The Top 3 Tips for Weed Removal
1. Do not Leave the Root behind
2. Weed after the rain or wet the soil
3. Use tools to aid in removal
Why is the complete removal of the root necessary you may ask, because if you do not remove the root then the chance of the vegetation regrowing and taking over yet again. In order to remove the root as well as the leaves and rest of the weed you will need to pull straight up and not at an angle. This will lessen the strain on the top of the root and allow for more of the root to come up versus breaking off in the ground. (It happens but with patience and care you can lessen the overall number of roots left in the soil.)
Weeding after the rain or pre-wetting the soil will also aid in the removal of the whole root. The moisture allows the soil to loosen from the root itself. (Think along the lines of a baked-on cookie on a cookie sheet, easier to dislodge if is wet right? Same concept) So there really is a silver lining to the rainy season!
Tools are very important in the attack on weeds. Tools such as garden fork, trowel or even a screwdriver can assist in getting the little buggers out and gone for good! The screwdriver will come in handy in spots such as cracks between bricks or sidewalks. The trowel is of course a great tool to dig in the small areas and smaller holes needed to remove the whole root system. Lastly the garden fork, not to be confused with salad fork. The garden fork can rake through the ground opening the earth to expose the roots within.
Now I know I have talked a lot about the root and not to leave it behind or disaster can strike. Well, the good news is this, if you do happen to leave some or even all the root behind you still have a chance at getting rid of the weed altogether. In removing the head, you have removed the chance of seeds dropping. With luck, preventing more forming. Removing the head will also aid in the weed dying and can prevent it from growing again.
The best practice is to remove the root and all of it but not getting it all will not be the end of the world. Just will take more time and effort than originally anticipated.
Good luck and Great Gardening