How to Use a Hand Weeder

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Things You'll Need

  • Hand weeder

  • Garden gloves

  • Weeding stool (optional)

  • Kneeling pad (optional)

  • Cushioned garden knee pads (optional)

  • Weed bucket


Very shallow weeds may pop out easily using the hand weeder. For weeds with thicker roots that do not pull up easily with the hand weeder on a first try, work the weeder all the way around the circumference of the weed to loosen its hold in the soil. Dig down deep with the forked prongs.


Do not try to weed large patches from a standing position. It will strain your back. Use your knees or sit down on the garden stool.

Time to catch up on the weeding?

Weeding is never a fun task, but weeds will quickly take over a garden or yard if they are not removed. Chemicals work for many weeding tasks, but it is much safer for the environment, children and animals to remove them by hand. A hand weeder is a very basic gardening tool and simple to use, but there are tricks to make the task of weeding with a hand weeder easier.

Step 1

Soak the soil to soften it the night before you begin weeding. Softer soil will make the weeding job easier, and the weeds will pull out of the soil without breaking the top of the weed from the root below the soil.

Step 2

Put on gardening gloves to protect your hands. They will also protect your fingernails and hands from drying out or getting stained.

Step 3

Use a kneeling pad or cushioned garden knee pads to make the weeding easier on your knees if you kneel to weed, or use a small garden stool that is close to the ground.

Step 4

Poke the forked prong of the hand weeder into the soil near the root of the weed to loosen the soil around the root of the weed. Go far enough down to get around as much of the root as possible.

Step 5

Use your other hand to hold the top of the weed and push the hand weeder handle down like a lever toward the soil to pull the root of the weed up.

Step 6

Pull the weed up with one hand at the same time you are pushing the handle of the weeder down toward the ground like a lever with the other.

Step 7

Check in the hole for any more pieces of leftover root, and dig them out with the weeder if you find any.

Step 8

Put all the pulled weeds in a bucket to dispose of away from the garden. It is also easier to move from area to area while you are weeding if you have a bucket to throw the pulled weeds in.

references & resources

Laurie Meekis

Laurie Darroch-Meekis is an award-winning freelance writer. She has written over 1,000 published pieces online and off since 2005 and has many more in progress. She holds a bachelor's degree and was educated in the United States and abroad.