Dealing with weeds is an ongoing task for gardeners. The job is quickest to perform if you weed regularly, cutting the weeds back when they’re still young.
You can make weeding easier by using the right weeding tool. Some tools are better suited to the spot treatment of weeds. Whereas other tools can help you quickly cut down large overgrown areas.
So in this article, I’ll show you how to cut weeds fast in your backyard.
Let’s dive in.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to cut weeds on your lawn is to mow them down. This works best for controlling small, young weeds that are just starting to grow. So regular lawn mowing is recommended to prevent them from becoming established.
Setting your lawn mower blades to a high height cuts down the weeds and allows your grass to grow thick, making it harder for weed seeds to reach the soil, and crowding out new seedlings.
But this method doesn’t work for all weeds. Some weeds can adjust to your mowing height by growing lower to the ground. It also works best for weeds that spread by seed because if you mow them early enough and regularly, they won’t have a chance to flower and set seed. But weeds with rhizomes and stolons will still be able to spread.
Make sure you have a clippings bag attached to your lawn mower while mowing weeds to catch any flowerheads that have produced seeds.
Greenworks Electric Corded Lawn Mower (Amazon)
Also known as a weed eater or weed whacker, a string trimmer makes the process of cutting down extensive areas of weeds quick and easy.
Position the string trimmer near the base of the weeds to cut them down to ground level. If the weeds are growing in your lawn, first position the trimmer a few inches above the grass before lowering it to the height you want to cut.
String trimmers come in different types. They can be electric, battery-powered, or gas-powered. For cutting thick weeds, it’s best to get a powerful trimmer, such as a gas-powered trimmer. For small weeding jobs around your yard, cutting young weeds and grasses, a less powerful unit will do the job.
EGO Power String Trimmer (Amazon)
A brush cutter is a lot more powerful than a string trimmer. This makes it a great choice for quickly cutting large areas of weeds with thick or woody stems, mature bramble canes, and areas of brush.
But it’s overkill if you just have the occasional weed to deal with in your backyard, or for cutting most types of weeds that you’ll find growing on your lawn.
Weeding knives have strong, sharp blades that can cut through the stems of large, well-established weeds. They are convenient tools to carry in your garden as they can also help with digging and planting.
But while this is a very quick and easy tool to use for dealing with the occasional weed, it’s not the best tool to use if you have a large area of weeds to clear as it will take time and involve a lot of bending over.
Hori Hori knives are a popular type of weeding knife used by gardeners.
Nisaku Hori Hori Weeding Knife (Amazon)
A hoe is a traditional way to cut weeds. The best type of hoe to use is a scuffle hoe. With a scuffle hoe, you can cut weeds on both the push and draw of the blade, which makes this tool more efficient than some other types of hoes.
All sides of the blade are sharp on a scuffle hoe. To use it, run the blade just under the top of the soil to cut weeds down at the base.
The drawbacks of using a hoe are that it can be difficult to cut large weeds, so it’s best to use it regularly to get rid of small, young weeds. And it’s not good for cutting lawn weeds as you’ll damage your grass as well.
Cultivating the soil with a tiller is a fast way to kill weeds growing in your backyard as you prepare the soil for planting. As the blades break up and churn the soil, they also slice up the weeds and their roots, burying them in the ground where they can decompose and release their nutrients.
Using a tiller is an easy way of cutting annual weeds and preventing their spread, as long as they haven’t already set seed. But it won’t work as well with perennial weeds that can regrow from pieces of roots and rhizomes in the soil.
Earthwise Electric Tiller (Amazon)
Scythes are well-known as a traditional tool for harvesting tall, grassy crops such as wheat. But have you thought of using a scythe to cut down weeds?
Swinging a scythe can clear an overgrown garden of weeds quickly. It takes a bit of effort and practice to develop an efficient technique. But once you’re used to using it you can make fast progress through areas of mature weeds with thick stems.
Using your grass shears is a fast way to cut weeds in your garden. Quickly snip the plant stem between the blades. Then dispose of the piece of weed you’ve cut away.
One of the advantages of using grass shears is that you can easily use them in small spaces. So you can use them to cut weeds between rocks, remove unwanted vegetation in tight corners, cut weeds between fences, and hand trim edges in places that are too small for a lawn edger.
Hedge shears are a more powerful alternative to grass shears. While not specifically designed for cutting weeds, they can be a quick way to cut weeds down when you only have a small number.
Because hedge shears have bigger and heavier blades than grass shears, you can use them to cut down weeds with thick stems that grass shears struggle to cut through.
OARA Garden Hedge Shears (Amazon)
A sickle is a time-tested tool that makes fast work of cutting weeds, grass, and other plants. A Japanese sickle is a popular type of weeding sickle used by many gardeners.
Bend over and grab hold of one or more weeds in your non-dominant hand. Then use the sickle to cut through the weed stems close to the base. Pull the crescent-shaped blade of the sickle quickly towards your body in a clockwise circle. This circular motion helps to ensure you don’t accidentally catch yourself as you cut.
A double-bladed weed cutter is an efficient and cost-effective tool for clearing tall grass and overgrown areas of weeds.
Because it’s double-bladed, it cuts on both forward and return strokes. So you can quickly clear weeds from small to medium-sized areas.
But as it’s a manual tool, it can be tiring using it in large overgrown areas. And large, mature weeds with thick stalks can be harder to cut down. But most weeds are cleared quickly and easily. Just keep an eye open for rocks as you swing the tool to slice down the vegetation.
AMES Double Blade Weed Cutter (Amazon)
Similar to a weed cutter, a grass whip is a tool that you can use to chop down thick and overgrown areas of weeds.
You swing it using smooth forehand and backhand motions, cutting a swathe through the weeds as you walk. Because the tool usually has a sharpened blade on both sides, it cuts in both directions. Using a bit of force you can even cut down tall weeds with thick and tough stalks. Although, it’s probably not the best choice for cutting woody stems or bramble canes.
A grass whip is a handy tool to carry with you as you walk around your garden. Even if you only have a small number of weeds to clear, you can quickly lop them down near the base with a well-aimed swing.
Grass whips are a good choice for cutting weeds in areas of your yard that are hard to reach with other tools. Or for cutting weeds around trees and over uneven ground where it can be hard to mow.
True Temper Grass Whip (Amazon)
Lake Weed Cutter
If you’re trying to remove weeds from a lake or pond, then a lake weed cutter is a helpful tool. There are many types, but the Weedshear is an easy weed cutter to use. Using the attached rope, you can drag it along the bottom of the lake, cutting underwater weeds without ever having to enter the water yourself.