Home & Outdoors

Get rid of dandelions and weeds with this one simple tool

One fun-to-use tool is all you need to keep your garden looking great.

CobraHead weeder Credit: CobraHead

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There is nothing more frustrating than taking the time to pull weeds in your yard, only to see you didn't get out the whole root. Even though you got most of it, those same weeds will grow back up in no time. Most gardeners have used three-prong claws and forked-end hand tools to get the job done, but they rarely removed the entire root in one try.

This tool makes weeding less of a chore. Eleven years ago, I discovered a solution and haven’t looked back. The CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator Garden Hand Tool (available at Amazon for $29.95) weeder is lightweight, yet effortlessly lifts roots up from compacted and rocky soil. At the end of the curved hook is a pointed tip that, like its namesake, is ready to strike. You can even skip putting on gloves as you head out in search of unwanted invaders since the CobraHead has such a comfortable handle.

Using the CobraHead makes quick work out of what was once a backbreaking chore. For well over a decade, the company's original model that's based on an antique design has been my go-to for weeding. Even after more than a decade, the tempered steel blade still works like new and the recycled composite handle is in great shape.

How it works

Short & Long Handle CobraHeads
Credit: CobraHead

The original CobraHead hand tool, left, is easy to use for planting seed furrows, weeding beds, and cultivating compost into the soil. The long handled ones come in three sizes and are ideal for perennial and vegetable beds.

Lean over, strike the CobraHead just behind the weed, and pull up. Done. That’s it. It works in clay and rocky soil and even between stones in walkways and patios.

With wide weeds like Broadleaf plantain, you may need to whack them on at least both sides for it to pop right out. (But keep a few growing in the lawn or garden bed to rub on a bee sting.)

Facing a lawn full of hundreds of dandelions? I sure did when I moved to my house. I used the CobraHead to remove the whole taproot on the largest ones, and as I bent down to remove and toss in the wheelbarrow, I pulled off the emerging seed heads of the ones growing nearby and got to them the next day. I use a dedicated tote bag to toss in the weeds as I go and then place in the trash. (Never add weeds that have gone to seed to your compost pile or you will be adding them back to spread!) Each year, there are fewer and fewer.

Why weeding is important

weeding by hand
Credit: Getty Image / Quils

Weeding by hand it is very timing consuming and you have to get each root out carefully.

It’s said that a weed is just an unwanted plant but it is more complicated than that. Weeds take away space and nutrients from the plants you want to enjoy seeing and eating. If you do not get the entire root of the weed out, it will be back up in a week or two.

The perfect tool for thwarting dandelions

Although many people harvest dandelions to make wine and add to salads, this gardener only welcomes them for the sake of pollinators in the rock garden in April and May. As the first flower to bloom, dandelion nectar is needed for bees, insects, and birds but, once other flowers are out, it’s time to grab the CobraHead and remove them.

Although clover and violets are welcome in the lawn, dandelions are not since they are invasive, perennial weeds with long tap roots. A daily watchful eye and the swift uprooting of a few each day prevents the flowers from going to seed. If you don’t weed, each puffy round seed head can produce 15,000 seeds!

Lawn filled with dandelions
Credit: Getty Images

Start with the largest ones and remove the flowers so they do not go to seed.

A replacement for other garden tools

Not only does the CobraHead make weeding easy, I use it to break up the soil in garden beds and containers, mix in compost with ease, and create furrows for seeds. Once vegetables start growing, just a few easy passes between them with this tool keeps your garden soil aerated and weed-free all season long. Did a lot of small weeds emerge after a few days of rain? Simply turn your wrist and glide it across.

Clearing space in a garden bed to add new plants is so easy by slicing the CobraHead blade through the soil in a sideways motion. No more need for the hoe. If you now use a trowel to get out weeds, you know you have to open up a hole to dig out the entire root. By doing this, you have disturbed more soil, which allows more weeds to get in.

Even better, the product line has expanded to include models with long handles so now there’s no need to stretch, kneel, or bend as much, making the chore even easier than before.

Get the CobraHead Original Weeder & Cultivator Garden Hand Tool on Amazon for $27.95

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