Crowning asparagus fern with a knife
Crowning asparagus fern (Image © Virginia Bear)

Crowning is one of the methods used for removal of weeds by hand. See also digging out.

Crowning is suitable for seedlings, herbaceous weeds, and many grasses.

Before starting work, remove and bag seeds and fruit and place in the bin.

If the weed has a tap root, push a narrow trowel or long knife deep into the ground beside the root. Loosen the soil. Work round the root, then work the plant out gently.

Many plants which will not regrow from their roots (eg many grasses) can be crowned: Hold leaves and stems together, and use a knife to cut through all the roots below the ‘crown’.

Ensure there is no erosion of cleared soil by wind or water, e.g. by mulching. See Erosion Alert