After cutting woody brush, I am left with a lot of stems and their
roots. IS there a hand held tool which will pull out the roots? There
is something called a weed wrench, but very expensive . Home Depot has
an item called the Garden Weasel CLaw Gold Cultivator, which doesn't
actually pull anything, but loosens the soil. I have plenty of time on
my hand til the fall when I plan to reseed, and I don't mind the sweat
I assume leaving the stems there , cutting them to ground level,and
using a lawnmower to mow the grass is a bad idea.
I reckon if the plant is mowed, the roots and stuff will eventually
decompose. Sounds like a problem solved, unless you want to turn the area
over in the next few months. If the stems are thin enough to mow over, how
come they just don't get dug out with a spade or something?
I swear by this tool - not a puller, but good at general destruction:
It's indestructable, apparently. I've had mine for about 15 years. It's not
sharp, and doesn't need to be. Instead, it works because of its shape and
weight, as well as the serrated edge, which is great for sawing through
underground roots. The web page says the short version is discontinued. No
problem. Get the long one.
Try a mattock or pick axe to dig up the roots and stumps. That's what
my husband uses. If you leave the stems and roots, the plants will
probably sprout again or spread underground to another area where
they'll sprout. We've cleared a large area in our back yard that was
full of vines, weeds, brush, etc. As we clear another spot, my husband
digs up the stumps and roots and then we put topsoil and sod down.
Two other simple tools: A very small camping hatchet is helpful, but get a
good one. Carbon steel is a little softer than stainless, which means it'll
dull more easily when you use it to hack at thick roots underground and you
end up hitting some stones. But, it'll also be easier to sharpen than
stainless. Keep a fine file handy with the garden tools for quick touch-ups
to the blade. And, if you want it to be scary-sharp, a sharpening stone is
the right thing. Check a good sporting goods store for both of these things.
A folding pruning saw is even better for removing underground roots. The
blade is so thin that it'll pass right through the soil as you cut through
thick roots. It doesn't sound like it'll work underground, but it does.
Might not be the healthiest thing for a blade to pass through soil with
rocks in it, but so what? You can get a cheap one for about $10.00.
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