I rarely recommend products on this blog. Of course I do suggest films and music that you might enjoy, and I once extolled the benefits of steam generator irons. I have discussed the comfort of cosy dressing gowns, sheepskin bootees, and the necessity of rain-wear. However, I rarely name a product, and tend to talk about these things in as generic a way as possible.
This post is one exception to that rule. There may be others to come. Who knows?
About a year after moving here, I was fast becoming tired of the large weeds and dandelions that sprouted all over our lawn at the back. It is far from a perfect example of a lawn, but it is all we have, and I want it to look presentable, without being too concerned about perfection. Getting deep-rooted weeds out is notoriously difficult. I didn’t want to use chemical weed-killers on the grass, as Ollie is often outside, and most are supposed not to be used around animals. I tried the tips I got from the blog. Water and vinegar in solution, as well as boiling water directly on the offending plant. This worked well in some areas, less so in others. I usually had to resort to uncomfortable digging with a trowel or fork, involving kneeling or bending, and leaving something of a mess behind too.
I then saw an advert on TV. I was attracted by the presence of a cheeky French Bulldog in the film, so stayed to watch the advertised product. It was a Fiskars Weed Puller. This seemed like a perfect solution. Strong claws grasped the root from either side, and a simple lever motion removed the whole thing, roots and all. The weed is retained in the claw, and a sliding motion of the handle, not unlike a pump-action shotgun, expels the debris into any chosen container. The small hole left behind is just trodden on, and it soon disappears. Best of all, this was done from a normal standing position, requiring very little effort. It was made in Finland, and boasted a 25-year guarantee. Research showed that Fiskars was a company well-known for making a range of strong tools, so I checked out the Amazon page for gardening. It was less than £30, which is not that cheap, but the build quality and guarantee made me decide to go ahead and buy it.
As soon as it arrived, I got started. It was instinctive to use, and ridiculously easy to operate. However, the main thing that impressed me was the fact that it worked. It did what it claimed to do, exactly as it said it would. Not many things give such satisfaction these days, that’s for sure. As long as you get the claws directly over the centre of the weed, it’s just an easy push, then use the lever bar to withdraw the whole plant. I have stony soil here, so occasionally a stone comes up too, but that is easily shaken off, or removed later. You can shift the most stubborn dandelions from a lawn in seconds, and have the satisfaction of seeing the whole root system in the claws after you have pulled it up. No bending, no backache, and you are almost disappointed when you run out of weeds.
Naturally, it is less suitable for borders, areas close to walls or fences, and weeds in gravel. But on grass or rough ground, it works very well indeed. I am adding a link to a You Tube Fiskars video, if you are interested. I have no connection with the company whatsoever, and it is available to buy all over the world, from numerous retailers, as well as online. The new model has a longer telescopic handle, but I have the basic smaller version, which is fine for my height. This is a bit of a crazy-sounding post, I know. But if you find weeding grass a chore, then this will soon become a firm friend, and a great addition to all that other stuff in your garden shed.