After having it demonstrated by Amanda’s cousin Tomas in Denmark, having my mother-in-law educate me on the perils of Dandelions and on reaching the end of my tether with regards to a few very specific weeds in the garden, I invested in the Finnish-designed Fiskars weedpuller.
The device operates by extruding four sharpened stainless steel teeth into the ground. You lower it over where you imagine the root of the problem to be (pun intended), apply pressure, and as you lean back on the handy foot press the teeth clamp over the root of the weed and pulls it out of the ground, alongside a small, manageable clump of turf and soil. There’s a satisfyingly clunky ‘reload’ mechanism which throws the weed off the end of the weedpuller.
Doing our entire garden – which is relatively clear of dandelions, but has a few other weed issues – took about an hour and a half and resulted in a wheelbarrow load of weeds. I’d estimate that in about two thirds of cases I got the whole root up, which I thought was a good result. Hopefully as an iterated process in the future it’ll be pretty quick and painless – and more eco-friendly than weed poison alternatives.
The small holes dotting the garden may or may not need filling with compost and replanting with fresh grass seed at some point, which I guess is the only negative – but then, this would be significantly worse if you were trowelling weeds out of the ground by hand! I need a backpack mounted metal-detector shaped compost deployer to save my lower back from the patching work…