Weeds are nobody’s favorite part of gardening. They are invasive, prolific, and often ugly. (And they seem to grow faster and heartier than the flowers and shrubs we actually plant.) When faced with a yard full of weeds, it may seem like a never-ending and daunting task to remove them all, but it just takes a little bit of planning and time management. When it comes to pulling weeds, here’s how to create a station so all of your supplies are ready when you are and you can stay on task.
Your supply list will be in alignment with your goals and preferences. If you use weed killer in your yard, most weeds will be dried up or at least droopy by the time it comes to pulling them. Weed killer helps them come out of the ground easier, but you’ll need to take precautions so you’re not inhaling or handling the chemicals directly. Wear gloves and a mask to be on the safe side. Also, make sure that you don’t put any of the surrounding grass clipping in the compost pile, or you’ll be consuming those toxins down the road if used on a vegetable garden.
If you prefer to avoid poisons, you’ll need some sharp tools to get the job done. The basics are basics for a reason—they work. Track down a hand trowel as your first defense against weeds. This small shovel will do a great job of getting to the root of most weeds. For hardier varietals like dandelions, you’ll want to have a dandelion weeder handy, which is specific for the task. Also helpful is a hand rake for leveling out the dirt, or bark once you’ve pulled the weeds. (A layer of bark chips over specific areas can prevent weed growth.) You’ll also need a bucket to put the weeds in, a bucket apron for convenience, clippers, shears, kneeling pad or small seat, and gloves.
The Stationary Station
Your station will actually need a base location along with a portable option so that you always have what you need within easy access. Start by clearing out a corner of the garage or a portion of the backyard shed. You could also use your potting bench and nearby side of the house to hang and organize supplies. Whichever space works for you, designate this area or a subarea specifically for weed pulling supplies. You may also want to include the weed wacker, edger, shovel, hoe, rake, and rototiller in the list of needed supplies in case the area is really overgrown.
Use pegboard for small or large tools above an existing workbench. You could also hang baskets from the pegs. Alternatively, use a large garbage can, barrel, or other tall container that can contain your shovels, rakes, hoes, etc. In the baskets or other plastic tubs, keep your gloves, masks, and knee pads. Place chemicals in their own area away from extreme heat, moisture, and cold temperatures.
The Portable Station
With your supplies organized at your stationary station, it’s time to prepare the mobile version. Bucket aprons are a great way to make your tools portable while keeping them organized and close to you. These pocketed organizers are made to fit over any standard 5-gallon bucket. Simply attach the bucket apron to the bucket and organize your supplies in the pockets. Small hand tools fit perfectly in the pockets. Larger items, like your trimming shears, can go inside the bucket. If you have electric tools such as a trimmer, you can also place your extension cord inside the bucket.
If you are only pulling weeds and don’t need the extra gear, you can use your bucket for dual purposes: organizing your supplies while using the inside of the bucket to hold the weeds you pull. When it’s time to empty the bucket, simply grab the contents with your hands or remove the apron and dump it out. When you’re packing around extra supplies, bring an extra bucket for the weeds.
When you’re done pulling weeds, return all supplies to your conveniently organized storage area so they are exactly where you need them the next time around!