Tools for Tackling the Toughest Weeds

Fine Gardening – Issue 207
Barnel 15-inch combination cultivator/hoe
Photo: Fionuala Campion

Two tools in one make this a versatile weed weapon

A tool that I’m constantly turning to is my Barnel 15-inch combination cultivator/hoe. On one side of the forged head is a straight-edge hoe, and on the other side is a cultivator with four tines. This tool is the first thing I reach for when I need to weed, dig, till, rake, or cultivate in a confined space, such as between two plants. The sharp, stainless-steel hoe blade is particularly useful for hacking at the heftiest and most resilient weeds. Perfectly balanced and easy to grip, this cultivator/hoe weighs a little over a pound—not heavy, but with enough weight to put some force behind each swing.  

Fionuala Campion


Price: $20

7-inch EZ Digger from A.M. Leonard
Photo: courtesy of Susan Calhoun

This digger with a curved blade is a multipurpose workhorse

The 7-inch EZ Digger from A.M. Leonard has a hand-forged, sharp iron blade with a comma shape that can pull out the crown of the most stubborn weeds. It’s great at digging holes for planting as well, and the fine point of the blade is handy for making shallow soil impressions for sowing seeds. I also use it to roughen up the sides of plants in nursery pots and push off their containers; if a plant is rootbound, using this tool to whack a hole in the bottom of the pot will often free the plant. I spray-paint the handle of mine a bright color to keep it from getting lost in the garden.  

Susan Calhoun 


Price: $21

Garden Weasel multiuse transplanter
Photo: Marti Neely

A trowel with a twist that slices through the thickest roots

I use my Garden Weasel multiuse transplanter for everything: light cultivating, weeding, transplanting thick ground covers, and planting annuals. Weeds don’t stand a chance when I have this little helper in my hand; it can cut through the toughest underground fibers. This 13-inch-long tool has four blades that are welded in the center at right angles. Two of the blades are slightly curved inward and meant for cutting through soil; the other two blades are notched and useful for sawing through more-compacted soil, roots, and other tough materials. Measurements in both inches and centimeters are clearly marked into the blades, making it a perfect tool for bulb planting or any other task where precision on a small scale is called for. This tool will make the perfect complement to your standard garden trowel.  

Marti Neely 


Price: $12

View Comments


Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest