Discussion:
Flame Weeding: Why Not Burn Them Until They're Gone?
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DerbyDad03
2017-07-16 01:40:02 UTC
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Every article I've read about Flame Weeding says that the "trick" or "technique"
is not to burn them to the ground, but rather to pass the flame over the leaves
for split second. Just enough to basically heat up the water and pop the cells.

OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.

(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
songbird
2017-07-16 13:37:31 UTC
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DerbyDad03 wrote:
...
Post by DerbyDad03
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
maybe because starting a ground fire or
sterilizing the area isn't the objective?

to heat the soil to a temperature which
would guarantee all weed seeds and roots are
killed would take quite a large amount of
energy.

most weeds if you get them soon enough
cannot recover from being cut off.

and, well, it probably looks like crap.

i wonder how many people have started
unwanted fires using the weed scorch method...


songbird
c***@snyder.on.ca
2017-07-16 18:07:12 UTC
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Post by songbird
...
Post by DerbyDad03
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
maybe because starting a ground fire or
sterilizing the area isn't the objective?
to heat the soil to a temperature which
would guarantee all weed seeds and roots are
killed would take quite a large amount of
energy.
most weeds if you get them soon enough
cannot recover from being cut off.
and, well, it probably looks like crap.
i wonder how many people have started
unwanted fires using the weed scorch method...
songbird
Don't know what kind of weeds you have, but leaving just a tiny part
of the root of a Plantain or Dandelion a;llows it to grow back quitr
vigorously, and twirch grass is almost impossible to kill permanently
- even with chemicals. Knotweed is another real bugger, along with
Black Medic and "creaping charlie"
Cindy Hamilton
2017-07-16 18:09:18 UTC
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Post by c***@snyder.on.ca
Post by songbird
songbird
Don't know what kind of weeds you have, but leaving just a tiny part
of the root of a Plantain or Dandelion a;llows it to grow back quitr
vigorously, and twirch grass is almost impossible to kill permanently
- even with chemicals. Knotweed is another real bugger, along with
Black Medic and "creaping charlie"
I like creeping Charlie. It has a nice bloom in the spring, smells
fragrant when trodden on, and doesn't really need mowing.

Cindy Hamilton
songbird
2017-07-17 11:32:28 UTC
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***@snyder.on.ca wrote:
...
Post by c***@snyder.on.ca
Don't know what kind of weeds you have, but leaving just a tiny part
of the root of a Plantain or Dandelion a;llows it to grow back quitr
vigorously, and twirch grass is almost impossible to kill permanently
- even with chemicals. Knotweed is another real bugger, along with
Black Medic and "creaping charlie"
i don't actually consider any of those weeds
in the grassy places that we mow.

in the mulched places, any significant population
of weeds starting is an indication that the mulch
needs to be redone (cleaned out or replaced).

for woody mulches like the OP has described the
method i use is to scrape off the top layer of
less decayed wood chips and then remove all the
rest down to the weed barrier fabric. those make
excellent garden food.

a quicker way, if you don't mind things stacking
up is to put down a few layers of cardboard and
then put the wood chips over them (but it has to
be deep enough to actually cover). eventually
the cardboard decays but by them most weeds are
smothered.

i just redid an area about 4 sq meters and it
took less time than it would to weed or flame a
few times. won't have to touch it for a few more
years now. while i'm at it i usually put old
news papers and other papers under there so i
don't have to bother feeding them through the
shredder.

after another few rounds of this i'll scrape
it out and use it as garden food.

for the stone mulched areas that get a lot of
plant debris dropped on them the best answer when
they get a lot of weeds popping up is to take it
all up and screen out the crud and replace it.

i've always thought that a good invention for
a lawn service would be a vaccuum, screener,
replacer unit all in one so you could just go
along and get it done, just empty the hopper of
crud when it gets full...


songbird
Muggles
2017-07-17 16:19:11 UTC
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Post by songbird
...
Post by c***@snyder.on.ca
Don't know what kind of weeds you have, but leaving just a tiny part
of the root of a Plantain or Dandelion a;llows it to grow back quitr
vigorously, and twirch grass is almost impossible to kill permanently
- even with chemicals. Knotweed is another real bugger, along with
Black Medic and "creaping charlie"
i don't actually consider any of those weeds
in the grassy places that we mow.
in the mulched places, any significant population
of weeds starting is an indication that the mulch
needs to be redone (cleaned out or replaced).
for woody mulches like the OP has described the
method i use is to scrape off the top layer of
less decayed wood chips and then remove all the
rest down to the weed barrier fabric. those make
excellent garden food.
a quicker way, if you don't mind things stacking
up is to put down a few layers of cardboard and
then put the wood chips over them (but it has to
be deep enough to actually cover). eventually
the cardboard decays but by them most weeds are
smothered.
i just redid an area about 4 sq meters and it
took less time than it would to weed or flame a
few times. won't have to touch it for a few more
years now. while i'm at it i usually put old
news papers and other papers under there so i
don't have to bother feeding them through the
shredder.
after another few rounds of this i'll scrape
it out and use it as garden food.
for the stone mulched areas that get a lot of
plant debris dropped on them the best answer when
they get a lot of weeds popping up is to take it
all up and screen out the crud and replace it.
i've always thought that a good invention for
a lawn service would be a vaccuum, screener,
replacer unit all in one so you could just go
along and get it done, just empty the hopper of
crud when it gets full...
I just finished setting up a worm composting box. I wanted to get rid of
a pile of paperwork and didn't want to have to shred it all, so anything
that had text on it with identifying info I layered in one cardboard box
and sprayed each layer with water. A second cardboard box I just tossed
in papers that didn't have identifying info on it and lined the bottom
of that box with it. I also wrapped both boxes with some packing tape
to give it some extra support allowing it to not fall apart as quickly.

I had a spot in a flower bed I hadn't planted anything in this summer,
so I set up this composting box there. First I layered a bunch of
kindling type sticks in an area just a little bigger than the box, and
then put the second box on top of it. Then I filled that box with more
kindling and small branches to the top of it so it would help support
the weight of the first box.

I stacked the first box lined with wet papers that had the identifying
info on to on top of the box filled with kindling and branches. Then I
added a nice layer of kindling on top of the papers, went around the
yard and dug up some worms, different sizes, and added some soil and
worms on top of the sticks. I kept adding worms and soil 'til it was
about half full and then started adding a combo of soil and
compost/broken sticks til it was full.

The plan is to keep adding worms to it and as they compost the debris
and make worm castings it'll begin to rot the paper at the bottom,
absorb the castings liquid and eventually drip down into the box under
it rotting out the bottom of the top box and eventually the entire
set-up will fall apart in that flower bed.

When that happens, I just collect the plastic packing tape that I used
to wrap around the boxes for support, and spread out the compost in the
same flower bed.

It's an experiment, so, if it works, I can do the same thing with other
beds, too.
--
Maggie
songbird
2017-07-17 17:21:47 UTC
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Muggles wrote:
...
Post by Muggles
I just finished setting up a worm composting box. I wanted to get rid of
a pile of paperwork and didn't want to have to shred it all, so anything
that had text on it with identifying info I layered in one cardboard box
and sprayed each layer with water. A second cardboard box I just tossed
in papers that didn't have identifying info on it and lined the bottom
of that box with it. I also wrapped both boxes with some packing tape
to give it some extra support allowing it to not fall apart as quickly.
I had a spot in a flower bed I hadn't planted anything in this summer,
so I set up this composting box there. First I layered a bunch of
kindling type sticks in an area just a little bigger than the box, and
then put the second box on top of it. Then I filled that box with more
kindling and small branches to the top of it so it would help support
the weight of the first box.
I stacked the first box lined with wet papers that had the identifying
info on to on top of the box filled with kindling and branches. Then I
added a nice layer of kindling on top of the papers, went around the
yard and dug up some worms, different sizes, and added some soil and
worms on top of the sticks. I kept adding worms and soil 'til it was
about half full and then started adding a combo of soil and
compost/broken sticks til it was full.
The plan is to keep adding worms to it and as they compost the debris
and make worm castings it'll begin to rot the paper at the bottom,
absorb the castings liquid and eventually drip down into the box under
it rotting out the bottom of the top box and eventually the entire
set-up will fall apart in that flower bed.
When that happens, I just collect the plastic packing tape that I used
to wrap around the boxes for support, and spread out the compost in the
same flower bed.
It's an experiment, so, if it works, I can do the same thing with other
beds, too.
sounds like a bit of fun. :)

most papers with writing on them i shred and
feed through the worm bins. layering it on top it
gradually gets wetted and then eaten by the various
critters and fungi in there.

my worm bins are buckets. no holes in the bottom
so all nutrients are retained. i restart them each
spring from a few buckets held back. the rest are
all taken out into the gardens and used for the
heaviest feeding plants. it's a nice cycle of
nutrients as all household food and paper scraps go
through there and it ends up improving the garden
soil.

some of the worm species i use are natives so they
will survive. some of the worm species are not
native and i never find them the following spring -
but they are such good composting worms i won't get
rid of them.


songbird
Muggles
2017-07-17 19:33:23 UTC
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Post by songbird
...
Post by Muggles
I just finished setting up a worm composting box. I wanted to get rid of
a pile of paperwork and didn't want to have to shred it all, so anything
that had text on it with identifying info I layered in one cardboard box
and sprayed each layer with water. A second cardboard box I just tossed
in papers that didn't have identifying info on it and lined the bottom
of that box with it. I also wrapped both boxes with some packing tape
to give it some extra support allowing it to not fall apart as quickly.
I had a spot in a flower bed I hadn't planted anything in this summer,
so I set up this composting box there. First I layered a bunch of
kindling type sticks in an area just a little bigger than the box, and
then put the second box on top of it. Then I filled that box with more
kindling and small branches to the top of it so it would help support
the weight of the first box.
I stacked the first box lined with wet papers that had the identifying
info on to on top of the box filled with kindling and branches. Then I
added a nice layer of kindling on top of the papers, went around the
yard and dug up some worms, different sizes, and added some soil and
worms on top of the sticks. I kept adding worms and soil 'til it was
about half full and then started adding a combo of soil and
compost/broken sticks til it was full.
The plan is to keep adding worms to it and as they compost the debris
and make worm castings it'll begin to rot the paper at the bottom,
absorb the castings liquid and eventually drip down into the box under
it rotting out the bottom of the top box and eventually the entire
set-up will fall apart in that flower bed.
When that happens, I just collect the plastic packing tape that I used
to wrap around the boxes for support, and spread out the compost in the
same flower bed.
It's an experiment, so, if it works, I can do the same thing with other
beds, too.
sounds like a bit of fun. :)
most papers with writing on them i shred and
feed through the worm bins. layering it on top it
gradually gets wetted and then eaten by the various
critters and fungi in there.
my worm bins are buckets. no holes in the bottom
so all nutrients are retained. i restart them each
spring from a few buckets held back. the rest are
all taken out into the gardens and used for the
heaviest feeding plants. it's a nice cycle of
nutrients as all household food and paper scraps go
through there and it ends up improving the garden
soil.
some of the worm species i use are natives so they
will survive. some of the worm species are not
native and i never find them the following spring -
but they are such good composting worms i won't get
rid of them.
When I set up my very first worm bins, I used red worms, and they did a
great job. So well, I couldn't keep up with their ability to compost
scraps!

I put a jug under the AC window unit and collected some water there and
used it to moisten that new worm composting box.

I figure it'll all decompose eventually even if I don't find more worms
to add to it. The ones I gathered are natives, so, it'll be fun to see
how they survive. They definitely have plenty of food to munch on.
--
Maggie
DerbyDad03
2017-07-16 21:11:46 UTC
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Post by songbird
...
Post by DerbyDad03
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
maybe because starting a ground fire or
sterilizing the area isn't the objective?
Neither of which are an issue in a space like this:

http://tinyurl.com/Burn-The-Weeds
Post by songbird
to heat the soil to a temperature which
would guarantee all weed seeds and roots are
killed would take quite a large amount of
energy.
I never said anything about killing the roots or seeds. I said:

"Why not make them disappear completely the first time through? I doubt
they'll come back any sooner and things look better immediately."

"Any sooner" refers to the fact that a complete burn and a leaf singe may
both result in the weeds returning but that I doubt that a complete burn
will make them come back "any sooner".
Post by songbird
most weeds if you get them soon enough
cannot recover from being cut off.
Some places can't be mowed, such as the area in the picture above and
around my picnic table.
Post by songbird
and, well, it probably looks like crap.
Complete disappearance of weeds as soon as the job is done or days waiting
for the wilted weeds to die off. Which looks more like "crap" to you?
Post by songbird
i wonder how many people have started
unwanted fires using the weed scorch method...
songbird
Stormin' Norman
2017-07-16 21:58:28 UTC
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On Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:11:46 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
http://tinyurl.com/Burn-The-Weeds
I have two 80ft tall Canary Island date palms that drop a ton of dates
and, now that I have eradicated the gophers (basically) and since none
of our dogs are interested in eating the dates any longer, I get
hundreds of palm seedlings popping up.

I have given serious consideration to buying a weeding torch and
giving it a try. I have a lot of mulch in the area, and I am somewhat
concerned about collateral fire. Might be best to wait until the hot
weather is over and be sure someone is standing by with a hose.
DerbyDad03
2017-07-16 23:18:25 UTC
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Post by Stormin' Norman
On Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:11:46 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
http://tinyurl.com/Burn-The-Weeds
I have two 80ft tall Canary Island date palms that drop a ton of dates
and, now that I have eradicated the gophers (basically) and since none
of our dogs are interested in eating the dates any longer, I get
hundreds of palm seedlings popping up.
I have given serious consideration to buying a weeding torch and
giving it a try. I have a lot of mulch in the area, and I am somewhat
concerned about collateral fire. Might be best to wait until the hot
weather is over and be sure someone is standing by with a hose.
My style of a weeding torch is the Harbor Freight version of the tool used
in the following video. I also use a small torch head on a 16.4 oz tank
when I need some finesse.

At about 5 minutes into this video you will see that he uses the torch in an
area with wood chip mulch. That is basically what I have around my picnic
table although mine has broken down more than his. The "wood" portion is
now finer and it's more of a mulch consistency. The flame is never applied
to any given spot long enough to start a fire and actually blows away anything
that doesn't have roots.


Stormin' Norman
2017-07-16 23:36:11 UTC
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On Sun, 16 Jul 2017 16:18:25 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
Post by Stormin' Norman
On Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:11:46 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
http://tinyurl.com/Burn-The-Weeds
I have two 80ft tall Canary Island date palms that drop a ton of dates
and, now that I have eradicated the gophers (basically) and since none
of our dogs are interested in eating the dates any longer, I get
hundreds of palm seedlings popping up.
I have given serious consideration to buying a weeding torch and
giving it a try. I have a lot of mulch in the area, and I am somewhat
concerned about collateral fire. Might be best to wait until the hot
weather is over and be sure someone is standing by with a hose.
My style of a weeding torch is the Harbor Freight version of the tool used
in the following video. I also use a small torch head on a 16.4 oz tank
when I need some finesse.
At about 5 minutes into this video you will see that he uses the torch in an
area with wood chip mulch. That is basically what I have around my picnic
table although mine has broken down more than his. The "wood" portion is
now finer and it's more of a mulch consistency. The flame is never applied
to any given spot long enough to start a fire and actually blows away anything
that doesn't have roots.
http://youtu.be/993nkdFshQU
I was also thinking about an HF torch.

I believe you are located in a climate that gets much more rain than
where I am. We are very dry most of the year and we get some very
wicked wildfires, so much so that we installed rooftop sprinklers, on
top of the structures, which are equipped to deliver retardant in
addition to water and, I acquired a fire hose water pump so we can use
the water in the pool if needed to fight fire.

Al that said, I like the idea of the torch for the palm seedlings, I
will pick one up the next time I am over that way.
bubba
2017-07-17 08:43:54 UTC
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Post by Stormin' Norman
On Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:11:46 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
http://tinyurl.com/Burn-The-Weeds
I have two 80ft tall Canary Island date palms that drop a ton of dates
and, now that I have eradicated the gophers (basically) and since none
of our dogs are interested in eating the dates any longer, I get
hundreds of palm seedlings popping up.
I have given serious consideration to buying a weeding torch and
giving it a try. I have a lot of mulch in the area, and I am somewhat
concerned about collateral fire. Might be best to wait until the hot
weather is over and be sure someone is standing by with a hose.
Great idea, Boss! Your instincts are spot-on. Get the turbo model!

https://www.yahoo.com/news/blogs/sideshow/man-sets-house-fire-trying-kill-spiders-blowtorch-233815257.html
songbird
2017-07-17 11:37:17 UTC
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Stormin' Norman wrote:
...
Post by Stormin' Norman
I have two 80ft tall Canary Island date palms that drop a ton of dates
and, now that I have eradicated the gophers (basically) and since none
of our dogs are interested in eating the dates any longer, I get
hundreds of palm seedlings popping up.
nobody eats them or are they inedible to people?

mow them repeatedly. they'll go away.

smother them also would likely work.

clear plastic over them, if the area gets
any sun that would likely fry them after a
few days to a week. move the plastic around.
Post by Stormin' Norman
I have given serious consideration to buying a weeding torch and
giving it a try. I have a lot of mulch in the area, and I am somewhat
concerned about collateral fire. Might be best to wait until the hot
weather is over and be sure someone is standing by with a hose.
good luck...


songbird
Oren
2017-07-16 18:02:00 UTC
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On Sat, 15 Jul 2017 18:40:02 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03
Post by DerbyDad03
Every article I've read about Flame Weeding says that the "trick" or "technique"
is not to burn them to the ground, but rather to pass the flame over the leaves
for split second. Just enough to basically heat up the water and pop the cells.
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
Legal stuff.
Post by DerbyDad03
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
Derby did. (if a little heat is good, more heat is better)
Dean Hoffman
2017-07-17 00:36:57 UTC
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Post by DerbyDad03
Every article I've read about Flame Weeding says that the "trick" or "technique"
is not to burn them to the ground, but rather to pass the flame over the leaves
for split second. Just enough to basically heat up the water and pop the cells.
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
This is strictly a guess. Maybe the idea is to keep some shade on
the ground. That might keep new growth from starting. It works in
regular corn/soybean/wheat fields.
DerbyDad03
2017-07-17 01:24:02 UTC
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Post by Dean Hoffman
Post by DerbyDad03
Every article I've read about Flame Weeding says that the "trick" or "technique"
is not to burn them to the ground, but rather to pass the flame over the leaves
for split second. Just enough to basically heat up the water and pop the cells.
OK, that make sense as far as killing the weed (sometimes only temporarily) but
none of the articles say anything about *why* you don't want to burn them to a
crisp. Other than wasting a little propane, and assuming there is nothing else
nearby that the extended heat might bother, why not make them disappear
completely the first time through? I doubt they'll come back any sooner and
things look better immediately.
(Guess who just scorch-earthed the area around his picnic table?)
This is strictly a guess. Maybe the idea is to keep some shade on
the ground. That might keep new growth from starting. It works in
regular corn/soybean/wheat fields.
There's lots of shade where I burnt most of the weeks with the torch.
The reason that there is wood mulch around the picnic table is that
the area barely gets any sun. Large maples trees and the house block
almost all sun.
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