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Weeding Tips

Weeding Tips
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)

Weeding may be the least favorite task a gardener must tackle. Keeping up with weeding can be tedious and overwhelming, but a little planning can ease the burden tremendously—leaving you with more time to enjoy your garden. Read on to learn about weeding tips that will save you time and keep your garden and landscape looking great.

weeding-ca1. Know Your Landscape
Take stock of your yard to determine which areas are prone to weed growth, may harbor stinging-insect nests, and contain allergy-inducing or poisonous plants. This will allow you to be prepared to tackle these areas with the appropriate tools and methods.

2. Dress Appropriately
Wear gloves when weeding to protect your hands.  If you prefer the bare hand method, a tip for keeping your  fingernails clean is to scrape your nails over a bar of soap before weeding to seal the area between the nails and the fingers, creating a barrier from the dirt.  Wear rubber boots or gardening shoes.  Avoid open-toe footwear to protect your feet from dropped tools, stinging insects, or poisonous plants.  Wear a hat and sunscreen and keep insect repellent handy. Keep a bottle of water close by. It’s always important to stay hydrated.

3. Use the Proper Tools and Equipment
Use knee pads or a gardening mat to cushion knees and reduce back pressure. Bring a bucket in which to gather the weeds and a pointed garden tool or small shovel to loosen weed roots.
Tip: Use a child’s wagon to pull your tools around and to collect weeds.

garden-boots-canStep-by-Step Weeding Instructions

  1. Weed after it rains or prepare the area by watering. It’s much easier to loosen the soil when it’s wet.
  2. Grab the weed at the base and gently pull, being careful to remove all of the roots of the weed without breaking  it off partially.  Use a tool to loosen the dirt around the root area if needed.
  3. Collect all of the weeds and dispose of in a trash receptacle.  Do not compost weeds as this will encourage new weeds to grow from the seeds that may be contained in the plucked plants.

 

Weeding large areas. In areas with extensive weed growth, try the tarp method. Cut the weeds down close to the ground. Immediately afterwards, place a tarp over the area. Leave covered for at least three weeks.  Remove the covering when the weeds are dead and dig up roots and dispose of without composting.

Liquid weed killer. If you decide to use a commercial product, purchase it from a reputable garden center and follow directions carefully. Or try this homemade recipe and instruction for a weed killing: combine 1 gallon of  white vinegar, 1 cup of salt and 1/8 cup of dish liquid—do not use dishwasher liquid.  Mix and pour into a spray bottle. Mist the weeds, being careful not to expose other plants. Within a few days the weeds will be dead.

Removing  poisonous weeds. When removing rash and skin irritating weeds such as poison ivy, poison oak and giant hogweed, be SURE to wear long sleeved clothing, long pants with boots, and gardening gloves with rubber gloves over them. Wear a hat and a bandana to cover your nose and mouth as well as safety goggles. Remove poisonous weeds as you would other weeds, taking extreme extra care to avoid any contact with skin whatsoever. Keep in mind that some poisonous weeds remain poisonous even after they appear to be dead. When using the tarp method or spray to kill weeds, be sure to wear protective clothing when placing and removing the tarp and when removing the remaining vegetation. Dispose of both sets of gloves and wash clothing separately in cold water at least three times. Hose down rubber boots and clean with dish detergent before rinsing thoroughly.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Shelley Wigglesworth

Author:

Shelley Wigglesworth

Biography:

Shelley Fleming-Wigglesworth is a certified Maine Master Gardener and award winning newspaper columnist from Kennebunk, Maine. She has been writing for the York County Coast Star for more than a decade as a freelance columnist and features writer. In 2010 she began writing her own gardening column “The Master Gardener’s Notebook” for Tourist News. She also teaches gardening classes at local schools and colleges
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2 Responses to Weeding Tips

  1. Jim Wagner August 19, 2014 at 8:30 am #

    I liked the articles on weed control, especially on weeding large areas and using the non-chemical Liquid Weed Killer as we have major weed problems in the public rose and perennial gardens. Does the author know whether the salt in the Weed Killer article could be damaging to the roots of nearby good plants such as roses?

    Thanks.

    Jim Wagner

  2. Shelley Wigglesworth August 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    Hello Jim,
    Thank you for responding. While it is best to keep any salt mixtures away from plants that are keepers, the risk to the roots of nearby plants should be minimal as the spray is applied to the entire weed plant for destruction and not just to the base toward the roots.
    Happy gardening!
    Shelley

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