How To Use A Hand Weeder – The Correct Way

A blue Hand Weeder being used to loosen soil.

It is not uncommon for most of us to experience a sudden growth of weeds in our garden, and if you didn’t know, weeds are bad for our garden especially if it manages to reach our plants. Weeds can grow both on organic soil and non-organic soil which means that they are almost hard to prevent.

But with the help of a Hand Weeder, you will be able to remove weeds in your garden for good! However, like other gardening tools, this requires the proper use  for it to be effective.

Using a hand weeder may be just as easy as using hand shovels but remember, you need to be precise with how you use a hand weeder in order to deeply remove the weeds permanently and that is what we will cover below!

5 Steps On How To Use A Hand Weeder

I have dealt with weeds for a very long time, and I always wonder why the weeds in my garden consistently grow, even though I have already removed them before. Some weeds even start to grow just after a day or two of removal!

It became very stressful for me, and this is the reason why I decided to do my research on what to do since it started growing on the soil of my vegetables too.

Not long after, I discovered that I was actually the one to blame since I did not properly use my hand weeder the right way. To prevent you from facing the same issue, here are the simple steps on how to use a hand weeder.

1) Moisten The Soil

Before I even start working with the hand weeder, I personally find it easier to remove weeds while the soil is wet, but not too wet of course. Preferably, just the sufficient amount of moisture will do. I use a soil moisture meter to accurately measure if the soil is moist enough to use the hand weeder efficiently.

You can soak the soil with water to soften it, but I do this the night before so that the soil will have enough time to moisten the next day. I prefer this because it makes the weeding much easier. Moreover, it does not further break the soil.

An image of moist soil.
Image From: Dave’s Garden

2) Prepare Other Gardening Equipment

Since you will have to manually remove the soil, which takes effort and muscle work, I suggest that you make use of other gardening equipment for you to be able to work for long periods.

Using a pair of gardening gloves will help prevent skin friction as you work. This prevents you from getting scratches and accidental cuts. Moreover, this provides you a better grip as you work with your hand weeder.

When it comes to the start of your task, since weeding requires us to kneel, I use a kneeling pad so that I can comfortably do the task without having to feel any pain on my knees. A garden pad will also do fine, as long as you won’t feel any back strain, you are basically good to start on the process of weeding.

A Gardener using garden gloves.
Image From: Teflorea

3) Loosen The Soil

The first step to effectively remove weeds is to loosen the soil around them. To do this, poke the hand weeder into the ground several times at different parts around it. After some time, you will notice the soil will start to loosen.

4) Sink The Tines Of The Hand Weeder

The next thing you should do is to hold the stems of the weeds with your non-dominant hand. Afterwards, your other hand will be responsible for accurately sinking the tines of the hand weeder into the soil or topsoil.

The depth of the tines should be about 3 inches or 7.5 centimeters away from the base of the plant. Another important element you should consider is the angle of how you pierce through the soil, which should be at a 45-degree angle.

Hand Weeder pierced through soil.
Image From: Gardening Know-How

5) Pull Out The Weeds

At this point, you are going to need to push the handle of the weeder downwards. The preferred length of your hand weeder should be long enough to be used as a lever to lift the roots of the weeds out of the soil.

This is the best time to use an extra tool that can be used as an extra fulcrum to effectively pull out everything that is connected to the hand weeder. It should be touching the ground as you do this for full leverage.

You need to be cautious as you do this as it might damage your soil and plants during the process. I highly recommend gently pulling the plant as you lift the weeds off of the soil.

In the case that the plant is hardly moving at all, you redo the process of loosening the soil again. You could also push the hand weeder deeper to get underneath the roots more.

If done correctly, the weeds will be removed out of the soil with no residue and any roots that will make it grow back, resulting in permanent removal.

Should I Use Chemicals To Remove Weeds?

Using certain chemicals to remove weeds is also an effective method to permanently remove them. However, this could potentially affect your soil in a bad way or worst-case scenario is that your plants get affected as well.

This is why I strongly recommend using a hand weeder instead of chemicals. This is a much safer way to protect the environment, and as well as children and animals that visit your garden.

Disadvantages Of Weeds

Now that you know how to remove weeds, since removing them is such a big deal, what does it actually do to soil and plants?

Below are some of the disadvantages of weeds, including but not limited to:

1) They Grow Fast

If you have a problem with weeds in your garden, chances are, you have observed how fast they grow. In fact, it is not surprising for them to outgrow your plants and even grass. Their rapid growth is the reason why they are able to spread out so easily.

Moreover, they have the ability to steal soil space from the plants in your garden. They can even block sunlight, which badly affects your plants. Another drastic attribute of weeds is that they can entirely suck up the nutrients from your plant’s soil. The result of this will deprive your plants of the nutrients they need for them to thrive.

2) They Steal Essential Nutrients

Don’t be surprised to see your plants slowly dying with the presence of weeds near them since weeds steal essential nutrients including potassium, nitrogen, and many more.

This causes your plants to wither or deteriorate as time passes. For fruits, this can lead to abnormal growth and strange coloration.

3) They Badly Affect Plant Growth

In terms of plant growth, the weeds in your garden will basically compete with your plants when it comes to receiving water, nutrients, sunlight, and space. This makes crop yield drastically reduced.

4) They Attract Pests

There is no denying that struggling plants attract all kinds of pests in your garden. Insects also make weeds as their breeding ground, which can easily lead to an infestation in just a span of a few days to a week.

Final Thoughts On Weed Removal

It is vital that you prevent the spread of weeds in your garden. I have encountered this problem countless times, and it cost me the life of numerous plants and money as well. Weeding is no fun, but at least with the use of a hand weeder, it makes working faster and provides a permanent solution.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask below!

About Ador Flores

Greetings! My name is Ador Flores, and I have been in love with nature ever since I was young. I bet you can agree when I say that mother nature tends to astonish you as well. While I may not be able to create mountains, waterfalls, and other majestic landscapes in my backyard, one thing is that I can for sure mimic nature by having a beautiful garden at home. Just from this simple mindset, it did not take long for me to turn gardening into a passion - a passion that changed my life forever. With the experiences I have had with gardening throughout all these years, I can definitely assure you that gardening is for everyone and I would love to share with all of you guys how fulfilling it really is! With the help of Seasonal Preferences, let us all become better gardeners and continue to promote a green and clean environment!

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