Pulling Carrots, Controlling Slugs and More

Readers give their best tips for loading wheelbarrows, filling a sandbox, dealing with slugs, fixing a window screen and more.

| April/May 1993

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    A three-foot long strap is the best way to keep weeds down.
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    Pull stubborn carrots with a corkscrew.

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Wheelbarrow Blues

Having trouble with items falling from your heaping-full wheelbarrow? If so, you'll want to try an idea that my father, Cledit Nelson of Frazee, Minnesota, had. One day Dad was pulling thistles in a field, and it didn't take him long to get a bulk load on his wheelbarrow. The plants weren't heavy, so he wanted to haul as many as possible to save trips to the compost pile, but many of the weeds kept falling off.

It occurred to him that he could use a common black rubber "tie-down" strap with metal-hook ends—the type normally used for tarps, boat covers, and so on. He hooked a strap end to one side of the wheelbarrow, brought the strap over the load's center, and hooked it to the other side. His hefty thistle load stayed in place, and required just one strap.

A tie-down of about three-feet long might do, but it depends on the wheelbarrow's width and the strap's elasticity. On many wheelbarrows the strap's hooks will easily catch, but on others you might need to drill holes, centering one on each side of the 'barrow to accommodate the hooks.

Also, some materials, like dry leaves, are more difficult to haul. To keep most of the leaves in place, place a tree branch or two over the leaves before you strap it down. When not in use, hook the strap onto the wheelbarrow handles for easy access.

—Gary Nelson
Oakland, Arkansas

Uncorking the Carrot

Have you ever gone to pull a carrot from your garden and had the top break right off? Who wants to dig up the rest of the carrot once that happens? Well, I have found a way to make it easy: use a cork screw. Screw it in through the part that is left in the ground and then yank. We even have a corkscrew in which the "T" handle comes off. First we screw in the center portion (this is easier because there's no handle to get tangled in the greens), then we attach the handle, and pull it right out.

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