The Importance of Pulling Weeds in Your Garden

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Pulling weeds is one of those endless chores that gardeners have to deal with.  If you are wondering how to remove weeds the proper way, you have come to the right place.  Today I’ll be going over how to properly remove weeds, the benefits of pulling weeds, how often weeds should be pulled, how to prevent weeds from growing, tools needed for pulling weeds, and tips to make pulling weeds easier.  Are you ready to start pulling weeds out of your garden?  Let’s begin.

How to Properly Remove Weeds

It is easy to simply grab a weed and yank it out of the ground, but that is not the proper way to remove weeds.  If you remove weeds properly, you should be able to get the whole weed out, including the roots.  Here is how to properly remove weeds.

Know the Weeds You Want to Pull

There are many weeds that can be eaten or used as medicine.  Decide if you want to save those weeds or pull them.  Keep in mind that even if they are beneficial, they can still steal sunlight and water from your garden.

Loosen the Soil

Using your garden tools, loosen the soil so that you can easily pull the weed.  I’ll go over some helpful tools later in this article.

Grab the Weed as Close to the Ground as Possible

The next step is to grab the weed as close to the ground as possible.  That way, you’ll remove the roots and not just the leaves.

Pull the Weed Up

The last step is to pull the weed up.  If you did it properly, you should have the entire plant out of the ground.  It’s Ok if there is a little bit of roots still in the ground.  Try to remove those roots with a gardening tool.

Benefits of Pulling Weeds

Are there any benefits to pulling weeds?  Yes, there are.  Your hard work at pulling weeds helps keep your plants healthy and thriving.  Here are some reasons why weeds should definitely be removed from your garden:

Weeds Steal Nutrients from the Soil

Even if your garden is perfect for growing plants and has all the nutrients your plants could need, weeds will steal those nutrients and cause your plants to become weak.  After all, there is only so much nutrients in the soil.  The more plants there are, they have to start sharing the nutrients.  And that means that some plants may not get as many nutrients.  For the sake of your poor plants, pull the weeds out of your garden.  Your hard work will be worth it when you harvest your bountiful crop.

Weeds Block Sunlight

Another thing that weeds do is block sunlight.  Of course, some weeds are small and only get a few inches tall.  But other weeds, such as thistles can get tall and block your plants from sunlight.  This results in weak plants and growing weeds.

Weeds Steal Water

As though blocking sunlight and stealing nutrients isn’t enough, weeds also steal water from your garden.  While you may assume there is enough water for everybody, there really isn’t.  Weeds will steal some of the water from your plants and leave your plants dry and thirsty.  In addition to leaving your plants thirsty, weeds will also grow more when they are receiving lots of water.  This results in tall weeds that block your plants from receiving sunlight.  With that being said, you should just pull the weeds.  That way, there is enough nutrients, sunlight, and water for your plants.

Weeds Hide Pests and Diseases

Imagine a garden only full of the plants you planted.  You would be able to easily spot diseases and pests that are damaging your plants.  But when you have a garden full of weeds, you do not notice diseases and pests because the weeds block your plants.

You Can Easily Gather Your Harvest When There Aren’t Weeds

When there aren’t any weeds in the way, you can easily find all the fruits and vegetables that you planted.  But when weeds cover your garden, you may accidentally leave of some vegetables because you couldn’t see them.

It Can Be Therapeutic to Pull Weeds

Caring for plants can be therapeutic.  So can pulling weeds.  It gives you time to be alone and work to make the garden look beautiful again.  You may find it enjoyable to listen to music while you work.  Or maybe you enjoy listening to the birds.  Whatever you choose to do, pulling weeds can be an enjoyable time.

How to Prevent Weeds from Growing

Once you have successfully pulled all the weeds in your garden, you’ll need to start preventing weeds from appearing.  Otherwise, you’ll have to constantly pull weeds.  Here are some tips for preventing weeds from growing.

Plant Plants Close Together

Plant your vegetables close together.  That way, the plants will block the weeds from receiving sunlight and room to grow.

Use Chemicals

Unless you want to do things naturally, chemicals can be effective at preventing weeds from growing.  Pre-emergent herbicides stop weed seeds from germinating, while other chemical options will kill the weeds when they grow.

Apply Lots of Mulch

The more mulch there is, the less weeds you will have.  Weeds do not grow well in mulch.  Also, mulch helps keep your plants moist and growing strong.

Try Not to Add New Plants to Your Garden

If possible, try to avoid bringing new plants to the garden.  They can bring weeds along with them, and cause your garden to become loaded with weeds.  Once you have all your plants planted, avoid bringing new ones in.

Keep Weeding

As boring as it may be, pulling weeds is the most effective way to keep weeds out of your garden.  Try to pull weeds as soon as you spot them.  If you allow them to get bigger, they will be harder to pull and they will start stealing sunlight, nutrients, and water.

Tools Needed to Pull Weeds

  • Hoe – A hoe is great to use when the ground is dry or when the weeds are small.
  • Knife – A knife can be used to cut the roots, and therefore cause the weeds to die.  You can also use a knife for helping you dig into the soil.  (The blade of a knife is smaller than other tools, and therefore does not disturb the soil as much.)
  • Screwdriver – A screwdriver is great to have if there are weeds growing in between cement cracks.  Stick the screwdriver into the ground, and pry the weeds up.
  • Trowel – A trowel is your best friend when it comes to gardening.
  • Garden Fork – You don’t have to use a large garden fork; you can even use one that fits in your pocket.
  • Weeder – True to its name, a weeder is used to effectively remove weeds.  It as a long handle, and has a blade similar to a knife.

Tips for Making Pulling Weeds Easier

Weed After It Rains

If you try to pull weeds when the ground is dry, you are going to have a hard time getting the weeds out of the ground.  But if you wait till right after it rains, the ground will be loose and easy to work with.  Be careful though that you don’t make the ground compact when you walk on it.  To distribute your weight, place a board down on the ground so that the soil doesn’t become compact when you walk on it.  No rain in the forecast?  Weed the garden right after you water it.

Pull the Roots, Not Just the Leaves

It is easy to grab the leaves and break them off the roots.  While this method is effective at getting the weeds out of sight, it does not actually fix the problem.  The roots will continue to grow until you pull them out as well.  Make sure you grab the weed as close to the ground as possible.  Pull the weed up, and the whole plant should come out.  There is always a chance that the roots could break while you are pulling it, but if you remove it carefully that shouldn’t happen.

Cut off Their Heads

If you can’t seem to get the weed out of the ground, your next step is to cut off the heads.  That way, no more seeds will grow and the weed should also eventually die.

Keep Gardening Tools Near the Garden

How many times have you noticed weeds in your garden, went to get your gardening tools, and then got distracted and did not get to weed the garden?  It can be helpful to keep gardening tools near the garden so that you don’t have to run and fetch them each time you see a weed.

Wear Gloves

You may already know to wear gloves, but gloves can be helpful.  First, they help you get a good grip on the gardening tools, and prevent you from getting blisters.  Second, they prevent you from getting poked by weeds.

Final Thoughts

Pulling weeds can be a hard chore to do.  It takes time, takes patience, and can be difficult to do.  But as hard as it may be, weeding is important to do.  By doing it, you are giving your plants a chance to grow and thrive.  To make pulling weeds easier, make sure you have the right tools and are doing it at the right time (do it right after a rain while the round is moist).  Happy gardening!

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