Duelling with dandelions
“Over-engineered,” muttered my other half as we struggled to get the generous quantity of packaging off the Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller.
I could see what he meant. Described as the perfect tool for ridding lawns of weeds without needing to resort to chemicals, it seemed a bit excessive for a few dandelions.
It was an impression that was reinforced by our first view: a 1m-long black pole with a sliding handle, a ‘step’ coming off at right angles and a menacing steel claw at one end. If the dandelions weren’t scared, I was.
I must admit I was dubious when approached by the company and asked if I would like to test this revolutionary weeding kit. I’m not one for gadgets and couldn’t really see how spending nearly £40 on something to weed the lawn would be worthwhile.
So, it was with a deal of scepticism that we headed out to our none too pristine lawn to put the tool to the test.
And were duly forced to reconsider our preconceptions.
Dandelions, thistles and even a solitary daisy all succumbed with ease – and roots intact.
The Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller weighs 950g and is straightforward to use: place it over a weed, push the steel claws into the ground, step on the pedal and pull gently back. Finally, slide the handle to eject the weed out of the claws. Simple.
Our only quibble was that a core of earth came up with the weed. It was easy to shake that off and plug the gap in the lawn but it did add another step to the procedure. Possibly it was caused by the wet ground and might not be a problem during a dry spell; that dry spell has yet to materialise so I’ve been unable to put that theory to the test.
Certainly it did away with all the grubbing around on the ground and trying to dig out long-rooted weeds with a knife or similar. I have yet to try it in the borders but can’t see why it wouldn’t work just as well there.
At £39.99 it isn’t affordable for all and would probably not be worthwhile if your weed problem is small. However, if getting down close to deal with weeds is difficult, or, if like me, seed drifting in from neighbouring plots is causing a dandelion deluge, this is a quick and green solution.
• I was given the Fiskar Xact™ Weed Puller to test, which is designed for heavy use. There is also the Light Weed Puller, which is only 90cm long and weighs 900g. It is priced at £34.99.
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