Sometimes weeding the vegetable garden can be like pulling teeth--literally.
Weeds are a fact of life for the organic gardener. No one's found a way yet to get rid of them entirely. Sometimes we are a bit careless in the way we make our compost and end up spreading grass seeds around the garden beds. This poses a special problem if, like me, you plant most of your vegetables directly into the ground, rather than starting them in flats elsewhere and transplanting them.
Sometimes the weeds appear in a riot of growth before the vegetables even get a chance to germinate. Or so it seems. In this case, I had planted eggplant seeds in an area that was very quickly taken over by crabgrass. Rather than pull out everything willy-nilly, I got my needlenose pliers to perform some close-in, surgical work.
With the pliers, I can get under the soil surface and take a good grip on the grass stem just above the roots. After a soaking rain, the weeds come out easily. Using the pliers is slow, but that forces me to look closely at everything I am pulling out of the ground. This is much more precise than anything my stubby fingers can do. I'm less likely to destroy my eggplant seedlings.
Yes, this kind of weeding takes patience. But after an hour's work, the entire bed is weed-free. Hopefully, I won't have to do this again any time soon.