This clever weed tool helped me switch from weed killer to organic gardening

The Fiskars weed puller tool in my garden
The Fiskars weed puller tool in my garden, which I seeded last season (Image credit: Amy Willis)

I originally purchased the Fiskars weed puller to get rid of ragwort growing in a field used by horses. You really need to get at the roots of these poisonous perennial plants to stop them multiplying and causing harm to animals (and humans) if ingested.

I didn't expect to get much use out of the tool back home as I tend to use weed killer on the lawn as an easy and quick fix for perennial weeds. These have been a problem in certain areas of my lawn due to a combination of running out of time to treat the soil before seeding my garden design last year after re-landscaping as well as its location beside shrubland and fields. 

But I actually found the Fiskars weed puller, which is 12% off on Amazon for Black Friday, so easy to use that I soon switched to using it in my garden too, reducing my need to use environmentally unfriendly weed killer.

Why get rid of perennial weeds?

Perennial weeds keep coming back every year and if you don't eliminate the roots, they have a nasty habit of not only returning year-on-year but also spreading.

So to keep a tidy, non-prickly lawn with soft blades of grass rather nettles and thistles, these perennial weeds should be removed before scarifying or mowing your grass.

I also have animals roaming my garden (chickens and a dog) so removing poisonous plants like ragwort is important too.

Why the Fiskars weed tool impressed me 

Part of the reason the tool is so easy to use is the fact you don't have to do any bending, pulling or grabbing when removing weeds. This is because it has a one-metre, stainless steel and plastic arm that does all the work instead.

To use the Fiskars weed puller, you aim the four metal grab claws at the end of the tool around the weed and push down vertically. You then tilt the weed puller for the claws to close around the root of the plant, stepping your foot on the foot holder to hold the device in place as you do so. And out the weed comes if you've positioned the weed puller correctly.

You don't even have to bend down to put the weed in your garden trug either, as the weed puller can be 'cocked' to push the weed out from the grasp of the metal claws, straight into a pile for binning or burning.

How it reduced my need to use weed killer

Weed killer is of course one of the more effective solutions when it comes to keeping a tidy lawn, especially if you have a busy lifestyle. My go-to was the Weedol lawn weed killer, which is on sale for Black Friday, but having a small dog and keeping chickens means I always have to shut them away when I do so, to prevent them eating the treated grass. 

Organic gardening is of course the preferred alternative, if you have the time. However, when I previously tried it with a pair of gloves and a trowel, I barely did much of the lawn in an hour and ended up with very sore hands and fingers from all the pulling and twisting (I have a lot of weeds in my lawn). And I'm pretty sure I didn't always successfully grab the root, meaning the weed was likely to return.

But organic gardening becomes more realistic when it doesn't hurt so much or take up too much time. And being able to walk around jabbing weeds from a standing position made the whole thing more doable. As a result, I didn't use weed killer on my lawn at all after purchasing the weed puller and was able to finally make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly style of gardening and lawn care.

The Fiskars weed puller's capabilities

When weeds get too large (and I must admit some of mine had grown to this stage) the weed puller will struggle to get its pincers around the root.

This particular weed puller is said to be able to handle weeds up to 4cm diameter inside the ground, so is ideal for your common thistles, nettles and dandelions. 

I did find the weed puller struggled with brambles and large dock leaves (these are often very strongly rooted) as it couldn't get a good grip on the root but generally most weeds came up very easily (and quickly if grabbed right) when using the tool.

Black Friday deals on weed pullers

Fiskars weed puller
|WAS £46.04, NOW £40.73 (12% off)

Fiskars weed puller
|WAS £46.04, NOW £40.73 (12% off)

Weed puller for weed control with a diameter of max. 4 cm. This is a great tool for sustainable and environmentally friendly weed control and is ideal for the extraction of dandelions, thistles, nettles and other root crops in loose soils and in vegetable gardens.

If you are designing your garden from scratch after a build project, take a look at our landscaping tips for some ideas and if you are wondering about cost, we have a guide for garden landscaping costs that is worth reading too.

Amy Willis

Amy spent over a decade in London editing and writing for The Daily Telegraph, MailOnline, and before moving to East Anglia where she began renovating a period property in rural Suffolk. During this time she also did some TV work at ITV Anglia and CBS as well as freelancing for Yahoo, AOL, ESPN and The Mirror. When the pandemic hit she switched to full-time building work on her renovation and spent nearly two years focusing solely on that. She's taken a hands-on DIY approach to the project, knocking down walls, restoring oak beams and laying slabs with the help of family members to save costs. She has largely focused on using natural materials, such as limestone, oak and sisal carpet, to put character back into the property that was largely removed during the eighties. The project has extended into the garden too, with the cottage's exterior completely re-landscaped with a digger and a new driveway added. She has dealt with de-listing a property as well as handling land disputes and conveyancing administration.