Getting rid of annual and perennial weeds keeps your garden beds tidy and your plants healthy. Weeds inhibit plant growth and compete for moisture, nutrients and light. Once established, weeds become hard to remove without damaging your plants.
Top tips to make weeding easier
If you can kneel down to weed at ground level, use a padded kneeler. Some kneelers have handles to help you get up, and can also be upturned to sit on.
- If you are more comfortable on a chair, or work from a wheelchair, choose a lightweight long handled fork, hoe or trowel to weed at ground level. A shorter hoe, a push-pull type hoe, or one from the multi-change ranges where you can choose the handle length, might also work for you.
- When you garden sitting down, it will help if you can adapt your garden to avoid weeding at ground level and to keep the amount of weeding needed to a minimum. Here are some ideas to help:
- Narrow ‘no-dig’ beds. Simply remove perennial weeds and cover the bed with a thick mulch such as newspapers and then a thick top layer of manure or compost. Worms and micro-organisms will help break the soil down and the mulch will help stop weeds growing.
- Lay down a weed-suppressing membrane in permanent beds and plant through slits cut in the material. Cover the membrane with a mulch such as bark or gravel.
Consider using raised beds and containers. These bring the soil off the ground and make any weeding that you have to do much easier. Find out more about raised beds
- Plan your garden beds so that you can reach them from the path. If they are accessible from all sides, and narrow, the weeds will be easier to reach from your chair.
- 'Warm up' before you begin, and take plenty of breaks. Don’t struggle and strain to pull out deep-rooted weeds by hand.
- Weeding with a trowel at ground level can put a strain on your knees, back, wrists and hands. Don’t do too much at once and take breaks.
- Wear suitable shoes and clothing to protect your feet and lower legs when using tools at ground level.
Equipment and tools
Try out trowels for comfortable weight and grip. If you have a weak grip, try a trowel or fork with a contoured, or larger diameter handle. Depending on the height of your beds, you may need a hand trowel
and one with a longer handle.
- A grabber will help you pick up weeds which you can put into a bucket for transfer to the compost heap.
- An arm support can be fitted to a trowel to support your wrist and can help if you only use one hand.
- The Swoe cultivator has an angled blade that slides through the soil to cut weeds with an easy action.
- A push-pull weeder can be more effective than a hoe, especially if you use a wheelchair or can only use one arm.
- A long-handled weedkiller applicator can be used to kill stubborn weeds without the need to bend.