Weeding is a tough job to do. It will consume most of your time without the use of appropriate weeding tools. It feels like you’re working so long yet you only clear a patch of weeds, so frustrating. However, with the proper tools on hand, time will be efficiently utilized at its maximum level of output.
Weeds are those plants that are considered undesirable or unwanted in an area – in farm fields, gardens, lawns, and others. These are the plants that are growing in a wrong place which reproduced rapidly and invasively outside its original habitat. These could be grasses, wildflowers, bushes or young growing trees which mostly tend to have low or no economic value.
Weeding plays an important role in maintaining vegetable and flower gardens productive and aesthetically attractive. For weeds compete for space, water, and nutrients from plants. Furthermore, they may also harbor pests and diseases which will damage plants if not regularly maintained. Thus, it is more practical and effective when weed control is being done during the vegetative stage of the weeds.
There are many ways of controlling weeds. We can control these via different methods, such as traditional, mechanical, chemical, biological, and preventive. Either which method you prefer, weeding tools are essential to have in order to be effective and efficient in maintaining gardens free from unwanted plants. Common methods are:
This method uses handheld weeding tools in controlling weeds. We can even also use our bare hands as part of the traditional method, of course with gardening gloves.
It is usually done for weeds which are growing in between plants. This minimizes soil disturbance and damage in the rooting system of the plants. However, the negative side of it is that some roots, specifically for those grasses that reproduce via roots, may not be totally removed. Still, this practice is safer for newly planted or transplanted plants.
Basic handheld weeding tools:
Guna is a Filipino local name for hand trowel-like weeding tool. It is primarily used for grubbing top or shallow rooted grasses around the plants like purslane, goosegrass, or makahiya (Mimosa pudica). Moreover, it helps in loosening the soil without further damaging and disturbing the plants’ roots.
This handy tool is also used during garden or plot clearing. This may be small, yet very effective for minimal and handy weeding job.
This tool is commonly used for harvesting or reaping grain crops such as cereals and rice. It is also used in cutting forages for livestock consumption, minimal for cutting of grasses.
In the Philippines, we have a sickle-like tool specifically utilized for weeding which is locally known as “sanggot”. It is more convenient and efficient to use in weeding medium-sized areas. Say 500 square meters.
Scythes come into different sizes and forms. There are scythes that handles and blades are as tall as a man and as long as man’s arm, respectively. There are also sizes that are light and handy.
The big scythe is more effective and efficient in clearing large areas compared to the handy one. Say hectare of grass fields. As to small scythe, it may require an angled wooden stick to hold the weeds for faster and convenient weeding. Still, it is a must-have.
Generally, hoe is used to remove weeds, clear plots, till and shape soil, and harvest root crops. Removing weeds with a hoe include cutting and chopping foliage while agitating the soil. It helps in clearing plots from crop residues and old roots. Furthermore, it is good in making and shaping furrows, hills, and shallow trenches for planting. As well as, it is very helpful in harvesting root crops such as potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Mulching is done to suppress the germination and the growth of the weeds. It deprives the unwanted plants of sunlight which is essential for photosynthesis. It is usually used in vegetable farming.
Traditionally, mulching uses raw materials that soon will be decomposed and turned into a nutrient source. Namely, rice straws, leaves, wood chips, bark nuggets and many more. The downside of it, aside from being laborious, some raw materials may contain weed seeds. As soon as the organic materials are decomposed, seeds are starting to germinate. You need to consider replenishment of the mulch.
However, plastic mulch is more often used today. Since, it is economical, more effective and efficient while giving the same benefits. Except from being the a nutrient source, of course.
This weed control method involves the use of machine or equipment in managing undesirable plants. These are weeding tools that are powered by gas or electric motor.
Grass cutters come in many types and sizes with intended usage. Commonly used cutters are edge trimmers, brush cutters, lawn mowers, and sod cutters. Even they vary mechanically they all serve with the same purpose: to trim and cut grasses, including those frustrating weeds.
Edge trimmer is mainly used to trim the edges of the lawn and areas which other grass cutters cannot reach. Most of this type is powered by a gas motor. It features a spindle that spins the cut-nylons to trim grasses off. On the other hand, some trimmers are equipped with cutting blades.
These are heavy-duty trimmers that are specialized to cut high grasses, thick brushwoods, and small trees. Gardeners commonly called these as brush cutters.
Most homeowners have lawnmowers at home. In order to keep lawns trimmed and free from annoying perennial weeds. Mowers could be rotary or reel mowers, depending on how large the area and the necessity. Most of these are designed to have levers which are very useful in cutting the grasses at the desired lengths. Since levers permit us to raise or lower the mowing blades.
If you plan to change your lawn into garden plots or new lawn, sod cutter is suited for that job. For it contains sharp spinning blades that will surely cut the grasses from leaves down to the roots. Then, lift the large strips off so that removing will be easy. However, this cutter is not typical and practical for small gardeners or homeowners to own for it is not used on regular basis. Still, it is good to acquire for those who have large gardens.
Another way of controlling weeds is through the use of chemical-based weeding tools. It involves the application of herbicides either by foliar spraying, basal bark spraying or cut stump. Depending on the type of weeds.
Practically speaking, herbicides are more effective and efficient to use on a larger scale. Since weeding cost for laborers will significantly be reduced. However, during application, it is very important to take extra precautions for you will be using a chemical. A chemical that could harm your body if safety guidelines and procedures are taken for granted.
In farming, herbicides are mostly used by conventional farmers. Since, for naturalists’ and organic persons’ view, these chemicals are found to be non-friendly or detrimental to the environment for the following reasons: can destroy the microbial activity in the soil, can kill soil microorganisms, leave chemical residues into the soil, water and produce, and many others. However, for those who are into Good Agriculture Practice (GAP) practitioners, using of herbicides are acceptable. As long as, you follow the product’s recommended dosage, application, and procedure.
Regardless of the argument, still, these products are very useful and effective in the way they were designed and formulated for.
With the weeding tools being presented to you, you can now choose the right tools that are suitable according to your needs for easy gardening maintenance.
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