Great bedwork gives your garden and landscape a beautiful edge but it’s not a popular task. So let me show you how it’s done properly.
Busy with pruning, I could only observe a new employee performing finesse work with her hands and a rake. Since she wasn’t given any time parameters it took her a long while to complete a small bed area. She raked and hand picked weeds as best as she could. Then she finally moved on, leaving a nearby weedy tree well untouched.
And I don’t blame her. She wasn’t set up to win. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Bedwork is simple. You just need to bring a good attitude to it. Let’s get sweaty.
No more struggles
Unless you’re hand picking huge trophy weeds, stop using your fingers for weeding. Professionals use tools and they stay on their feet. Sit down to enjoy your break, not to weed.
(Warning: if your company insists on hand weeding, use a small hand tool to save your fingers from abuse. )
Use a cultivator to uproot the weeds and fluff-up the soil. Concentrate on edges because that’s where weed seeds get blown; and where people miss them.
The cultivator uproots the weeds and then we rake them up. Hand-picking many tiny weeds is time consuming and it’s unlikely you’ll pick the entire weed. This is why weedy hand-picked beds quickly return to weedy mess.
I also find that my fingers hurt after hours of slow weeding by hand. Don’t do it, unless you’re picking big trophy weeds.
Next, gently rake up the mess you just made and be careful not to remove too much soil. If you do remove some soil-and you will!-remember the time you just saved. Your hand-picking colleagues are probably still hand-picking tiny weeds somewhere.
Place your debris into a tarp.
Remember to always keep your debris piles in bed edges, not outside on pavement or lawn. This eliminates unnecessary blowing later on.
The real final step is a clean-up blow but that’s done at the end of the day. Before you move on, rake any soil away from the edges.
One huge bonus is that cultivation leaves your beds fluffy and fresh looking. Hand-weeded beds still look tired afterwards. Shame. So what if it costs you a bit of sweat. Your beds will look great longer.
Bedwork is a critical component of landscape maintenance and yet it’s often labelled as “bitch work”. This is wrong. Follow my steps outlined in this blog post and you’ll be a gold star in no time.