how do you weed?

weedgear.jpg

That’s my weeding gear. My new favorite weeder has that loop behind the forked part, which serves dual purposes. It acts as a fulcrum to lever out stubborn weeds, and has a sharp edge on one side of the loop to oust swathes of itty bitty baby weeds with a scraping motion. I never could get the hang of hoes, mostly because my weeding is a fairly delicate operation.

bdipheon.jpg

Note the grassy foliage on those Ipheon. Up close is the only way to differentiate between the grass trying to invade this bed and the desirable foliage of the ‘Wisley’s Blue’. Besides, I like to spend the early part of a gardening day doing the physically challenging chores like hauling around wheelbarrows full of stuff. Winding down involves scooting around on my butt, chasing obnoxious invaders. Our rains have been keeping the ground nice and spongy, but also wet…and cold. That’s what the two Trader Joe’s reusable grocery bags are about. I’ve tried spongy kneeling pads, but one of anything just won’t do and my knees get grumpy. These are cheap, they’re waterproof and as I scoot along I can grab the one left behind to put in front…perfect. The blue bucket comes along because it never gets too heavy to drag, and getting up and down to haul these small amounts to the nearby wheelbarrow is good exercise. The color-coordination of this set-up is purely coincidental.

If you have any weeding tricks we should know about, please share them as a comment. The bane of many a gardener, I find weeding contemplative, as well as a way to get intimate with my plants. How do you feel about it?

10 Responses to “how do you weed?”

  1. Grace Says:

    Hi Ricki~~ I suppose I’m ambivalent about weeding. I’m not crazy about the job itself but I like the instant gratification it provides. Because for the most part weeding is a solitary pursuit, I agree that it is a time for contemplation. What I want to know is where you got those cool bags. The Corvallis store has these insipid plain colored ones. Blah.

  2. Loree/ danger garden Says:

    My primary weeding tool is one an old wooden-handled long flat screw driver that I “inherited” from my grandfather (I know there must be a name for the metal part when it’s extra long like this one is but my husband isn’t here to ask!) Anyway it works extremely well and like my half-moon edger I just absolutely love that my grandfather used these same tools for years and years before me. Of course he would have never used a screwdriver to weed but I’m sure he would have gotten a chuckle out of the fact that I do.

    Your TJ bags are a great idea! Instead I just have wet muddy knees.

  3. ricki Says:

    Grace~I got mine at the NW Portland store on Glisan St. I have seen other, equally colorful designs at other stores. Maybe if you just mention it, the Corvallis store could order some from the mother ship?

    Loree~I have a shovel that belonged to my dad, and it fills me with similar feelings. Other tools, too, but that’s the one most used and loved. I like a screwdriver too for tight spots…also it can go deeper, but I keep misplacing them, to turn up later in the compost or wherever.

  4. Jane Says:

    I’m lucky in that most of my beds started out weed-free due to new soil being brought in so I still don’t have a lot. My tool for weedy areas is a traditional forked weeder and my fave has a nice cushy foam-covered handle. I had to spray paint the handle red so I could find it in the garden since I often lose track of it. And I like a thick foam kneeling pad when I’m down praying to those garden goddesses!

  5. ricki Says:

    Jane~You ARE lucky! My heavily mulched berms are pretty low-maintenance, but out here in the country there is no escape from weeds.

  6. Wendy Says:

    well, no tricks, but I’ve never really gotten the hang of a hoe either. I either plop my butt down, or stick it up in the air and pull by hand. For dandelions and onion grass, I keep my 7-in-1 tool handy and just use the knife part to dig the stuff out. I ALWAYS keep my trusty blue $1 IKEA bin handy to throw weeds in.

  7. ricki Says:

    Wendy~That 7-in-1 tool intrigues me. Maybe you will post a picture of it one of these days?

  8. Karen Says:

    Hi Ricki – I never used to use a kneeler but as I age (poorly), I do use one sometimes. Just need a bigger one, so I don’t have to reposition it all the time! My folks have kneepads that strap on for the heavy duty sessions. My usual tools are a narrow Corona trowel with a red handle for easy retrieval and a dandelion weeder that looks like a big screwdriver with a forked end, for things with a taproot. I am ashamed to say that I don’t mulch well and haven’t managed to put in enough groundcovers, so I have plenty o’ weeds all year round! I actually enjoy weeding, just did it in two gardens today! Very satisfying to see the progress and as you say, time for thinking or just listening to the birds sing. Great post!

  9. ricki Says:

    My cousin swears by his old Smith & Hawkin trousers with pockets in the knees to hold knee pads. Maybe I will have to make me some of those.

  10. Stevie Baillet Says:

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