Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
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Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
For every gardener out there who swears s/he loves to weed, there are probably a dozen or more who curse pulling weeds. Understanding how a particular weed grows can help use choose the right methods and tools for minimizing the work required to keep weeds at bay.
First, it’s important to understand what kind of weed you’re facing, it’s basic growth characteristics, and when it is most vulnerable to your attack.
Many weeds are self-seeding annuals. These plants pop up everywhere, often several times in a season. They germinate from seed that have fallen from a parent plant in your garden – or a garden a few blocks away. They may range from easy-to-pull rosettes of shotweed and chickweed to highly toxic Giant Hogweed to deeply tap rooted dandelion.
Some weeds are perennial nightmares. Dandelion and Hogweed may blow in and germinate in your garden in year one, but given the chance, it will replicate itself at the root level as well. Weeds that have the ability to over-winter and sprout anew from their roots provide another set of challenges. These may range from viney English Ivy, to tap rooted dockweed, to underground travelling Archangel and Bindweed, to woody suckers and seedlings from nearby trees, to blackberry brambles and more.
To improve your odds fighting back these invaders, first classify what kind of weed you’re facing:
1. Does the weed have delicate, easy-to-pull shallow roots?
2. Does the weed have one (or a few) long, deep, hard to pull tap roots?
3. Does the weed have long, travelling roots or stems from which roots seem to emerge intermittently?
4. Does your root look like a baby tree?
Group 1 Plants: (including but not limited to chickweed and shotweed): Using a hand tool like the Big Grip Multi-Purpose Planting Tool dig near the base of the plant to lift and remove the entire plant from the soil.
Group 2 Plants: (including but not limited to dandelion and Dockweed): Start by using a Garden Fork like the D-handle Garden fork. Insert the fork into several points in the soil around the taprooted plant to loosen the ground around the deep taproot. Then, using a hand tool like the Big Grip Multi-Purpose Planting Tool, carefully continue to loosen the long, deep root that grows vertically downward. It is critical the entire taproot is removed. If you break it while pulling, you may stimulate the taproot to divide. The result: you get a stronger-rooted or multiple new plants sprouting up where before you had only one plant.
Group 3 Plants: (including plants like archangel, morning glory and ivy): Again grab your Garden Fork and use it to loose the soil in the area where the plant is growing. Then, using your Big Grip Multi-Purpose Planting Tool, carefully continue to loosen the long, deep roots that developed from under-ground roots or above-ground stems that (mostly) travel horizontally along the soil horizons. Follow and dig out the parallel-growing stems, but also be sure to check below the top of the soil; there may be several layers of roots to remove. With these plants, leaving just a bit of root behind may be enough to create lots of new growth following all your hard work.
Note: if you are removing ivy growing up a tree, begin by cutting the aboveground growth at the base of the tree. Allow the material growing up the tree to die before removing it by hand; tearing it off while the ivy is still alive may damage your tree.
Group 4 Plants: Finally, if your plant looks like a small tree or has a woody base where it enters the soil, first try to determine if it is a travelling sucker from a nearby tree or shrub. Plants like Lilac, Cherry trees and many others will send out suckering travelers to create groves of themselves. If this is the case, use your digging tools to expose the rooting system of the unwanted tree. Then, cut the plant out – roots and all -- as close to the parent tree as possible, removing all of the unwanted parts. If your tree-like weed does not appear to originate from a nearby parent, likely it is a gift planted by a neighborhood squirrel. Dig downward, loosening the soil and remove the entire seedling. Odds are, you’ll find a little hazelnut or acorn shell somewhere along the root!
Regardless of which group your weeds fall into, resist the urge to simply scratch the top growth off the plant and hope for the best. If you do this, you may end up stimulating new growth, multiplying your work next time. Removing the roots is imperative! And, always remove the pulled weed material out of your garden beds completely. Many weeds have the ability to re-root themselves if you pull them and leave them laying about on your garden soil.
Timing your work is another key to making your job easier. If you pull weeds before they set seed, the plants won’t have a chance to spread more babies all over your garden. If you pull weeds the day after a good rain, working the soil should be much easier, and you’ll be less likely to leave behind broken taproots, which perpetuate your weed patches.
Finally, consider how much time you have to work on weeding. Be sure to have the right hand tools on hand as well as a Eco bin™ Composter as a collection container so you’re able to clear your beds as you go. And, have a supply of composted mulch or arborist chips on hand. If you take the time to spread a thick layer of mulch or chips over the area you just finished weeding, you will be armoring your garden against another influx of weedy invaders while making your future gardening life a lot easier.