Pulling weeds can be hard work. And if you don’t do it correctly, it can place unnecessary strain on your back, leading to injuries and long-term problems.
But, you can make weeding safer and easier. So, let’s take a look at how to pull weeds without hurting your back.
How To Pull Weeds Without Hurting Your Back
Before pulling weeds, it’s a good idea to warm up with some gentle exercise. Just a few minutes of walking and other light gardening activities help to increase blood flow to your muscles. Also, try some slow and gentle stretches to improve your flexibility and help your muscles relax.
Use The Correct Technique
Using the correct lifting technique is one of the most important things you can do to avoid hurting your back when pulling weeds. Don’t bend with your spine. Instead, squat using your hips and knees, keeping your spine straight.
Get your body as close to the weed as you can. This helps you keep the right center of gravity and maintain a straight back while pulling, avoiding unnecessary stress on your back.
Use both arms when pulling the weed. Pulling using a single-arm causes extra body rotation, placing stress on your spine. Grab the weed at the base where it emerges from the ground, then lift the weed out with a slow and steady motion. Pull the weed up and out, rather than at an angle, to make sure the weed doesn’t break.
Rather than standing as you pull, kneeling reduces the amount of bending that you do.
Sitting Down Can Help
You can take a lot of strain off your back if you don’t have to bend over as much. A comfortable way to reduce strain is to sit on a gardening bench or small stool while you pull.
Pull The Weeds When The soil Is Wet
Pulling weeds out of hard and dry soil requires strength and exertion. You can make it easier for yourself by weeding when the soil is wet and softer. You can wait until the day after rainfall. Or you can water the area yourself.
Use The Right Tools
If you use a long-handled weeding tool, you can stand up while you work. This means less time on your hands and knees or bending over while weeding. And it makes weed extraction easier than hand pulling.
Here are some options for you to try:
You can use a spade to dig around and under deep-rooted weeds making it easier to pull the weed out.
A long-handled corkscrew weeder is a good tool for removing lawn weeds with taproots, such as dandelions. You screw the weeder into the ground around the weed. Then you can lift the weed out along with its roots.
Fiskars stand-up weeder is an excellent tool that allows you to remove dandelions and other small weeds from a standing position.
It’s one of the easiest standing weeding tools to use:
- You place the weeder over the weed.
- Then step on a foot pedal to make the claws grab the weed by its root.
- Then you pull the tool up, lifting the weed out of the ground.
- Finally, eject the weed from the claws into a disposal bag.
Fiskars Stand-up Weeder (Amazon)
If you’re dealing with large weeds with a tangled mass of roots, the CobraHead long-handle weeder is a good tool. With the large hook, you can get underneath the weeds, which makes it easier to pull them out. The CobraHead weeder also causes less disturbance to the surrounding area than a shovel.
CobraHead Long-Handle Weeder (Amazon)
Lighten Your Load
Some weeds reroot if you leave them lying on the soil. So if you want to get rid of weeds permanently, collect them in a bag or bucket. But make sure you don’t overfill the bag. Keeping the load light and making regular trips to dispose of the weeds is better than risking injury to your back by carrying a weight that is too heavy. You can make it even easier by using a wheelbarrow that you can push around your backyard instead.
Get The Kids To Help
Okay, so it’s cheating a little bit. But getting the kids to help makes the job easier, especially if there are a lot of weeds to pull. It will reduce the amount you have to bend down. And it can also be a lot of fun.
Finally, it’s a lot easier to pull weeds if there aren’t many of them to pull in the first place. So it’s a good idea to practice weed prevention.
To reduce the number of weeds in your yard, try the following:
When pulling weeds out of the ground, make sure you remove all the roots. Some weeds can regrow from root pieces that are left behind.
Mulching around your garden beds helps prevent weed seeds from germinating and developing. Mulch also stops weed seeds from reaching the soil.
Use a pre-emergent herbicide to create a chemical barrier in the soil that prevents weed seeds from developing into mature plants after germination. The pre-emergent chemicals kill weed seedlings before they grow through the topsoil.
Maintain the health of your lawn. Unhealthy lawns with a patchy and sparse covering of grass are vulnerable to weed invasion. Weeds in grass can be prevented by growing a thick and lush lawn that stops them from becoming established.
Why does my back hurt when pulling weeds?
Bending over repeatedly to pull weeds places stress on your back muscles. To reduce the stress, take regular small breaks, and consider using a stool or bench to sit down on if you have a lot of weeding to do.
Why does gardening hurt my back?
Gardening can hurt your back because of excessive load applied to the muscles and discs. Being careful when lifting heavy objects, limiting the amount of bending, and developing strong core muscles can protect you from injury and back pain.
Can you pull weeds with a shovel?
You can use a shovel to dig around and underneath the weed. This makes it easier to pull the weed out of the ground. Using a shovel is particularly useful when removing weeds with deep roots. And a shovel helps dig out any leftover pieces of roots after weed removal.