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Stress-Free Weeding | Garrett Wade Blog

Stress-Free Weeding | Garrett Wade Blog

Stress-Free Weeding | Garrett Wade Blog

5 Tips to Make Weeding Easier

The right tools make all the difference when it comes to stress-free weeding.

With gardening comes a lot of joy: The pleasure of the planting itself, the thrill of watching seeds germinate, the satisfaction of seeing plants thrive. But also with gardening comes a lot of work: The digging, the watering, the pest control, and, of course, the most dreaded of all garden-related tasks—weeding.

Every gardener knows the drill. You weed in the spring to prepare your beds for planting, and then you weed all summer as your plants grow, and then you weed well into the fall, just to keep things tidy. It feels like, for gardeners, there are three things one can’t escape: death, taxes and weeding as a constant, back-breaking chore.

The good news is: Weeding doesn’t have to be stressful or back-breaking or such a horrible chore at all. Here are 5 tips to help you make your weeding easy and stress-free this gardening season.

Before You Start: Ask Yourself- What is a Weed?

Growing up in the suburbs, one may have come to see weeds as the enemy of the lawn- something that has to be removed at all costs. Expensive treatments like chemical herbicides to kill these plants and fertilizers to support turf grass have become the status quo of lawn care in America. However, with the devastating ecological impact of lawn care and development more understood, we should revisit what a weed actually is. A "weed" is defined as a plant that shouldn't be there. However, most plants considered weeds are actually local species that are adapted to the local environment, cause zero impact to humans, and provide much needed food, shelter, and nesting spots for pollinators (whose populations have also suffered). They only got their reputation as "weeds" because they were good at growing in their native environment- kind of silly when you think about it. Milkweed, the host plant for monarch butterflies, one of nature's most beautiful creatures, was viewed as a weed because there were vast areas of them in the way of developments. Their numbers have plummeted due to this bad reputation, which is a major factor the monarchs are also in major trouble. These insects we've come to take for granted growing up may become extinct in our lifetimes, and an important step in saving them is to remove the stigma around milkweed. You can help by planting milkweed in your own yard. The Save Our Monarchs Foundation provides people with free seeds with just a self-addressed envelope.

Plants considered "weeds" provide lawn owners with several benefits. Firstly, they require next to zero maintenance compared to your average turf grass. This saves time, money, and energy you can spend on enjoying your lawn. They may produce beautiful flowers that local pollinators appreciate since these are the plants they have become accustomed to over the past millions of years. Also, they can help with erosion by providing ground cover, as well as reducing water loss thanks to their hardy root systems (grass have shallow roots and can't hold as much). Lastly, they can actually enrich soil with nitrogen and other beneficial nutrients, again saving you money on fertilizers and expensive treatments.

Consider adding a "no mow" zone in your yard- areas where you leave the local flora alone to thrive. You'd be surprised how many beneficial insects, like bees and butterflies, come to roam your yard.

1. Identify your weeding needs and preferred weeding postures.

In order to arrive at a remedy for your garden’s ever-growing weeds, you need to take stock of your garden’s weed-related needs. Go outside, tour your garden, and ask yourself these questions: Do I want this plant here? Is this plant harmful to me or my family (including pets)? And do I need a tool to remove its deep taproot or can I just remove it with minimal disturbance to the surrounding area?

Now that you’ve determined where your weeds are growing and what kind of plants they are, try weeding your garden in a few different positions: standing, kneeling, bending over while sitting on a bench. Ask yourself: What feels best for my body? So much of the dreadassociated with weeding comes from the physical discomfort that accompanies the task. By finding out which weeding posture feels the best for you—while still allowing you the leverage needed to weed effectively—you can help to mitigate the negative after-effects on your back.

2. Invest in the right weeding tools.

Now that you’ve determined your needs and preferences, it’s time for the most important step in your journey towards a stress-free weeding experience: investing in high-quality weeding tools.
 
If you’re most comfortable standing, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an heirloom-quality weed puller. This tool’s long, sturdy handle will help you to rid your garden of weeds without straining your back. Another essential tool for gardeners who prefer to stand as they weed is a long-handled edging tool. This will keep the edges around your flower beds and paths looking super-clean and weed-free—without putting any stress on your knees or back. Another great tool for the stand-up gardener to have on hand is a telescoping weeder. This adjustable, easy-to-use tool is just what you’ll need to tackle the weeds growing along your driveway, sidewalk, or patio.
 
If you’re most comfortable kneeling or bending over from a gardening bench, however, invest in shorter handled tools like this Japanese weeding sickle. This elegant and durable tool is extremely sharp and thoughtfully designed to remove shallow-rooted weeds quickly and easily. Another useful tool for the gardener who prefers to kneel or sit while she gardens is a Japanese root puller. This tool is essential for all of your precision weeding and will help you to remove any weeds growing around or in between your plants. Kneeling gardeners should also invest in an excellently constructed cultivator. This classic gardening tool is just what you’ll need to pull weeds from hard, packed soil.
 

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Rust Proof Double Sided Cultivator Tool

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3. Invest in the best gardening gloves you can find.

Having the right tools is essential to making weeding your garden a stress-free experience. But just as important as the tools you have in your gardening shed are the tools you always carry with you: Your hands!

For the times you just want to pull a few weeds without turning it into a whole hours-long, clean-up-requiring production, slap on some gardening gloves and get going—just make sure you have the best gardening gloves you can find. Some key features you’ll want to look out for: protection against punctures, grip ability, comfort and ease-of-use. These gardening gloves perfectly fit the bill.

4. Weed when your soil is soft and wet.

Nothing will make you hate weeding faster than trying to weed dry, packed soil. This gardening season, don’t work harder, work smarter instead by weeding only when your soil is soft and wet.

Invest in a high-quality, easy-to-use hose and an efficient, easy-to-maneuver sprinkler sled. Make sure to water your garden about ten minutes before you want to begin weeding. This will ensure that the soil is soft and agreeable for the task ahead, requiring much less effort from you. If you’re in a hurry, a simple watering from a galvanized watering can will work, too.

Sold out

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5. Make sure you mulch.

And finally, remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nothing naturally prevents weeds from growing like staying on top of your mulch.

Because mulch is an organic material, it breaks down and needs to be replaced at least once a year. Use about 2 inches of mulch for your beds and replace it as soon as it begins to show signs of deterioration. The right kind and amount of mulch will go a long way when it comes to reducing weeds and maintaining moisture.

To make your mulching easier, invest in a professional-grade mulching fork. This hand-sharpened tool will last a lifetime, and will make mulching your garden an easy, effective task.

I hope all of these tips together will remove the stress from weeding your garden this season and will return to you some time and energy to fully enjoy all of your favorite parts of gardening.

Sold out

5 Tips to Make Weeding Easier

The right tools make all the difference when it comes to stress-free weeding.

With gardening comes a lot of joy: The pleasure of the planting itself, the thrill of watching seeds germinate, the satisfaction of seeing plants thrive. But also with gardening comes a lot of work: The digging, the watering, the pest control, and, of course, the most dreaded of all garden-related tasks—weeding.

Every gardener knows the drill. You weed in the spring to prepare your beds for planting, and then you weed all summer as your plants grow, and then you weed well into the fall, just to keep things tidy. It feels like, for gardeners, there are three things one can’t escape: death, taxes and weeding as a constant, back-breaking chore.

The good news is: Weeding doesn’t have to be stressful or back-breaking or such a horrible chore at all. Here are 5 tips to help you make your weeding easy and stress-free this gardening season.

Before You Start: Ask Yourself- What is a Weed?

Growing up in the suburbs, one may have come to see weeds as the enemy of the lawn- something that has to be removed at all costs. Expensive treatments like chemical herbicides to kill these plants and fertilizers to support turf grass have become the status quo of lawn care in America. However, with the devastating ecological impact of lawn care and development more understood, we should revisit what a weed actually is. A "weed" is defined as a plant that shouldn't be there. However, most plants considered weeds are actually local species that are adapted to the local environment, cause zero impact to humans, and provide much needed food, shelter, and nesting spots for pollinators (whose populations have also suffered). They only got their reputation as "weeds" because they were good at growing in their native environment- kind of silly when you think about it. Milkweed, the host plant for monarch butterflies, one of nature's most beautiful creatures, was viewed as a weed because there were vast areas of them in the way of developments. Their numbers have plummeted due to this bad reputation, which is a major factor the monarchs are also in major trouble. These insects we've come to take for granted growing up may become extinct in our lifetimes, and an important step in saving them is to remove the stigma around milkweed. You can help by planting milkweed in your own yard. The Save Our Monarchs Foundation provides people with free seeds with just a self-addressed envelope.

Plants considered "weeds" provide lawn owners with several benefits. Firstly, they require next to zero maintenance compared to your average turf grass. This saves time, money, and energy you can spend on enjoying your lawn. They may produce beautiful flowers that local pollinators appreciate since these are the plants they have become accustomed to over the past millions of years. Also, they can help with erosion by providing ground cover, as well as reducing water loss thanks to their hardy root systems (grass have shallow roots and can't hold as much). Lastly, they can actually enrich soil with nitrogen and other beneficial nutrients, again saving you money on fertilizers and expensive treatments.

Consider adding a "no mow" zone in your yard- areas where you leave the local flora alone to thrive. You'd be surprised how many beneficial insects, like bees and butterflies, come to roam your yard.

1. Identify your weeding needs and preferred weeding postures.

In order to arrive at a remedy for your garden’s ever-growing weeds, you need to take stock of your garden’s weed-related needs. Go outside, tour your garden, and ask yourself these questions: Do I want this plant here? Is this plant harmful to me or my family (including pets)? And do I need a tool to remove its deep taproot or can I just remove it with minimal disturbance to the surrounding area?

Now that you’ve determined where your weeds are growing and what kind of plants they are, try weeding your garden in a few different positions: standing, kneeling, bending over while sitting on a bench. Ask yourself: What feels best for my body? So much of the dreadassociated with weeding comes from the physical discomfort that accompanies the task. By finding out which weeding posture feels the best for you—while still allowing you the leverage needed to weed effectively—you can help to mitigate the negative after-effects on your back.

2. Invest in the right weeding tools.

Now that you’ve determined your needs and preferences, it’s time for the most important step in your journey towards a stress-free weeding experience: investing in high-quality weeding tools.
 
If you’re most comfortable standing, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to an heirloom-quality weed puller. This tool’s long, sturdy handle will help you to rid your garden of weeds without straining your back. Another essential tool for gardeners who prefer to stand as they weed is a long-handled edging tool. This will keep the edges around your flower beds and paths looking super-clean and weed-free—without putting any stress on your knees or back. Another great tool for the stand-up gardener to have on hand is a telescoping weeder. This adjustable, easy-to-use tool is just what you’ll need to tackle the weeds growing along your driveway, sidewalk, or patio.
 
If you’re most comfortable kneeling or bending over from a gardening bench, however, invest in shorter handled tools like this Japanese weeding sickle. This elegant and durable tool is extremely sharp and thoughtfully designed to remove shallow-rooted weeds quickly and easily. Another useful tool for the gardener who prefers to kneel or sit while she gardens is a Japanese root puller. This tool is essential for all of your precision weeding and will help you to remove any weeds growing around or in between your plants. Kneeling gardeners should also invest in an excellently constructed cultivator. This classic gardening tool is just what you’ll need to pull weeds from hard, packed soil.
 

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

Sold out

3. Invest in the best gardening gloves you can find.

Having the right tools is essential to making weeding your garden a stress-free experience. But just as important as the tools you have in your gardening shed are the tools you always carry with you: Your hands!

For the times you just want to pull a few weeds without turning it into a whole hours-long, clean-up-requiring production, slap on some gardening gloves and get going—just make sure you have the best gardening gloves you can find. Some key features you’ll want to look out for: protection against punctures, grip ability, comfort and ease-of-use. These gardening gloves perfectly fit the bill.

4. Weed when your soil is soft and wet.

Nothing will make you hate weeding faster than trying to weed dry, packed soil. This gardening season, don’t work harder, work smarter instead by weeding only when your soil is soft and wet.

Invest in a high-quality, easy-to-use hose and an efficient, easy-to-maneuver sprinkler sled. Make sure to water your garden about ten minutes before you want to begin weeding. This will ensure that the soil is soft and agreeable for the task ahead, requiring much less effort from you. If you’re in a hurry, a simple watering from a galvanized watering can will work, too.

Sold out

Sold out

5. Make sure you mulch.

And finally, remember: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Nothing naturally prevents weeds from growing like staying on top of your mulch.

Because mulch is an organic material, it breaks down and needs to be replaced at least once a year. Use about 2 inches of mulch for your beds and replace it as soon as it begins to show signs of deterioration. The right kind and amount of mulch will go a long way when it comes to reducing weeds and maintaining moisture.

To make your mulching easier, invest in a professional-grade mulching fork. This hand-sharpened tool will last a lifetime, and will make mulching your garden an easy, effective task.

I hope all of these tips together will remove the stress from weeding your garden this season and will return to you some time and energy to fully enjoy all of your favorite parts of gardening.

Sold out

Written by Garrett Wade

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