Flame weeding–a great replacement for herbicides!

Flame Weeding
Image from flameengineering.com August 23, 2021

Have pesky weeds in your patio or sidewalk cracks? Want to control weeds in mulched beds without herbicides? Try flame weeding, for an effective, chemical-free approach to weed control!

Before skipping to the great video below, read these few tidbits about flame weeding.

–Flame weeding is most effective on annual plants, but repeat treatment may be needed on perennial weeds that could resprout from deep roots.

–Flame weeding can be done in the rain, or right before, or after a rain–when herbicides cannot be used! If you are a landscaping company, this will extend the services you can provide to customers on rainy days. Flame weeding is safest when the ground is moist, but also can be more effective on perennial weeds, but hot steam can travel deeper into weeds with tap roots.

–Wear leather gloves, leather shoes, and long pants.

–Never burn poison ivy.

–Keep a shovel, bucket of water, or fire extinguisher handy, in case dry material catches fire. You can tamp it out with the shovel or stop any fire spreading with the water. Never flame weed on windy days.

–If you plan to start flame weeding, watch this excellent video of how-to’s. It’s well worth 7 minutes of your day! (BTW, there are other flame weeders like the Green Dragon, Mini Dragon, or Flame King that use less propane than the one in the video)

3 comments on "Flame weeding–a great replacement for herbicides!"

  1. Eric Wenger says:

    Flame weeding is not ideal, although it can be effective in certain areas, but it is not an equal replacement to the exceptional herbicides that are available and still legal to use in areas where flaming would be used. Herbicides, when used according to to the label, are safer, les expensive and more effective than flaming.

    When it comes to controlling weeds in lawns, there are no effective and selective methods for controlling most in lawns.
    Right now, there are mass outbreaks of Japanese stiltgrass, crabgrass, nutsedge, spotted-spurge and many other weeds, in lawns. And there are no good solutions for controlling those weeds selectively, in Greater Montgomery County, MD.

    There is also mass disregard for Bill 52-14, and homeowners all over the County are purchasing and applying herbicides to their lawns. These people have no training or expertise in using these products. But since they cannot hire a professional applicator to apply these pesticides, they are doing it themselves – this is widespread, and predictable.

    So lots of pesticides are being applied by amateurs and they are not keeping records or being held to any standard – unlike their professional counterparts.

    Bill 52-14 is a failure and it is doing far more harm than good.

    Let’s fix 52-14 by putting in some commonsense and promoting safe use of pesticides by professional applicators.

    Flaming weeds is not the answer.

    1. Mary Travaglini says:

      Thank you for your comments, Eric. The article promotes flame weeding in areas where certain pesticides are not banned, like garden beds and sidewalk cracks, not in lawns. Flame weeding is a fantastic alternative for those seeking to eliminate pesticides in order to protect pets, pollinators, honey bee colonies, children, neighbors, and the environment. It also is much faster and less labor instensive than pulling weeds from cracks, and can be used before, during, or after a rain, when pesticides cannot be used, extending the ability for any landscaper to work during wet periods without requiring licensed laborers.

  2. Danielle says:

    My neighborhood has told me that I cannot use a flame weeder since my neighbor is concerned about risk. Is there a justification that you have used to change neighborhood rules?

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