Cactus Weeder

Early in my desert gardening career, I found myself sporting linear scars on my hands and forearms consistent with intravenous heroin use after I weeded around my cactus and agave plants. This happened each growing season until I saw a local cactus grower employing a pair of extra-long surgical tweezers to remove some nasty spurge from the base of a golden barrel cactus. I went out right away and bought a set of 12-inch steel tweezers, which I later replaced with an even larger 18-inch set. With tweezers this long, reaching weeds in the deepest nook of a hedgehog cactus became painless. Weeding with tweezers is a little like playing the board game "Operation," except that when I make a mistake in the cactus I let loose a string of profanity rather than having the patient’s light-bulb nose turn red. Long tweezers, from 8 to 18 inches, are available from

-Scott Calhoun

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