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How to Pull Weeds

Updated on May 29, 2013
Pulling weeds can be good for you!
Pulling weeds can be good for you! | Source
Go after them when they're small.
Go after them when they're small. | Source

Pulling Weeds Takes the Right Attitude

My mom used to say, "You better get after those weeds!"

When the vegetables and flowers are growing in the garden, those weedy culprits can be growing right along with them. Between the rows of your garden, a simple hoeing or a pass with a rototiller will work, but for those weeds sitting tightly among your vegetables and flowers there is a proper way to pull them out.

Before I go further, please know what kind of weeds you are dealing with -- weeds can be poisonous. Check out for good resources on poisonous plants and weed identification.

Pulling Weeds - it's all about the attitude. First, be safe.

Choose Your Method

Depending on the size and number of weeds, most can be dug-up with a weeding tool, potting trowel, or by hand. I've even seen people weeding with a screwdriver. Choose the tool that you want to use and that works the best for you. Use gloves if you don't want to get your hands dirty and especially if the weeds are thorny or toxic.

Whichever method you choose - what you think about while you pull weeds is the important thing!

Get after those weeds! Use a sharp hoe for weeding row by row.
Get after those weeds! Use a sharp hoe for weeding row by row. | Source

Take Out Your Anger

Whenever I get upset about something or someone, I take out my anger on the weeds. With every stab of the trowel, twist of the weed, and pull of the root, I admit my stress about the situation. Then I toss a little of my anger with each weed into my bucket.

I may start out calling the weeds every name in the book and muttering hateful obscenities. By the end of my weeding though, I am a new person and I let go of my pile of weeds.Instead of holding the spite inside of me or taking it out on my family, I let it out in the garden, and do some good with it.

Bad weeds grow tall.
Bad weeds grow tall. | Source

Get to the Root of the Problem

Weeding is like solving a problem in your life. You shake it around and dig it up until you get to the bottom of it. Just pulling off the top of the weed might help for a little while but you might just be fixing the symptoms and not really attacking the problem. The weed, like a problem, can come back even worse or can multiply if you don't get to the root and pull all of it out.

And for goodness' sake, pull the weed before the root gets established. So much more pain is caused if you ignore weeds with the attitude that they will take care of themselves or there's not enough of them to worry about. The truth is that most weeds can grow faster than your good plants and you can't ever wait till next week to take care of them.

Don't Just Yank It Out

If you try to pull weeds with the attitude that you just yank them out, then you risk doing more harm than good. You might leave part of the root behind that will just grow another weed or two or three. You also risk taking some of your good plants with the bad weeds.

You might hurt your hand or your back, too. Bad weeds can be mighty strong if their root is well developed. Use a little common sense and coax that weed out of there by loosening the soil around it and twisting it out easily.

Pick a time after a rain to pull weeds or else water the weed first to loosen the hard ground. (Kind of like talking to your teenager - you have to pick the most opportune time when their defense is down or it will be nearly impossible to get across your message.) Yes, a good tip is to loosen the hard ground.

Check out the video below.

How to Pull Weeds

Weeds Just Happen?

Face the music. Don't blame others for the problems you have - those weeds didn't get there all by themselves. Think about your role in inviting them and see if you can make an adjustment to keep more of them away. Did you properly prepare the soil before you planted? Did you mulch with clean material? Did you skip a week of inspecting? Did you rotate your vegetables from last year? Did you properly dispose of your pulled weeds?

If you answered no to any of these questions, take responsibility, correct your mistake and get after those weeds!

The Garden Song

Octopus's Garden

Weeding is Fun!

Stretch your back and legs before you weed. Put on a good pair of gloves. Then enjoy some garden exercise.The adrenaline from working at pulling weeds can take away the stresses of your day if you let it.

You can also exercise your spirit in the garden. You can offer up good vibes or prayers with every move. Toss out a good thought with every pull or belt out a good song while you work. If you need inspiration check out the videos in this hub.

Invite a friend or family member to join you in the garden. Inch by inch, row by row, you can talk while you weed and laugh and make good memories.

Nothing is more inspirational than a pile of pulled weeds! You can look at the pile and see all the stress that is gone from your life, all the worries figured out, all the problems solved! Victory is yours! But you've got to let them go -

Garden Party

What To Do With A Pile of Weeds

When you're done weeding and have a bucket (or wheelbarrow) full of the rascals, move them to a sunny spot where they can dry out and die -- if you know how to, you can compost.

But if you have weeds that have gone to seed or have perennial roots, put them out with the trash, or you'll be planting more rascals.

Bag them up and set them out with the trash. Let them go.


Taking good care of a garden not only provides you with healthful food and good exercise, but also gives you some lessons about life. We all need those reminders when we have problems to think through.

Pulling weeds can help you think through those problems, can help you think of good things to do, and can help you make memories to share.

Now, get out there and get after those weeds!

Know Your Weeds

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for the tips and pep talk on getting rid of weeds.

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 4 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you, Zsuzsy! The pleasure of fresh air and sun playing in the dirt, I think, is the simplest way to feel close to Mother Nature and her blessings. Hope your veggies grow well to your health of body and your flowers to the health of your soul...

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 4 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Ahhhh weeds. Curse the darn things. Just when I think I'm ahead of the pulling, plucking and pulling and plucking game it's time to start at the beginning again...

      Guess where I was for the past two days? Guess where I'm going to be for the next two? and the two after that and the next two.... yup weeding the veggy garden then the flower beds (even though they're mulched) then the veggy garden again. The never ending story of a gardener. On the other hand life is grand... I can be outside in the fresh air and sun playing in dirt. What can be better than that.

      Super hub, thanks for sharing. Voted up, useful and interesting.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 4 years ago from Michigan

      How true, billybuc, gardening teaches patience with the unending job of staying ahead of the weeds.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I find weeds are a great outlet for anger and frustration. LOL

      And we do compost and we are kept quite busy in our garden as the spring rains keep a new crop of weeds always on hand.

      Good suggestions my friend.