How to burn weeds

Written by keith dooley
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How to burn weeds
Use a weed flamer to burn broadleaved weeds for control. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Most gardeners eliminate weeds with herbicides, either sprayed on or applied manually for added control. However, some gardeners choose to use organic means of weed control, including burning or flaming. This method involves using a burner or wand that runs on propane or parasene gas.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Closed toe shoes
  • Weed flamer or wand
  • Flamer fuel (propane or parasene gas)
  • Long stick match or lighter

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  1. 1

    Put on safety glasses, gloves and closed toe shoes for protection before lighting and working with a weed flamer or weed wand.

  2. 2

    Prepare the weed flamer or wand, following the manufacturer's directions. Fill the fuel tank or insert a propane gas cylinder into the flamer or wand. Pump the tank to pressurise the fuel, if necessary, and open the control valve for lighting. Light the end of the flamer with a long stick match or lighter and allow to preheat.

  3. 3

    Position the end of the flamer or wand so the flame will not contact the weeds. Instead, use the high heat to singe the leaves.

  4. 4

    Apply a short burst of flame above the weeds and direct the heat to all exposed leaves.

  5. 5

    Move slowly through the garden or landscape, taking care to avoid contacting flowers, vegetables or landscape plants with the heat or flame.

Tips and warnings

  • Monitor the burnt weeds for signs of die back. The heat from the flame will cause the cells of the leaf to burst and the sugar production for the weed plant to get disrupted. The lack of sugar will cause the weed to die.

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