Bob Vila Radio: Quick Tips for Pulling Weeds

Pulling weeds can feel like a thankless chore. It always seems that once you finish yanking them out a new batch sprouts soon after. Find out the best practices to ease the pain of this backbreaking work.

By Bob Vila | Updated Apr 17, 2019 12:30 PM

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Rampant weeds steal water and valuable nutrients from the soil—and they crop up daily. Follow these tips to make removing them as painless as possible.

Weeding Tips


Listen to BOB VILA ON PULLING WEEDS or read below:

First, aim to pull weeds out when they’re small and their roots are weaker. If you do a quick walk-through of your garden every other day, it will take only a few minutes to pull up the newest weeds.

But don’t try to rush the task: Grab each weed individually at its base, and then pull slowly and steadily to ease the roots from the soil so that you don’t leave any part behind to grow back.

If you pull weeds soon after watering your plants, when the soil is moist, the whole weed is more likely to come out by the roots.

Some stubborn weeds, such as Canadian thistle, send deep roots and feature prickly stems, making them difficult to pull. When dealing with these, reach for a sharp pair of nippers or long-handled shears and cut. The roots will still remain, but removing the entire growing part of the plant means that it can no longer receive the sunshine it needs to survive.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!