Low Tech Alternatives To A Weed Eater? (or, "i Fought The Lawn And The Lawn Won

cheeser

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Short of buying a goat, are there any good low tech alternatives to using a weed eater for cutting grass that's too close to the fence for the lawn mower to get? :)

The weed eater has it in for me, and I need to try something else. But I can't remember what people used to do before the weed eater was invented.
 

DreamerRose

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They used grass shears. If you aren't familiar with them, they are like scissors on an angle and the blades are about 6-7 inches long. The work just like scissors.

I have used them quite a lot because there are only a few places I need to trim, and it's too much work to get out the weed eater.
 
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cheeser

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They used grass shears. If you aren't familiar with them, they are like scissors on an angle and the blades are about 6-7 inches long. The work just like scissors.

I have used them quite a lot because there are only a few places I need to trim, and it's too much work to get out the weed eater.
Ah, okay. I'll look into that. I've been using a regular pair of scissors since the weed eater decided it hates me.

I can manage the lawn mower and the edger just fine. But I have some neck and back problems from a couple of old injuries, and weed eaters just about do me in.

The only problem with using scissors is that it does get a bit tedious when you have to "weed eat" along the entire backyard fence, and I can only get a little bit done each day because it's so doggone hot here in Texas! :lol:

But maybe it would go a lot faster with shears that are specifically designed for this sort of thing. And if nothing else, I can still use them for trimming along the base of rose bushes and whatnot.

Thanks!
 
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cheeser

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you might try hedge shears, like these Hedge Shears - Shears & Pruning Tools - The Home Depot

the longer handles mean you don't need to bend down as low to cut grass that's close to the fence.
Oh, gosh. I had forgotten all about those! We have some good old-fashioned hedge trimmers in the tool shed, but they're in pretty bad shape due to years of neglect after we got one of those fancy lithium battery powered ones.

I'll pick up some naval jelly and see if I can remove the rust, and maybe get the blades sharpened. And if that doesn't work, we can pick up a new one at Home Depot or Lowe's.

Thanks much! :)
 
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cheeser

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~ You could use a mild solution of herbicide like Roundup to squirt along the edge. You will have to repeat this every few months .
That's the sort of thing my elderly parents said they used back in the day along their chain-link fence. I've just been squeamish about any kind of herbicide since all of our neighbors have dogs.

But I vaguely seem to recall Randy Lemmon at GardenLine talking about a homemade version that's supposed to be non-toxic, and just contains Dawn, Epsom salt, and vinegar. Or something like that. I'll have to go look it up. :)

Thanks!
 
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cheeser

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How about a scythe with a small blade?
Whoa! Now that's a weed eater! :lol:

I especially love the long handle! I'm absolutely terrified of snakes, and like the distance that would put between me and anything lurking in the grass. And that would be perfect for clearing out grass and weeds from under some of the shrubbery. Thanks bunches!
 
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cheeser

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~ You could use a mild solution of herbicide like Roundup to squirt along the edge. You will have to repeat this every few months .
Okay, I found the recipe, just in case anyone else is interested in the DIY "Weed-Be-Gone."

1 gallon vinegar
2 cups Epsom salt
1/4 cup Dawn dish soap (the blue original)
 

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If you have neck and back pain you could try something different.

Lay 1 inch x 6 inch lengths of fence board 8 feet long underneath the bottom of the fence. Leave them for a week or two. They will smother the weeds and grass, killing it. Then slide boards down 8 more feet and repeat. Its not perfect but an option. Virtually no labor for you.
 
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cheeser

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If you have neck and back pain you could try something different.

Lay 1 inch x 6 inch lengths of fence board 8 feet long underneath the bottom of the fence. Leave them for a week or two. They will smother the weeds and grass, killing it. Then slide boards down 8 more feet and repeat. Its not perfect but an option. Virtually no labor for you.
Huh. I never would have thought of something like that. I'll have to give that a try. We just happen to have some old fence pickets and landscaping timbers in the tool shed that we kept for some weird reason. Might as well put them to good use. :biggrin:

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)
 

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Perhaps you just need a new Weed Eater? I got a Ryobi battery operated one last year. Nice and light and I can edge trim the whole yard without needed to recharge the battery. Don’t know how I ever got by without it.
 

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If you are terrified of snakes you may want to do this. I don't think snakes can hear, but they do notice vibrations. Start up your lawn mower near where you want to work, with the blade hide above the grass - you aren't cutting grass here - and let it vibrate on the ground for 5- 10 minutes. This will let the snakes know humans are in the area. Snakes really don't want to be around you any more than you want to be around them, though perhaps not quite as much as my sister doesn't want to be around them.

If you are walking near where you need to weed take a walking stick and thump the ground and again give the snakes time to get away.

Your neighbor's dogs have probably helped move the snakes out of your area. Our neighbor's cat is working on removing all of them from our neighborhood.

This has worked well for us, including when walking in the woods or woodlets.
 
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cheeser

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This would be my suggestion as well. When you think about it a scythe was designed for harvesting grains so it will make short work of weeds and grass.

There's also fire.

Back Pack Vapor Torch Kits
Sounds like a scythe may be my best bet, at least for now. I also need to clear out a bunch of undergrowth and stuff that got out of hand during a recent family emergency. You'd think the weeds and whatnot would have the decency to stop growing while I needed to focus my attention on other matters. :wink:

The torch does look pretty effective, but our wood fence is pretty old, and I'd probably set the darned thing on fire. Hee!
 
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