Our garden is growing, and so are the weeds! At Sow Right Seeds, we need fast, effective tools to help us control the weeds in our extensive garden beds.
So we went looking for the best weeding tools that would do the job without too much effort. If you want to spend less time pulling weeds and more time enjoying your harvest, see what we found to be the most effective tools for weed removal.
The weeding tools we tested
Tool Name: Regular Garden Hoe
How it works:
The standard garden hoe has been around for a very long time. Most of us here at Sow Right Seeds have experience using these hoes. To use a traditional hoe, a gardener has to make a strong up-and-down chopping motion.
The standard hoe works to attack the big weeds that need to be hacked at. You can chop out weeds in all kinds of soil, even muddy clay. This type of hoe can also be used for cultivating and other gardening tasks.
This is the slowest method for weed removal and takes a lot of effort. The chopping motion needed to weed a big garden with a standard hoe will wear you out. Also, the traditional hoe disturbs a lot of dirt.
Tool Name: Garden Weasel
How it works:
The garden weasel has rotary blade wheels. As you push it forward, it cultivates the soil with a motion like scissor blades.
Pros: The cross tines break up the soil without much effort. You won’t be breaking your back with this weeding tool.
Although the cross tines cut through the soil, the garden weasel doesn’t pull out the weeds in any helpful way. There are better tools to pull out weeds.
Tool Name: Stirrup Hoe
How it works:
The stirrup hoe looks just like a stirrup on a horse saddle. Both sides of the blade are sharp and can cut with both pulling and pushing motions. It cuts the roots off just below the soil surface.
Weeding with a stirrup hoe is quick and effective. It doesn’t take much effort and quickly cleans up a large garden. The loop design also keeps it from disturbing the soil as much as other hoes.
After the weeds are cut, you can use a metal leaf rake to gather all the weeds.
A stirrup hoe is excellent at cutting through small and shallow weeds. Unfortunately, it gets hung up on big weeds with thick stems. You also need to be careful around your plants as the stirrup hoe can easily be pushed into roots.
Tool Name: Wheel Stirrup hoe
How it works:
With a wheel on the front, the wheel stirrup hoe works like other stirrup hoes. It runs a blade just below the soil surface and cuts off the roots.
A wheel allows you to push and walk behind it, requiring less effort.
It can get bogged down in muddy soil and won’t cut through thick weeds.
Our favorite weeding tool so far is the stirrup hoe. We like how easy it is to use in a variety of garden spaces.
Weeding is never our favorite task in the garden, so we love it when there’s something to make it easier.
Some Tips About Weeding
Keep your tools sharp
No matter how great of a hoe or weeding tool you use, a dull blade will slow you down and decrease your effectiveness. Sharpen the cutting blades and clean them off after use.
Consistently control weeds
Some weeds have very long spreading roots. Even if you cut the roots, they will keep coming back. Weeding the garden will need to be more than a one-time event.
Don’t welcome the weed seeds
There are things you can do to prevent weeds in the first place. While you can’t keep weed seeds from blowing into your garden, you can keep from carrying them in. Make sure you’re not bringing weed seeds in your mulch or manure. If you use horse manure, you will have more weed seeds than cow manure.
Prevent weed seeds from germinating
Thick dark fabrics or cardboard can be used to smother weeds and keep seeds from germinating. Cardboard is often used in no-till gardens, and landscaping fabrics can be cut to allow space for only the plants you want.
Burn weeds before planting
Burning weeds is one way to get rid of them before you start planting. This method is used on large garden areas and pathways. To effectively control weeds, you need to work the soil and then wait a week or 2. Once the weeds start to emerge, use a special burn torch to burn them.
Every successful gardener knows you can’t let weeds get out of control. But sometimes that’s easier said than done. Without constant vigilance, weeds can overtake your harvest. Although it takes time and effort, having the right methods and tools for removing weeds makes it less of a chore.
It took us some time to test and trial these common weeding tools, but we’re glad we did. Because now we’ve found our favorite tools for pulling weeds. And although weeding still isn’t our favorite gardening chore, it takes a lot less effort now!
If you found this information helpful, forward it to your gardening friends.