I'm calling this the "establishment year" of my gardens, wherein I've been doing a lot of physical labor to get my vegetable beds in shape for growing this year and the coming seasons (here's where having a tractor would be nice). Two of my biggest gardening tasks this spring have been weeding and clearing sod, to make ample space for everything. Thus, I thought I'd give a little spotlight to one of my favorite tools which has seen me through all of the hours of heavy weeding. My fishtail weeder! This is a handheld metal gardening tool, most have probably seen it before. It has a long neck and a fork at the end which makes it very affective for ripping tough-to-pull weeds up by the roots. You simply stab your fishtail weeder in the soil below the weed you want to remove, loosen the weed's roots from the soil by pushing up and down on the tool's handle and then pull the weed right out. I've been using my fishtail to displace huge, rooty weeds which have covered a beautiful garden bed of tilled soil where my parents' tomatoes used to grow. They have since moved the greenhouse from that spot and I've been working really hard to clear the weeds so that I might plant this year's garlic there in early October. In fact, I planted my asparagus in the first third of that bed that I weeded using just my little fishtail tool. I've used other tools for weeding and so far, I've found this one to be the most thorough at getting down to the deep roots of some gnarly weeds.