flame weeder

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by syringaweb, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    I'm very excited about my spring purchase of a flame weeder. I used it two days ago (about 48 hours). No grass and vine carnage yet. ???
    Not even droopy, just some a little wilted around the edges.
    The booklet said "just to sweep over" the grass. Am I being impatient?

    Anyone's experience they'd like to share would be grand.

    thanks,
    Michelle
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

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    I looked into them last year and decided against it for reasons that didn't have to do with the performance. The one I was looking at burned the weeds- it didn't damage them. Are you sure you are using it properly? Don't set the woods on fire but burn the weeds you don't want. Sweep it over slowly so that you have a smoke trail- when you lift up you should have no grass left. They're pretty powerful so be very careful.
     

  3. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    sweep over the weeds means cook the weeds with the flame, not just scare them
     
  4. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    thanks Tango and Rose.

    Today I cooked the ones that only got scared before.
     
  5. renee7

    renee7 Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking about checking it out. Where would be the best place to get one? And how expensive are they?
    Wouldn't you have to cook the roots?
     
  6. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    the heat they put off if used right kills the whole plant,
     
  7. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine from the Northern Tool website. I got the one you can attach to a standard (grill size) tank.
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    My experience has been is that the flames just burn up the tops and a few days later the weeds grow back up from the roots.
     
  9. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    I've got a fairly large "flame weeder" or weed burner. I think it's pretty useless for eliminating growing weeds. It is great for burning off the dead ones during the winter. (My thumb isn't very "green" but I can always grow a bumper crop of tumbleweeds.)
     
  10. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that you are using one of those little dinky propane weed burners. What you need is a kerosene or kerosene/gasoline supplied one…the kind where you have to hand pump the pressure in. There is simply no comparison…like comparing an electrical weed-whacker to a gas driven one. I stress again, simply no comparison between the dinky little torch flame a propane one puts out and the loud thunderous roar of a three feet long, one foot wide jet engine exhaust flame of a pumper. Anyways, with the pump ones, you can get the contents to come out in liquid form making an AMAZING flame thrower.

    I don't think one is suppose to walk around pointing and burning off individual weeds. I think it is more put to use burning inter-tangled grass growing up fence rows where a weed-whacker can’t get.

    You have to go to an auction and get an old one though...one made before safety codes :D
     
  11. Soni

    Soni Well-Known Member

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    I used a borrowed roofing torch for this purpose at one time. Much bigger flame-power coming out the end - sounded like a small jet! That visual, along with my insane giggling as I stood for what was probably an gratuitously long time over a particularly long-lived clump of crabgrass that had been thwarting my efforts all year, pretty much kept the neighbors off my property at night! :)
     
  12. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Well, once again you all have introduced me to something I didn't know was in existance! So, how do you think this flame thing would work on blackberries?

    Thanks! LQ
     
  13. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    For a source of weed flamers check out your local farm supply. I bought mine from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply. They have a website and ship nationwide. I paid around $100 for mine not including the propane tanks. I simply hooked it up to the five gallon propane bottle off the gas grill and off to burn the world down. By the way, there are several models available including a backpack model to carry a 3 gallon propane bottle.

    Cedar, I seriously doubt we are talking about the same tools because these weed flamers are serious business...check out the Peaceful Valley catalog and you will see. These do NOT use the throwaway propane tanks.

    The objective is to boil the plants juices...this is what knocks 'em back. Does NOT kill the tough perennials like my local nemesis Himalaya berries, or other toughies like the Rose from Hell. Nor would it kill poison oak/ivey, but then I do not flame that ever. Those who have only burned off the tops of the weeds are not getting enough heat down to where needed. I flame all visible parts of the plants.

    Once the plants are knocked back and weakened the perennials will regrow so I wait until they are up and greeting the sun again and flame them again. With the berries sometimes it takes more than one season to finally kill 'em off. AS we have talked before in other threads the tough perennials can be difficult to kill no matter what we do.

    bearkiller
     
  14. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) Thanks Bearkiller! I will start the research. :) LQ
     
  15. Idahofarmergal

    Idahofarmergal Well-Known Member

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    I have the backpack model from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply, and have used it quite a bit. Its pricey, but saves my back from lugging around a propane tank. One pass over young, annual broadleaf weeds is all it takes. You don't need to "cook" them, just boil the juices. The expansion of the liquid in the cells bursts the cells walls. The weeds should just look a little darker after you pass over and then wilt within an hour. If you "burn" them you are waisting propane and quite likely killing more good bugs than necessary. Killing good bugs is a consideration with a flamer, as is the very real possibility of burning crops if you get too close, and the difficulty in killing perennials and grasses. The flamer is worthless on my nemesis - quackgrass. And, as has been mentioned, when you kill off everything else, the really bad weeds then have no competition and have a party. I also can't use mine at all after I lay down my drip irrigation system in May, so the flamer spends its life in the shed these days. I have better success using cover crops to smother out weeds. But, the flamer is very useful for some applications. It depends on you weeds and your set up.
     
  16. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

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  17. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    Am I missing something or does no one seem to own a blow torch???

    My ever-so-thoughtful former owner here decided to plant a 'prairie garden'... It looks like total ...... if we don't do a burn every year. Not worth digging it all out and replacing with something more homeowner-friendly... just keeping it looking ok till we sell. Would figure that for 'common' weeds my torch would do as well as anything marketed to burn them???

    Sue
     
  18. j.r. guerra in s. tx.

    j.r. guerra in s. tx. Well-Known Member

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    During drought years, we have a torch very similair to what is described above, (pump operated torch), but is mounted on a backpack for burning prickly pear thorns for cattle to eat. SueD blowtorch idea sounds good, - maybe a good old fashioned carbide lantern would work also.
     
  19. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ......................For you'll that don't want to Waste Propane on Weeds you can BUY a Special 8" blade for your Weed eater that works exactly like a Skill Saw Blade. I have an ECCO and I bought a Kit from H. Depot for about 30 bucks which included the blade and the hardware to hook it up. I "circumcised" about 150 feet of these little green , stickey vines that grow very profusely here in n. Texas. They have a waxy appearance and are almost immune to Roundup. They have a very strong Root structure and become very thick over a couple of growing seasons. But , I went after 'um like a nearsighted Rabbi with a NEW Razor. ........No Mo' vines ....Da Kingfish done Laid waste to to Da unwanted Growth..........Oh Lawd!! Save Me , Shonuff Done got Da Work finnish Too Day, ....fordy..... :eek: :D :yeeha:
     
  20. Soni

    Soni Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmm...wondering if a flame weeder would 'weed out' doggy poo? Smell couldn't possibly be worse than fresh-rained-on :(