Which is the best weed eater
It really depends on your budget and requirements. If you only cut your edges off in a small garden every few weekends, you don't have to get anything too expensive. If you have a large garden with hard grass and weeds, it is better to buy something a little more sturdy like a commercial weed eater.
Some good options are: Tanaka TCG27EBSP, Husqvarna 324L, Hitachi CG22EAP2SL
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
A straight shaft will keep the trimmer head a little further away from you than a curved one and is also easier to maneuver.
2-stroke or 4? 2-stroke trimmers are more powerful but louder, pollute more and require the gas to be premixed with oil. Get a good 4-stroke trimmer. There is enough for most applications.
If you plan to use the trimmer for a long time, consider using a trimmer that will be wedged into a strap to protect your arms and lower back.
If you like the idea of not using gas but still getting lots of electricity, then get yourself one of the best battery operated weed eaters: Best Cordless Trimmer - Battery Operated Weed Eater Reviews 2017
Here are some great reviews and a buying guide if you are looking for a commercial weed eater: Best Commercial Weed Eater Reviews And Buying Guide for 2017 with some more good reviews can be found here: Best Commercial Weed Eater Reviews - Commercial String Trimmer 2018
No. When it comes to weeds, less is more, and overuse can cause problems.
Weeds do not kill plants, they only reduce the aboveground proportions of plants. In that regard, it is a form of mowing. Think of this as a finely tuned type of mowing that you do with a handheld device. Much of the weed control nowadays is used for mowing uncomfortable or unusually shaped or oriented lawns. A common use is narrow, sloped patches of lawn or narrow strips of lawn next to a fence or structure. The problem is, since the device is hand-held, you can easily mow too low, exposing the soil and causing erosion, dust, and soil loss. Lawn mowers are set at a fixed height so that they do not mow too low. However, you can easily do this with a hand-held weed killer because the orientation is flexible.
Experienced professional landscapers avoid this by carefully holding the weed hunter and walking in a straight line or keeping the tool at an even height while moving it across the ground, but this requires quite a bit of fine muscle control! Watching some skilled landscapers do it can be impressive, but it's not a pretty sight to mess up an inexperienced person. They know things go wrong when people raise clouds of dust.
Erosion is more of a problem on slopes. If you repeatedly weed something or weed it too close to the ground, you expose the soil underneath and throw up the dust when the weedkiller string hits the ground, and indirectly through the air movements caused by the weedkiller.
Use besides mowing: Control of invasive plants
In addition to regular mowing, you can also chop down weeds to control invasive plants. With this type of use, instead of coming every week, you come once or twice a season to kill a particular plant or plants.
With this use, timing is critical. How deep you cut them is less important than when you cut them. Ideally, you want to cut them before they produce seeds. Some plants will sprout again and you can come back to get them again. Know the species you want to control! If you are late a week or two your efforts will be wasted. If you are weeding a number of plants with mature seeds, the only way to help them is by distributing those seeds. And if you weed rhizomatous perennials like thistle (Cirsium arvense) or mugwort when growing among other plants, you can even help them by removing competing vegetation.
Some plants are also too tough to be killed by weed killers. They are best for delicate annual plants. Trying to hit harder plants like wood plants is not only less effective, but it can also cause your equipment to wear out faster.
Eliminating the need for weed control
In the long run, much of the need for weed control can be eliminated with proper long-term thinking and good design decisions; for example, next to buildings, a bed of coarse gravel on a less permeable base that drains the water out of the building is often a better choice than lawn and requires just a few minutes of hand weeding every few months like plants does not grow as well in gravel. Perennial ground cover, herbaceous plants or small shrubs on slopes can reduce the need for weed control and hold the soil better. Also, small wild patches along the property edges can often be left wild and easily managed to remove invasive plants, which is often less time consuming than repeated weeding.
Knowing when to avoid weeding is also important
Knowing when to weed and when to pull by hand is also important. Many people are mistaken on using more strength equipment because they believe it will do more, but there are many instances where "less is more".
Plants that grow in cracks on sidewalks, bricks, or pavement only grow back when weeds are felled or mowed. Growing is often a better choice, especially if the plant is a perennial with strong germination capacity.
If invasive plants are growing among more desirable plants, pulling or hand-pruning to remove only the invasive plants are the best choices, as just weeding the entire group of plants will usually favor the invasive plants.
At the end
Weed whacking usually works best when you get close to mowing. Think of this as some sort of mowing done by a handheld device and be careful not to mow too deep on the ground and you'll be fine. The key is to keep the weed killer steady so that you cut things to the height you want and avoid exposing and kicking up too much soil. Do not try to use it for purposes (such as killing perennials with strong roots) for which it is ill-suited.
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