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Would appreciation suggestions (with your review/experiences) for weed burners. Looking for something NOT SCARY for a novice who is not fond of fire, but who is also sick of grass and weeds growing up in the sidewalk cracks and trying to invade garden bed edges. 😉 

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My husband made his own contraption. He got a large refillable propane tank that he fastened to a dolly with bungee cords and then attached a kit he got at a big box store for the hose and nozzle. I'm scared of fire, but I wheel it around and use it fine. We love it and it uses very little propane. We do try and team up with one flame throwing and one following along with the garden hose when it's been dry just in case, since we use it all over and not just in cement areas. I particularly like that it doesn't disturb the soil, and the weeds just collapse and provide more organic matter. No chemicals. The only limitation is using it on weeds super close to plants you want to keep.

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Posted (edited)

Thank you! That helps. I would prefer to purchase a device specifically designed for weed burning, but I really appreciate your personal experience. Making a mental note fo fill the watering can and keep it handy while weed burning. 😉 

All the "pros" that you listed (no chemicals, doesn't disturb soil or other plants, provides organic material) are all the reasons I am considering getting one of these, in spite of not being a fire fan. (Says the woman who is married to a retired urban firefighter, and has an adult son who is a wildland firefighter... 😉 )

Edited by Lori D.
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2 hours ago, Lori D. said:

Would appreciation suggestions (with your review/experiences) for weed burners. Looking for something NOT SCARY for a novice who is not fond of fire, but who is also sick of grass and weeds growing up in the sidewalk cracks and trying to invade garden bed edges. 😉 

My suggestion might be VERY (VERY) SCARY for non-pyromaniacs, but ultra-satisfying for those who always aspired to own their own personal flamethrowers.

I use mine both to burn weeds out of cracks and crevices (& along gravel paths in my garden) and also to put a nice char on steaks, chops, and fish that I've cooked sous vide.

These attach to a standard BBQ propane tank. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Two models.

One has a push button starter, which is nice for people who are afraid of fire (although they might now want to be around these in any case).

The other (the cheaper model) requires a lighter of some sort. If one goes the second route I recommend getting a cheap flint striker from Harbour Freight of the sort used with welding torches (and fixing it to the propane tank with string or similar).

Both work equally well.

It is possible to temper the flames (the power is adjustable), but opening these bad boys up on the weeds helps get the job done.

https://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-with-push-button-igniter-91037.html?cid=paid_google|||91037&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=&utm_content=&gclid=CjwKCAiAkJKCBhAyEiwAKQBCkvJDk4-ReWpRvr9GBs9t8vaEwTbwYzBNiHQJwsjIz7XtOc87mn-j7xoCyrwQAvD_BwE

https://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-with-push-button-igniter-91037.html?cid=paid_google|||91037&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=&utm_content=&gclid=CjwKCAiAkJKCBhAyEiwAKQBCkvJDk4-ReWpRvr9GBs9t8vaEwTbwYzBNiHQJwsjIz7XtOc87mn-j7xoCyrwQAvD_BwE

https://www.harborfreight.com/flint-striker-96084.html

Bill

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Lori D. said:

Thank you! That helps. I would prefer to purchase a device specifically designed for weed burning, but I really appreciate your personal experience. Making a mental note fo fill the watering can and keep it handy while weed burning. 😉 

All the "pros" that you listed (no chemicals, doesn't disturb soil or other plants, provides organic material) are all the reasons I am considering getting one of these, in spite of not being a fire fan. (Says the woman who is married to a retired urban firefighter, and has an adult son who is a wildland firefighter... 😉 )

The upside of getting one of the models I've suggested is that the two men in your life are likely to fight over who gets to take over the job.

They are that much fun. I kid you not. What a blast!!!

And some "wimpy" alternative just really would not cut it.

Bill

 

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2 hours ago, livetoread said:

My husband made his own contraption. He got a large refillable propane tank that he fastened to a dolly with bungee cords and then attached a kit he got at a big box store for the hose and nozzle. I'm scared of fire, but I wheel it around and use it fine. We love it and it uses very little propane. We do try and team up with one flame throwing and one following along with the garden hose when it's been dry just in case, since we use it all over and not just in cement areas. I particularly like that it doesn't disturb the soil, and the weeds just collapse and provide more organic matter. No chemicals. The only limitation is using it on weeds super close to plants you want to keep.

@Lori D. I believe what @livetoread is describing here is the same sort of weed burner set up I'm describing, with the addition of a small dolly and bungee cords to make the unit less heavy to move around.

I have used mine the same way her husband has and having the tank on wheels can be handy, especially for smaller people (as full propane tanks are not light).

I'm a large man and have come to prefer to just carry my propane torch, but adding a dolly is not a bad idea.

Bill

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I'll look to see if what @Spy Car has is more vicious than my dh, but usually the weeds just grow back. He's tried salt, glacial vinegar, flames, and STILL they come back, lol. I think it's that in our case it's pavers with lots of cracks to catch dirt and dust, just the right spot to grow weeds. If it's not a lot, you can just pull them in the spring. If you tolerate pesticides (not me), you could do that. My dh dreams of using RoundUp. Oh well.

Edited by PeterPan
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1 minute ago, PeterPan said:

I'll look to see if what @Spy Car has is more vicious than my dh, but usually the weeds just go back. He's tried salt, glacial vinegar, flames, and STILL they come back, lol. I think it's that in our case it's pavers with lots of cracks to catch dirt and dust, just the right spot to grow weeds. If it's not a lot, you can just pull them in the spring. If you tolerate pesticides (not me), you could do that. My dh dreams of using RoundUp. Oh well.

My experience is that it depends on the type of weeds and how intensively one fries them (which is why wimpy isn't a good option).

I recently have a stubborn type of grass growing in gravel pass-though area in our front hell-strip. I've been burning it out regularly, but seem to be in a test of wills at this point. Overall, I find pretty good results. Where I can easily pick weeds, I do so. But these are great between cracks, pavers, on gravel paths, and between the broken concrete that I've used to outline planting beds.

And if no weeds grew back, I'd lose the fun.

Using Roundup just isn't an option for me.

Bill

 

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Posted (edited)

Thx Bill! I was thinking it was you who had talked about weed torches in a thread quite awhile back.

Yes, price is not the factor deterring me from one of the ones you listed (thank you for links, too!). It's more the "fear factor" and thinking that easing myself into it with a smaller tool to start with might help me eventually work up (like easing into a pool vs. jumping in -- I'm an "easer" not a "jumper", lol). But, I also don't want to start with a tool that's so small/wimpy that it doesn't do the job...

Oh, my YES! All 3 of my guys (hubby and both DSs) would LOVE to use a weed burner! 😄 But I also would like to have something of a size and lower-scariness factor that I can do it, too. It's nice to not have to wait around on someone else to do the finishing bits of weeding. I've been 90% responsible for the gardening and yard care because I love it. The guys only do the occasional heavy-duty saw work for tree trimming, because none of them like yard work. (I guess my pride is involved a little bit here... 😉 )
 

25 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

I'll look to see if what @Spy Car has is more vicious than my dh, but usually the weeds just go back. He's tried salt, glacial vinegar, flames, and STILL they come back, lol. I think it's that in our case it's pavers with lots of cracks to catch dirt and dust, just the right spot to grow weeds. If it's not a lot, you can just pull them in the spring. If you tolerate pesticides (not me), you could do that. My dh dreams of using RoundUp. Oh well.

I don't do pesticides. And because I'm trying to grow edibles in the beds where weeds are trying to encroach, and they often have specific soil needs, I don't want to do massive pH changes with salt or vinegar right next to them where rain can wash that salt/vinegar into the bed. I do hand-pull weeds, but we also have pernicious Bermuda grass that can NOT be removed from cracks in sidewalks/pavers, and the roots grow UNDER everything, like my rain water cistern, so I can't dig them out. I've managed to dig out an entire front yard AND back yard of Bermuda, but have these few stubborn spots where I can't get at the roots. So that's why I'm thinking weed torch...

I know that a weed burner is not a permanent solution -- but I'm down to these problem areas where digging out or poisoning is not a solution at all, much less a permanent solution. I'm fine with having to come back every so often and re-flaming new weeds... 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

...I recently have a stubborn type of grass growing...
... Where I can easily pick weeds, I do so.
... But these are great between cracks, pavers, on gravel paths, and between the broken concrete that I've used to outline planting beds...
...Using Roundup just isn't an option for me.

This is me and my situation exactly.

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, Dreamergal said:

The things you learn on this board. 😱

I know, right? My husband keeps these types of torches on his work van. What an idea. I hate pesticides, too. Later, I’m going to show this to him. I can see me walking around my yard pulling ds’s old Radio Flyer wagon with a BBQ propane tank sitting in it, torching up the earth. Flame Thrower Lady. 🔥🔥

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46 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

And if no weeds grew back, I'd lose the fun.

LOL

 

42 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

much less a permanent solution.

Goat?

No I hope you have fun with it. My dh loves his. I think he doesn't do it as frequently as SpyCar, so there you go. 

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9 minutes ago, Indigo Blue said:

I know, right? My husband keeps these types of torches on his work van. What an idea. I hate pesticides, too. Later, I’m going to show this to him. I can see me walking around my yard pulling ds’s old Radio Flyer wagon with a BBQ propane tank sitting in it, torching up the earth. Flame Thrower Lady. 🔥🔥

Spark one of these bad boys up at night with the valves fully opened--then pull on the lever that resembles a bike brake. OMG!!!

What a rush.

Daytime use is much more low key.

Bill

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52 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

This is me and my situation exactly.

Get one of the linked options. A little blow torch will kill your back from bending over and will prove ineffectual. 

Embrace the inevitable.

Bill

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59 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Thx Bill! I was thinking it was you who had talked about weed torches in a thread quite awhile back.

Yes, price is not the factor deterring me from one of the ones you listed (thank you for links, too!). It's more the "fear factor" and thinking that easing myself into it with a smaller tool to start with might help me eventually work up (like easing into a pool vs. jumping in -- I'm an "easer" not a "jumper", lol). But, I also don't want to start with a tool that's so small/wimpy that it doesn't do the job...

Oh, my YES! All 3 of my guys (hubby and both DSs) would LOVE to use a weed burner! 😄 But I also would like to have something of a size and lower-scariness factor that I can do it, too. It's nice to not have to wait around on someone else to do the finishing bits of weeding. I've been 90% responsible for the gardening and yard care because I love it. The guys only do the occasional heavy-duty saw work for tree trimming, because none of them like yard work. (I guess my pride is involved a little bit here... 😉 )
 

I don't do pesticides. And because I'm trying to grow edibles in the beds where weeds are trying to encroach, and they often have specific soil needs, I don't want to do massive pH changes with salt or vinegar right next to them where rain can wash that salt/vinegar into the bed. I do hand-pull weeds, but we also have pernicious Bermuda grass that can NOT be removed from cracks in sidewalks/pavers, and the roots grow UNDER everything, like my rain water cistern, so I can't dig them out. I've managed to dig out an entire front yard AND back yard of Bermuda, but have these few stubborn spots where I can't get at the roots. So that's why I'm thinking weed torch...

I know that a weed burner is not a permanent solution -- but I'm down to these problem areas where digging out or poisoning is not a solution at all, much less a permanent solution. I'm fine with having to come back every so often and re-flaming new weeds... 😉 

I belive the problem patch I have is probably Bermuda grass. I should probably try solarizing my hell-strip path with a sheet of plastic, but I'm loathe to give up more direct engagement with my enemy.

Overall, weedburning is a pretty good option...but there are limitations.

Humor aside, I think you'd be well advised to get the flamethrower. The flame is adjustable and you could keep it turned down to your comfort level. A little creme brulee-style torch or a dinky blowtorch just won't do the job and you'd end up frustrated and back needing the nuclear option.

Bill

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The reviews we read about the little all-in-one torches that advertise as being for weeds weren't good, and for a little more upfront cost, we did our set up that will for sure save money in the long run. 

And yes, what SpyCar linked to is what we got. We got the kind that needs to be lit, and we use a flint striker. It is trial and error to figure out how long to fry the suckers. We have thistles that are pretty tenacious.

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Elon Musk's The Boring Company released these NOT A  Flamethrowers a while back and immediately sold out. Copies are now listed on ebay for $10,000.

Looking at the videos, I feel in no way out matched (quite to the contrary, in fact).

I'll give Musk's version some props for syle and portability, but I have far more staying power.

Did I mention the weed-burners can be turned down?

And they are just the tool for putting a char on a steak. 

Bill

 

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46 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

Get one of the linked options. A little blow torch will kill your back from bending over and will prove ineffectual. 

Embrace the inevitable.

😂

The not having to bend over aspect is a real selling point for getting a bigger option...

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1 minute ago, Lori D. said:

😂

The not having to bend over aspect is a real selling point for getting a bigger option...

It is huge feature not to need to bend over. Really. A little hand torch would kill your back (or mine anyway). And a little torch would really not be up to the job. 

Saving my back from bending over (which weeding provides me with more than enough opportunities) makes this tool a godsend.

Adding a little dolly so you could stroll it around more easily isn't a bad idea either. 

Bill

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52 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

I belive the problem patch I have is probably Bermuda grass. I should probably try solarizing my hell-strip path with a sheet of plastic...

And solarizing kills beneficial soil life as well. 😢 

Although this article seems to indicate that beneficials re-colonize quickly... Though that leads one to speculate that wouldn't the undesirables also return...??? 😉

In my area, southwest of you,  it gets so hot in summer that solarization is like bringing the sun down into the soil itself, so it's a pretty drastic solution... 😬

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2 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

And solarizing kills beneficial soil life as well. 😢 

Although this article seems to indicate that beneficials re-colonize quickly... Though that leads one to speculate that wouldn't the undesirables also return...??? 😉

In my area, southwest of you,  it gets so hot in summer that solarization is like bringing the sun down into the soil itself, so it's a pretty drastic solution... 😬

Yeah, solarizing isn't good for soil microbes. But I have a few gravel pathways  from the sideway to the street between planting beds in our hell strip where it wouldn't matter so much. I'm otherwise very attentive to maintaining a healthy ecosystem for all the all the creature large and small that makes alternatives like Roundup a no go.

Summer temps in my corner of LA get pretty high. The grass in question will die in the summer either way. But with the benefit of Spring rains are restancence to fire, I have one tenacious patch. Think I'll go give it blast right now.

Bill

 

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i have and like this one, although I use a separate long handled candle lighter for the ignition:  https://smile.amazon.com/Flame-King-YSNPQ810CGA-Propane-Lighting/dp/B07L5HBZJL/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=propane+torch+weeding&qid=1615163157&sr=8-5

It is very portable, which I like.  It takes a big longer than you might expect to burn each individual weed, so the model with the cone on the tip might work a bit better (haven't compared them).  But it looks like those hook up to a big propane tank, and mine works with a small canister.  

Edited by Kebo
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