Spring is here, and that means lawn chores. “Grass is a weed,” my wife and I tell each other. But with 3/5 of an acre, much of it lawn, we have a lot of grass to care for.
Aside from mowing, one of my first tasks every year is weed control. I'm not anal-retentive about this — though I used to be — but I do like to eliminate most of the worst offenders. Dandelions are my nemesis.
Many of my friends use Roundup to control weeds in their lawns. I use a weedpopper. People think I'm crazy, but I love the thing. Here's why:
- It's cheap. Mine cost me something like $5 a decade ago. It's still in excellent condition. How much does Roundup cost?
- It's quick. It takes no more time to remove a dandelion with my weedpopper than it does to spray it with an herbicide.
- There's no setup. When you spray weeds, you've got to get your equipment out and fill the tank. When you've finished, you need to rinse everything. With my weedpopper, I pick it up and go.
- It's safe. Here's the material safety data sheet for Roundup (PDF).
I love the “decrease in survival” for the rats. Translation: it kills them.(See Angie's comment below.) I wouldn't let a four-year-old play with a weedpopper, but it's quite safe for adult use.
- It's effective. It takes a couple days for weeds sprayed with Roundup to shrivel and die (along with the grass around them). The weedpopper targets the weed precisely and removes it immediately.
- It provides exercise. Yes, to use a weedpopper, you need to be able to crouch and stand, crouch and stand. It's not a lot of exercise, but it's more than I'd get carrying a sprayer.
- The sense of satisfaction. When I pop a dandelion from the ground, it makes a pleasing ripping noise. I then toss the weed into the bucket with its mates. It's a dandelion graveyard.
A weedpopper isn't for everyone, but I do think it's an excellent choice for those with small lawns. (And, obviously, I use it on my very large lawn.) I have a friend who is anal-retentive about his lawn — it's a thing of beauty. He uses a sprayer. I gave him a weedpopper for his birthday last year thinking it might be handy for spot weeding, but he won't use it.
“It puts divots in my lawn,” he says. I've been using a weedpopper for fifteen years (this is my second one), and have never been bothered by unusual divots. But if these might bother you, then a weedpopper isn't a good choice. For everyone else, it's a cheap and useful tool.
Author: J.D. Roth
In 2006, J.D. founded Get Rich Slowly to document his quest to get out of debt. Over time, he learned how to save and how to invest. Today, he's managed to reach early retirement! He wants to help you master your money — and your life. No scams. No gimmicks. Just smart money advice to help you reach your goals.