One evening last week, I thought I'd go out to the garden and pull up the spent sunflowers really quick. I donned my gloves, grabbed a dead-looking plant and pulled. Nothing happened. I tried tugging with both hands. It wouldn't budge. I finally grabbed the stalk as close to the ground as I could, leaned backwards and pulled with all my might (not much, I know...but I was trying anyway ;). It broke, and I staggered backwards, trying not to fall. That darn root was STILL in the ground! Needless to say the job was not "really quick", but thankfully, some of the flowers were easier to pull up than that first one.
Another day, the whole family helped me pull up all the cornstalks to make room for our cool-weather transplants. We cut off the roots, tied them in bundles, and stacked them in the barn to dry. We plan on selling them at the farmer's market in a few weeks.