop-up container, meant to be used as a car garbage can. It’s there when you need it and stores flat when you don’t need it.

What about larger plants and branches? We have three kinds of tumbleweeds that grow on our property, and I’ve found the perfect container for them. People often use these large pop-up garbage cans when camping.

Collapsible 33-gallon trash can

Most of my tumbleweeds will fit inside of this collapsible can. However, this giant tumbleweed wouldn’t fit. It measured 7 feet 6 inches across. Can you see me standing behind it?

Giant tumbleweed
GIANT tumbleweed

Need to weed tips

Do I pull every plant in my gardens? No, I leave some. Several non-native plants, like these Mullein plants, attract birds.

Need to weed mulleins
Tall Mullein plants

Our native plants, like these Oregon sunshine and asters, have bright, long-lasting blossoms, so I leave them as well.

Oregon sunshine & aster plants

We have landscape cloth under some of our plantings but it doesn’t reduce the need to weed very much. In fact, my dog, Tesla, is a better weed barrier. See her in the middle of the picture below, sound asleep in the wallow she created?

Dog in a wallow
Dog as mulch

Consider adding mulch, rocks, flagstones, and boulders to reduce the areas where weeds can grow.

One last bit of advice, try to choose plants known to grow well in your environment. Contact your local Cooperative Extension Service for suggestions. Here’s a list of Cooperative Extension Services by state.

Hope my suggestions help when you need to weed!

Friday Flowers (and Weeds)

6 thoughts on “Need to weed? Tools & tips: FF

  1. I have that very same timer. Great gadget info! I shall acquire a few of those. One thing to add to your list- 20-30% spray vinegar. It will kill weeds that are tough to pull out.

    • Cool! I also use my timer to get me up and moving while working on my computer. I almost added that high-power vinegar, but it, combined with a little dish soap, didn’t work on some of my toughest weeds. 🙁

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