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Burning weeds with a torch

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by basod, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    I have a fairly decent infestation of carpet burweed. I've decided to burn the stuff as it's easily identified in what remains of the dormant zoyzia/bermuda now before it goes to seed and fills the yard with the sticker seeds this summer.
    Never used a torch before on weeds and am curious if you have to fully burn the weed of just moving over the top of it does enough to burst the cells and prevent future growth.

    I didn't want to use glyphosate and kill the good stuff in the vicinity, and I'm well past the point of pre-emerge herbicides, this stuff is an annual the sticker seeds germinate in october.

    So does modest torching work.... either way I have a cool new bonfire wand:)

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I have and enjoy using a weed burner. They don't work on weeds. The weed will grow right back. You're better off mowing it. Lots of cool uses for weed burners other than weed burning. I've known people that have burned down buildings on accident by use of the weed burners.

    Trying to be all green and use heat instead of chemicals won't work.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I have a friend that starts his big BBQ with one of these. Has a good coal bed in about 15 seconds!
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I tried to prep a garden once by burning all the weeds to black carbon and then tilling. Very rapid revegetation of weeds. I wasted a lot of propane. Same with trying to burn weeds out of gravel. Instant gratification is followed by immediate regrowth.

    I wanted it to work. The torch is loud, warm, and violent. Small children think you are a dragon. Wonderful bonfire starters.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Bummer that it doesn't work on gravel drives and pathways. That is what I would have purchase one for. Though I have a damp burn pile that I could have used this on last weekend.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    It won't kill the weed, only kills the top leaves which quickly resprout. I have lots of concrete slab, gravel driveway, and parking area.
  7. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    It seems to have worked on the burweed, we had a frost and all the areas I hit look freezer burnt/wilted. It's probably next to impossible to get it all , but maybe I prevented this particluar weed from going to seed en mass. scratched up and overseeded some of the denser patches with some cool season fescue. Probably hit it with 2-4D in the fall to prevent furture germination
    Not a big lawn guy, but I hate the stickers in bare feet during the summer months
  8. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    I was thinking about using mine for the exact same purpose. But since my BBQ is a big green egg, I wonder if it might crack the ceramic. That would be a bummer.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, he was starting a regular big Weber. Given the price of a BGE I wouldn't try it. A crack would be a bummer.
  10. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Works ok on my gravel. Weeds do grow back after a month or two, but they would do that with the spray on stuff too.

  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    boiling water is supposed to work on the driveway too but I find the grass and weeds I have just grow back .

    Only weeds I've killed with propane/flame were in the garden and were weeds that are easily killed by cutting at the base with a hoe
    propane is getting expensive here anyway, I save it for the grill
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How much permafrost is below the gravel?
  13. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    No permafrost here, that is only up north.

  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Burning will help with some weeds...but not all. Check local listings, but many weed and grass seeds are designed to survive a forest fire / prairie fire. Anyone who's burned off a pasture knows that the weeds come right back.

    Zoysia is damn near impossible to kill. A stout, and I mean stout, dose of glyphosate is about your only hope to get rid of it. There's some bermuda grass specific herbicide that won't damage the rest of your lawn...but that zoysia is going to be a challenge.
  15. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    See i'm trying to not kill the zoyzia/bermuda.
    I did read up that glyphosate is ok on dormant bermuda but can cause issues on the zoyzia.

    A week after buring the burweed I started seeing new growth just less of it so I mixed up some glyphosate and spot sprayed - just haven't had ideal temps for herbicide application appears to be changing this weekend will be in the 70's - it didn't break 34 last weekend.
  16. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Ahhh...that makes more sense....Zoysia can handle glyphosate in moderate doses...not sure about bermuda. I would mix some glyphosate to about 50% of the recommended strength and treat a small out of sight area to see if the weeds die and the zoysia survives. I've never personally done this but I have heard it works.

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