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When it comes to tending to your garden, it’s as important to care for plants you’re trying to grow as it is to be mindful of the flora you don’t want growing. That means dealing with and rooting out weeds when you see them.
Weeds are an eyesore, but you might be wondering how important it is to actually get rid of them. The fact is that weeds can cause problems that go well beyond just aesthetic concerns. For one thing, weeds, just like your tomato plants, need water. If you have weeds growing in your yard, they’ll compete with your other plants for water and nutrients, forcing you to water your plants more often and hindering their growth. Weeds can also offer a hiding place for pests, and they can even harbor plant diseases that damage your crops.
Short of pulling the weeds out, there are a variety of preventative measures you can take. One of the most popular and effective is to cover problem areas with mulch to starve weeds of light and water. But if you have to remove the weeds, it’s important to have reliable tools that will make the job easier. Trying to pull out weeds with only your garden-gloved hand is a backbreaking task. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best weeding tools, including natural weed-killing solutions like vinegar.
1. Fiskars 3 Claw Garden Weeder
This standup weeder is from Fiskars, the Finnish brand known for its high-quality scissors. The tip has two sharp metal claws for gripping weeds, and the pedal allows you to dig deeper. The slider opens the claws, making it easier to remove weeds from the weeder itself.
2. Wilcox Garden/Lawn Weeder
If you’re short on storage space and would rather have a handheld tool, this compact option from Wilcox is a good way to get close to the weeds and pull them out. It’s just over a foot long, giving you ample reach without taking up too much space. The textured plastic handle and leather grab loop make it easier to hold and carry. The business end is stainless steel, adding durability. Best of all, this tool is made in the US.
3. Green Gobbler Pure Vinegar – Home&Garden
BEST NATURAL WEED KILLER
A recent lawsuit saw the makers of Roundup paying out a whopping $10 billion to settle claims that their weed-killer causes cancer. Unsurprisingly, this has caused many to look for natural ways to deal with weeds. Thankfully, one of the best ways is to use something you probably have under your kitchen sink right now: vinegar. If you don’t have any white vinegar on hand, consider this concentrated option from Green Gobbler, which was specially formulated with 30% pure vinegar for home and garden issues. It has its limitations (it can kill other plants besides weeds, for example) but it can be a natural and effective way to deal with weeds.
4. Radius Garden Hand Weeder
The curved handle of this weeding tool from Radius Garden is designed to make it easier to grab and scoop under the dirt to help extract weeds. It has a long pointy blade with serrated edges that sort of resembles a saw, making it easier to cut into the dirt.
5. Flexrake Classic Dandelion Weeder
BEST FOR SMALL WEEDS
This handheld option from Flexrake is designed for removing dandelions, although it can be used for a variety of weeding tasks. It has a two-pronged tip to help dig into the dirt and pull out weeds, and the wood handle adds durability and a classic look.
6. Fiskars Steel Pruning Shears Bypass Pruner
BEST FOR TRIMMING
Pruning shears can be handy for dealing with weeds as well. Sometimes you can’t uproot the entire plant, but chopping off its head can help prevent it from continuing to grow. This set of pruning shears from Fiskars are known as “bypass shears,” meaning they work in a similar way to scissors (a field Fiskars knows well). The precision ground blades are designed to stay sharp with repeated use.
7. Natural Armor Store 30% Vinegar Pure Natural
For another vinegar option, consider this pick from Natural Armor. This comes in a gallon-sized bottle, and a convenient spray nozzle is attached, allowing you to more easily cover weeds and other problem areas. Since it’s vinegar, it’s safe to use for indoor cleaning tasks as well (although you might want to open up some windows). The concentrated formula makes it longer-lasting and more economical.