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If you want to keep things organic then getting the right weeding tools for the job is a must. Using the wrong tool can see you breaking roots and weeds coming back again and again. But which weeding tools to use? There’s a weeding tool to suit most jobs and some tools will tackle a couple of different jobs.
So, without further ado, let’s look at some of the different tools you might use and why.
Weeding Borders and Open Soil
For keeping the areas between plants weed free in borders or vegetable plots you can’t beat a hoe. There are many variations on the hoe but all do a similar job. Pushed or pulled through the surface layer of the soil this weeding tool will cut through new weed roots before they can get established.
The same principle goes for raised beds, containers and even window boxes. Whilst a long handled hoe may not be the best idea there are a number of hand-held equivalents to get the job done. Many have the same style of head as traditional long-handled hoes but are much more suited to close up work. In recent times one variation that has taken the garden world by storm is the Japanese Razor Hoe. This has a sharp blade angled to the left which when drawn through the soil is a highly effective weeding and cultivating tool. And if the ground has gone hard or is stony then the Japanese style Carbon Steel Mighty Pick can make short work of breaking it up and tackling root bound earth.
The name of the game with using a hoe is frequency. A quick hoe through the soil surface on a regular basis will stop those weeds starting their strangle hold on your garden in the first place. It’s much easier to stop a weed before it starts than once it is fully grown.
But what if you miss a few and they manage to take hold despite your best efforts to keep them under control? Well fear not as there are plenty more tools in our weeding weapons arsenal.
Specific types of weeds
There are a couple of standard weeding tools that can tackle those established weeds. Weeds with short roots can be attacked with a Daisy Grubber. The forked tip should be slipped under the leaves of the weed and then lifted in an upward motion hopefully removing most of the roots at the same time.
If you need to tackle something a little deeper where you need to ensure a large tap root comes out intact then a Dandelion Weeder will come into its own. This looks like a longer thinner version of the Daisy Grubber with a much small V-shaped tip at the end. This tool should be inserted vertically down the side of the weed and the V-shaped notch can be used to lever the root upwards ensuring as much of it as possible is removed.
Paths, Paving and Rockeries
Whilst nobody would say that weeding was easy, weeding in rocky or paved areas can take it to a whole new level. The closeness of paving slabs or the nooks and crannies between stones can make it extremely difficult to get standard weeding tools in to the ground to sort the problem out. Luckily there are tools for this too.
A Block Paving Knife is an L-shaped knife with a slim-line blade suited to slipping between paving blocks and slabs. It can be drawn along the joint lines to remove moss, weeds and anything else that might be stuck between those gaps.
If your paving has bigger nooks and crannies then a Weeding Finger will let you pick out those weeds easily. This is a very strong single L-shaped tine with a pointed end and is excellent at digging into gravelled areas without excavating the surrounding ground.
For your rockeries though a two-pronged weeding fork will allow you to get right between those rocks and lever out those stubborn weeds.
One last tool that is worth a mention is the Angled Weeding Knife which has made its way over from North America in recent years. This tools combines the functionality of a Daisy Grubber, Dandelion Weeder and Paving Knife all in one extremely strong tool.
So, whatever nasty surprises your garden throws at you there is a whole array of weeding tools aimed at getting to the root of the problem. You just need to pick your weapon of choice…