The weed situation in my yard seems to get worse every year. When I first bought the house 12 years ago, the lawn looked amazing. But in the past few years, dandelions have taken over. I tried Scott's turf builder triple action which is a granular weed and feed product. It helped a little, but chemical products are expensive and not good for the environment. I have a neighbor on one side that has his yard treated by one of those professional lawn care companies. On the other side, is a neighbor who does little to their yard other than mow once a month. Over time, dandelions from that neighbor's yard have migrated into my yard. This year I decided to see if I could make a dent in my dandelion population.
The first thing I did was got a couple of buckets, one to sit on and one to put dandelions in. I started in the backyard and used a garden trowel to dig the dandelions out by the root. The backyard wasn't as bad as the front. I wanted to start in the back so the neighbors wouldn't see me sitting on a bucket for hours on end. I managed to get the back done but broke my garden trowel in the process. The neighbor who used the professional lawn treatment, saw me pulling weeds one day and let me use his weed pulling tool. It was one with a long wooden handle. It worked well, but I was afraid I was going to break it. I looked online and found several long-handled weed pullers. After some consideration, I decided to get the Fiskars 4-Claw deluxe weed puller. They call it deluxe because they also have a 3-Claw version. I wasn't crazy about the plastic construction, but I have a Fiskars extendable power-stroke clipper that has served me well over the years.
The Fiskars weed puller is easy to use. You just center the tool over the dandelion, push down, and pull the handle toward the foot platform, and the weed come out. There is an ejection mechanism that releases the weed once it is out of the ground. I find that I still need to bend over to get the dirt off the root and try to fill the hole left behind. The handle is 39" long, which is kind of short if you are over 6 foot tall. So far it is working fine. The only problem is that it takes about an hour to clear a 5' x 10' patch of ground. I can fill a grocery bag with dandelions in just that small of an area. That should give you an idea of how bad my dandelion problem is. Some dandelions are so tough that they squeal when you pull them out. I assume that is the tap root coming loose. I have starting work on the front yard where the dandelions are the worst. The tool makes it easier, but progress is slow. Once the yard is complete, the tool will make maintaining a dandelion free yard a simple task. That's assuming the tool doesn't break on me before the job is done. You can find the Fiskars 4-Claw deluxe weed puller on Amazon for $47.53 or as low as $40 from other garden supply stores.