Plants are wonderful, but occasionally we encounter one which is unwanted or is invasive. These plants often seem to be practically impossible to eradicate without chemicals or special tools. Having the right weed removal tool can speed and ease the task. There are many tools for removing weeds, with some more useful than others on a particular plant. Let's take a look at how to get rid of invasive plants and the tools that will get the job done.
How to Get Rid of Invasive Plants
Yard management includes keeping weeds and invasive flora out of the garden beds and lawn. This can be tricky on some plants due to underground stolons, deep taproots, and the ability to spring back from even a tiny bit of plant material.
Natural invasive plant control methods include hand pulling or digging up the offensive specimen. Mechanical removal is often the simplest and doesn't require a permit, special training, or chemicals. But it does require the right tool for the job.
Simple Digging Tools for Removing Weeds
There is always the right tool for the right job, and this is no exception in gardening. For instance, if you want to remove Lonicera, you need a honeysuckle removal tool. If the plant is young, you can hand pull and then dig to the root and cut it out with a root saw. A large established plant will need vigorous and consistent pruning. New growth will appear, but if it is kept back, eventually the plant can't harvest solar energy and will die. For most plants, digging tools are sufficient. A good, sharp shovel or spade will make digging roots out easier. A garden fork is another useful tool for removing the roots of persistent plants. A dandelion weeder gets to deep roots as does a hori hori.
Heavy Duty Weeding Tools
There are some specialized tools for removing weeds and unwanted plants. A digging bar is a simple tool that will give maximum leverage for removing larger roots. Weed pullers on handles with claws allow you to pull weeds without stooping. One brand, the Extractigator is sturdy and easy to use. A more expensive but heavy duty tool is the Uprooter. This large tool is often used in land management to remove small trees and stubborn invasive vines. The Pullerbear is a solid steel tool that clamps around the base of a plant. With proper exertion, it will pull the entire plant out of the soil. A pickaxe is a classic garden tool that will delve into soil and chop out invasive weeds.
How to Get Rid of Invasive Weeds with Bladed Tools
Some plants will die if just cut back. In these cases, machetes, scythes, sickles, hatchets, axes, and sling blades come to work. Persistent removal of plant material prevents it from photosynthesis, which will starve the roots of carbohydrates.
Once the plant is cut back, it may be necessary to treat exposed plant material with an herbicide formulated to work on that plant. In order to avoid using chemicals, the site can be solarized. Cover the area in black plastic and wait for a few months. When the base or stump is dead, come back in with a heavy duty tool to pull out the roots.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.