#445 Pulling a weed and getting all the roots with it

Gardening ain’t for sissies.

Nope, if you’re getting down with the kneel down you know planting flowers, growing herbs, and trimming hedges is tough business, baby. Sun’s beating wavy rays, dirt’s clumping in your eyes, and worms squiggle in all directions as you attempt to plant petunias.

Those weeds are the worst of all.

Sharp stems and jagged leaves spread in all directions they slowly smear across the garden — devouring pristine patches of grass and gobbling up innocent tulips.

That’s why it’s a great feeling when you pull a weed and get all the roots with it.

First you eye it slowly and grab as close to the base as possible. Next you gently yank and wiggle it a little bit to lower its defenses and loosen it up. Then it’s time for the big moment where you quickly pull it straight up and outta the dirt.

Seeing a long trail of dirty roots hanging below that weed you just pulled out of the garden?

Say it with me now.


Photos from: here and here

45 thoughts on “#445 Pulling a weed and getting all the roots with it

  1. So true: not for sissies! My aunt is a total gardening goddess and she knows all the great tricks of the trade. Me, I’m just insanely satisfied at being able to get roots all in one awesome yank. I bet that guy in the last pic was so proud of his root extraction … I know I would be.

  2. Of all the Awesome things I’ve read here so far… this is by far the most awesome!! I garden with my mom and I always get SOOOO excited when I get all the roots in one clump. If I think it might be breaking I dig a little deeper and wiggle a little more. Nothing satisfies like a huge clump of dirt and roots hanging off the bottom of a weed!! I seriously just called my mom to tell her about this! :)

  3. I must admit I’m not a big fan of gardening, I seem to kill any plat I come in contact with. But this feeling, is really very AWESOME :D

  4. There’s a method to this: you grab right on top of the dirt, give it a slight pull, wiggle and then pull slowly again.

    My favorite is when you’ve gotten traction and suddenly you have a line of roots at least 12 inches long that gave up the ghost.

    Highly satisfying!

  5. Agree with Laura – not for sissies! Especially if, like me, you have a personal ban on pesticides. Then it’s you against nature, and friend, nature always wins. So when you get that one small victory – that one stupid dandelion to come out with the whole 2 foot long tap root intact, you celebrate. Because that’s one weed you won’t have to pull up again in 2 weeks when it grows back. Yay!

  6. I couldn’t agree more. I just rescued my flower bed from a gang of evil weeds. Seeing those roots come out of the soil made me feel like I was conquering the world. Or at least my small piece of it.

  7. Ahhh! Pulling weeds is so therapeutic. I put on some gloves after a rain and most of the roots will slip right out. Nothing like a paper bag full of weeds for my effort. AWESOME!

  8. What an AWESOME post. Gardening is tough business. I had this fantasy of being this awesome gardener before we bought a house – now I wish we got a condo. I can hardly see the interlocking now in front of the house because of all the weeds – I guess I should go and see if I can yank them out with all the roots intact and get that AWESOME feeling. ;)

  9. We have a small organic farm and weeding is chemical free! I just finished weeding the broccoli patch. Best is the large crab grass, collecting each and every arm of the crab, and giving a good pull from the bottom. Then the weed has a nest of roots and I have to shake the dirt out to fill in the hole again.

    Most satisfying and awesome.

  10. =O THAT IS EXACTLY HOW I APPROACH WEEDS! I wiggle it at the base and I gently tug at it and then increase the pressure! This is indeed AWESOME.

  11. What is awesome is that my awesome thing today is “when there’s a weed growing up through the cracks in the patio paving, and you can pull it out cleanly” – I love it when your awesome thing is the same as someone else’s and you go “Oh yes! That’s SO true” :-)

  12. Totally!! I’m doing agricultural research this summer, and weeding is a big part of my job, so whenever this happens I feel super victorious and just awesome!

  13. I agree with the weeding technique to get all the weed out but I can pull so many weeds out that way when I am listening to a book on my Ipod. I look back and think ” wow, look at all those weeds that I got out” and it is 2 hours later.

  14. Weeding the veggie patch is very satisfying and great exercise! Now if I could just get the kids to recognise the difference between a carrot weed and a carrot plant we might get to eat some carrots :)

  15. This one was perfect timing! I have been pulling weeds out of a rockpile in our yard up until a few weeks ago when I got scared by a snake in the rocks and did a flying leap off of the pile – hurting my pinky finger pretty bad. I’m not so much scared of the snakes as I am of getting startled again and taking another header, so the weeds have been growing unchallenged ever since. My parents were here this weekend and when I went for a shower on Friday, my Dad went out into the rock pile and pulled all the weeds for me!
    What a great Dad and what a coincidence that 1000 Awesome Things covered that very topic that day! Funny how things like that happen!
    I love these emails – they make me smile every day!

  16. Whats not awesome is trying to pull the weed out and the leaves break and you don’t get the opportunity to rip it all out and see the awesome roots.. it’s all in the wrist people!!

  17. Man! I was thinking about a ‘Happiness no. 3’ illustration for my blog, was gardening and thought ‘Ooo it’s so satisfying when you get the roots out with the weed in one pull’ and started musing on how best to draw that concept. Then I decided to check this site out again for the first time in a couple of weeks. Shame! It SO would have looked like copying! OK back to the drawing board ;-) But isn’t it amazing how universal these things are. I

  18. I did this to my giant backyard a few weeks ago because i lost my temper at how many times i had to mow the weeds. It was a big collection in the garbage bag.

  19. Living in the wilderness, with so many birds,voles, squirrels, rabbits and other wild life, you soon discover you can’t possibly beat “the weeds”, so may as well learn to live with them. There is organic beauty everywhere. Let them sow their seeds of love which sustain our ecosytem and you may even discover they’ve healing properties for you too.

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