Gardeners who are preserving a manicure will be interested in the Weed Hound, as well as those wishing to preserve their finger joints. This item was recommended to me by my Occupational Therapist to relieve stress on my arthritic joints.
Initially, have the Weed Hound's round knob pushed down / the tongs open. The footrest at the bottom should be at 3 o'clock for right-handers, 9 o'clock for left-handers.
1. Set Weed Hound directly onto center of weed.
2. Step on the footrest, pushing tongs into the soil. They extend to form an inverted cone. This motion will cause the round knob to pull up from the tool.
3. In soft soil, you can pull straight up to remove the Weed Hound from dirt. In heavy soil or with difficult weeds, pull the handle around, from 3 or 9 o'clock to the 6 o'clock position. This twist will dislodge the root. Then pull up.
4. Push the round knob down with the palm of your hand. Tongs will open and release the weed with a small plug of dirt.
Wonderful. Pop! Pop! Pop! Very easy. I missed having my hands in the dirt, but this is a wonderful tool. I tried it on both wet and dry soil, with various types and sizes of weeds. The Weed Hound works very well. Instead of using my finger joints to get the root out, I can use the larger joints and muscles in my leg and let the tool grab the root. The only roots I had trouble with was one thorn bush that had been around for a long while so its root system was pretty large.
The tool grabs the root and pulls up a very small plug of soil with it. When I began to test this tool, I was working on a bed that had been taken over by weeds and I didn't want to remove soil. As I pulled up weeds, I was depositing them into a garbage bin on wheels which stands 33 inches (84 cm) tall. I was lifting the tool and depositing each weed in the bin. The weed-pulling was not taxing, but lifting the metal tool high enough to drop the weed in the bin every time was tiring and the motion was awkward. To solve this problem, I stopped using the bin and set my compost sifter on the ground next to me. I didn't have to lift the tool at all to drop each weed onto the sifter. Dirt fell to the ground below and, when I finished the bed, I picked up the sifter-full of weeds and dumped them directly into my compost pile.
If you don't have a sifter, just lay a piece of newspaper down on which to drop the weeds. The soil won't sift out, but it is fine to add both weeds and dirt plugs to your compost pile. Let the Weed Hound do the work and give your joints a rest!