My Favorite Weeding Tool

Cape Cod Weeders

As you can see, I should probably be a bit more fastidious with my garden tools. The handle of the older weeder on the left — I think I’ve been using it at least 15 years — is caked with dirt. Even the new one could probably use a good wipe down. But it seems pointless to me, because I use them almost every day. As soon as I got them clean, they’d be dirty again.

I have tried every weeding tool out there, and for fast, efficient weed extraction, this is my tool of choice. The point of the blade slices into the soil easily. You hook the interior of the blade beneath the leaves right around the root, and the weed pops out — roots and all. Of course, don’t try this in rock-hard dirt.

In my good, loose garden soil, I quickly develop a rhythm with my Cape Cod Weeder. Angle the point into the soil, twist my wrist to catch the roots, pull toward me, and out pops the weed. If the soil is moist but not wet, the dirt shakes easily off the roots. The weed goes into the compost bucket, and I move smoothly down the bed — slice, twist, pull, plop.

When I’m done, the weeded area is clean — no raggedy broken off roots left lying in wait to resprout, no missed weeds, just tidy soil waiting for transplants or seeds or mulch — whatever I’m planning for that spot.

We also routinely use the weeders to pull out soil staples — the metal wires used to tack down garden fabrics. It’s easy to slide the tip under the metal. The staple lifts out of the ground with minimum effort.

You may notice that our weeders are for right-handed folks. But lefties, fear not — you can easily find ones designed for people of your handedness.

One more point. See the yellow stripes on the weeder on the left? We have misplaced the weeders more than once in a bed. Sometimes they’ve been covered by leaves and rained on before we found them again. The bright yellow paint helps me keep track of them.

That reminds me — I really need to paint the new one.

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