Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tenacious Tip Tuesday - Weeding

Well, yesterday's laziness met up with Monday's busy-ness and I'm afraid this is going to be a short Tip. Since tonight's busy-ness involved weeding, let me make a few points on that activity.

First, while stubborness is a wonderful trait in gardeners, patience is also a virtue. If you have a large weeding project, wait for a soaking rain to begin it. The rain we were blessed with over the weekend ensured that the offending weeds popped right out, with the exception of some really stubborn ones (I'm looking at you, dandelions!). The ground gets nice and soft and the plants don't break off right at ground level the second you touch them.

I usually sit on the ground and dig at obnoxious weeds with my bare hands until it occurs to me that several weapons of weed destruction are sitting in a bucket not 10 feet away. I'm blond, what can I say? Which leads to my second point - use the right tools! There are 2 that I particularly like. The first is the CobraHead weeder. The thing is billed as being a large, steel fingernail and that is as good a description as any. Since they increased the handle length, you can get a really good swing behind it, increasing your destructive power. The spade shaped head is small enough to get onto tight spots and sharp enough to cut through tough roots.

The second weapon of choice is a garden cultivator I found at one of the big box hardware stores ages ago and never discovered an adequate name for. The link to Amazon calls it a Flexrake, hubby and I alternate between calling it an adze and garden whacker. It is a 2 sided hand tool; one side is a 3-pronged digging tool and the other side is like a hoe.

You cannot beat this tool for versatility and toughness. We beat the crap out of the 2 we have and not just in the garden. We took them with us to the Herkimer Diamond Mines and used them to pry apart boulders. (Great place, by the way. If you're out in the Herkimer area, check it out.) That trip we managed to bend a prong on one of them; nothing else has made a dent.

Lastly, and I've mentioned this before, alternate your technique. If you're like me, you enjoy bending over and pulling out weeds by the handful. It is easier to move around, you have more leverage and it's probably a habit. Unfortunately, it is a bad habit and can lead to back problems, especially if your enthusiastic in your tugging. Do yourself a favor and alternate standing with sitting.

I plonk right down on my butt and scoot along the ground when I'm too lazy to trot over to the garage and fetch my Scoot-n-Do. After that position becomes uncomfortable, I stand up, take a water break, then start again from a standing position. Your back will last much longer this way, though your pants might not!

OK, enough for now. Take care of yourself when you're out there!


Anonymous said...

Really enjoying your blog! Like that you tell it as it happens to you and how it affects you, your garden and your family.

Keep up the great work -JJ

PS: It was nice of you to post about a family member's passing - ty.

Sharie said...

Thanks for stopping by, JJ. I'm glad you like it!