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TOPIC: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden?

Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269435

I need some aggressive weed control &, being desperate, I bought some Glyphosate over the weekend but couldn't bring myself to use it. Glad I didn't because my copy of Organic magazine arrived today (it has an article on it) & now I'm even more turned off it than I was already. So I'm going to take the unopened pack back & get a refund. BUT I still have the weed issue & just don't have the time required to get it all under control via hand weeding.

I have had success on a small scale using the hot water left over from making my cup of tea in the morning. But obviously I can't just drag my kettle out when I want to get rid of larger areas of weeds :)

So...I'd really like to invest in a flame weeder (or a steam one if they make them for the home garden but I suspect a flame wand would be easier to use). Googling hasn't made things clearer for me & I was hoping maybe someone would know where I could get one in Australia for domestic use?
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269446

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Epiphany I saw one in our local Mitre10 hardware store.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269449

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This is the one I saw in Mitre10 - it may direct you to a local stockist

http://www.hotdevil.com.au/web/weedkillerLocations.cfm

I notice they are on eBay for about $79 + postage so it might be worth checking a local stockist first.

I'd be interested in how they work if you get one. Seems to be good for spot-killing weeds on wet days.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269451

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You could try a painters stripping heat gun. They peel paint so sure they will hassle weeds. You could also try thick wads of wet newspaper or even Pine needle oil.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269452

A bit more looking round & I found that Gameco (in Australia) stock the Red Dragon that I'd seen elsewhere (in the States). Have emailed them to find out how much they cost. They're essentially a big nozzle that attaches to a gas tank.

Muster...thanks so much for that link. I think I want something that attaches to my existing tank - those butane tanks are pretty small...wonder how much it'd cost to run? I contacted Bunnings who flatly denied selling any flame-related weeding implements. My closest Mitre 10 who sells anything other than landscaping supplies is a fair drive away but at a pinch, I could go there (will call them soon).

Porgey...layering newspaper works *really* well. We did it on our front garden in an area that was over run with weeds & it was very effective. I'd highly recommend it. The only problem was it took a long time to do & I had to organise in advance with my local community newspaper about collecting enough papers. I'm also concerned about the chooks scratching up the newspaper.

Sigh. Of course, the easiest option would be to have a live-in weed puller. Hmmmm...thought that was hubby's job...mwahahahahaha :tongue:

***edited to add***
Called Mitre 10...they have a couple of the Hot Devils in stock for $79.99 + the cost of the butane cartridge. I'll wait & see how much the cost of the Red Dragons are & go from there.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269618

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All these gadgets are ridiculously expensive way to burn off weeds, besides being environmently unfriendly.
Try covering with black plastic sheet, quick, cheap, reusable and 100% effective.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 4 years 2 weeks ago #269827

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It depends on how much land you are trying to eradicate weeds from.

Either flame or steam works well on large areas, but if you are talking suburban infestation (anything 1/4 acre or less is suburban), then diligent manual attention will do the job.

Steam works on leafy foliage and roots (autumn into early spring is best), especially if you can get the steam into the soil (kills worms and microbes along the way tho), flame works best on seed-heads and above ground foliage (spring into summer is best).
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 11 months ago #274495

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I bought myself a flame weeder from ebay a few weeks ago. It arrived today and I used it tonight to tackle a massive weed problem in my vege crop. I have just about every weed known to man, and most of them are just getting ready to drop their seed. My biggest problem is a massive patch of onion weed I've struggled to get rid of for years, only to find after leaving them alone for the last 6 months they've take over.

The lambs quarter is also a big problem, with chickweed basically a groundcover.

Out comes the flame weeder. In reality it should have really been called a flame thrower. This unit is actually scarey to use when you press the boost button. You have to see and hear it to believe it.

It has a flow control valve which I turned up a bit so I didn't have to use the boost. Took me about 1.5 hours but the whole garden was smoking by the time I'd finished. I went over the onion weed patch three times.

In a week I'll go over the garden again once most things have died down. I'll blast the surface to burn up any seeds that survived the inferno to the ground.

I'll get my seedlings going soon, then a week before planting I'll till the soil and give things another blast the day before planting.

Here's the link for the auction
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=130304920491&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_613wt_734

I can't show you an image of the blow torch (can't copy it off ebay) but I will show you before and after images of the garden next week. I'm sure it will be a big difference.

The price is comparable to one of those puny butane bottle weed burners that would only be able to do one weed at a time. Shipping cost almost as much as the unit itself, but the same unit in australia would cost around $500.

The model I bought had a bush button igniter as well, which is important because sometimes you'll get a flame-out, and you wouldn't want your hand anywhere near the flame when it ignites.

I connected mine to a standard 9kg bbq bottle which was more than half empty. It was still running by the end of the night and I'd run out of things to burn :)
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 11 months ago #274503

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Just taking this idea in the opposite direction. As frosts and severe cold kills most plant matter wouldn't freezing them be better and not so damaging to worms & soil life? A small bottle of nitrogen produces a really cold gas that would zap any plant matter and should be fairly inexpensive as well as adding nitrogen to the soil(?). Just a thought! :D
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 11 months ago #274504

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Look up Sheen Flame Gun on Google, they are manufactured in the UK and are sold in Australia by Bon Trading in Sydney. It uses kerosene not gas and burns at 2000 degrees and are very effective on all weeds. Not cheap , I bought one about 4 yrs ago and I think it was nearly $300 but you dont have to carry around a gas bottle.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 11 months ago #274505

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I'll carry around a gas bottle if it means I save $200.

Liquid nitrogen is extremely expensive. You'll never get any outside the medical/scientific industry, and the intense cold is just as devastating against micro-organisms as the flame.

There's really no concern about damaging soil life and worms, as it's only the surface that cops the heat, and UV kills most of that off anyway.
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 11 months ago #274682

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unfortunately flame will only sterilize any seeds exposed on the ground. My experience has a lovely crop of weeds springing up after a burn off.
If you think you can
If you think you can't
either will be true.
Henry Ford
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 10 months ago #277071

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Personally, being a lazy gardener, all the weeds grow and I just light a lighter under the blow-a-ways so they don't get to spread. Takes a few minutes each day (for a seriously bad infestation), and gives you enough time to have a ponder on the problem, while controlling the spread.

Weeds grow in places you aren't working in yet ... if you aren't working the area, just burn the seeds, hack at the main stems and get on with the bits you are working on ... if you control the seeds, you WILL get there eventually ;)
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 9 months ago #280937

Have attempted to purchase the Hot Devil but seems to be discontinued with Mitre 10 and unavailable on ebay. Battling with sourgrass which sprouts through bitumen, and spreads by bulb. Pull it out and another 50 will sprout. Plastic, paper, steam have all been tried. ::shrug:
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RE: Steam or flame weeder for the home garden? 3 years 9 months ago #280939

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Vivieng: check out my link above to a flamer on eBay. The Hot Devil is nothing compared to this unit. I had an entire garden waist height with weeds, now the only thing left is the onion weed. Or as you call it, sour grass.

I'm afraid even burning onion weed isn't an immediate solution. It just grows back. But I'm sure if you are vigilant eventually it will run out of energy and die off.

I used glyphosate on it a few weeks back, and now I'm burning again. I'm hoping a combination of the two will kill it outright.

I've also heard that fertilising it with super phosphate swells the bulb, splits them and kills the entire plant from the bulb up. This sounds risky though, as you may just give it more energy to survive anything.

I'll have to post a youtube video of my flamer. It can be quite devastating on full blast.

rw
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