Using a Flame Weeder for Weed Control

Have you ever considered buying a flame weeder to control weeds in your yard? If you are ready to do battle with weeds using flame, I totally understand!

Weeds are a constant battle for gardeners. They can quickly take over a garden (or a sidewalk, driveway, or yard!) and choke out the plants you’re trying to grow.  Many people use herbicides to control weeds, but these chemicals can be harmful to plants, pets, and people.

Flame weeding is a safe and effective way to get rid of weeds without using any harsh chemicals. If you want to avoid herbicides or the mechanical pulling of weeds, this tool is perfect! However, be aware that it only works on certain types (and locations) so don’t expect complete eradication every time.

Here are a few things you should know before you buy one of these weed control tools for gardening.

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person using flame weeder near driveway with text overlay 'Flame Weeding and How To Kill Weeds with Fire'

What Is A Flame Weeder, Anyhow?

A flame weeder is a weed control tool that uses fire to remove weeds from wherever they may happen to grow. At first glance, it may not look like much. But this simple tool can be a powerful weapon in the fight against weeds.

A flame weeder uses extreme heat to kill unwanted plants. The temperatures can reach up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit, causing plant tissue to die. As a result, the unwanted plant is quickly killed without the use of pesticides or herbicides.

Flame weeders vary in size from small, light weight, handheld flaming torches suitable for homeowners to large truck-mounted units more appropriate for a multi-acre farm.

In general, you will find that there is a source of flame like a propane tank that connects to a stainless steel hood via a strong hose. Size and functions will vary slightly depending on the brand and how large it is.

There are many different types of available on the market, ranging from small handheld flaming torches to large tractor-mounted units suitable for a large farm.

No matter what size or type you choose, a flame weeder can be an effective tool for keeping your vegetable garden free of weeds.

Are flame weeders effective?

Yes, these flaming torches are very effective at killing weeds! The high temperatures cause the plant cells to die, quickly killing the weed.

Flame weeders are most effective on short, annual weeds. These weeds are plants that complete their life cycle in one year or less. Perennial weeds, which come back year after year, are more difficult to kill since they generally have a much hardier system of roots.

They are also very effective at killing weeds in cracks and crevices. For example, driveway or sidewalk weeds are easy to kill with flames. The heat from the flame can penetrate the small spaces between paving stones and kill any weed hiding there.

You also don’t have to be as careful about protecting the surrounding area. If you want to stop weeds from growing through pebbles, this is another great application for them.

How long does flame weeding last? Sadly, this isn’t a permanent solution. However, as you kill weeds year after year, you will notice fewer coming back to annoy you.

flame weeder being used to kill weed in driveway pavers

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Are flame weeders safe?

When used correctly, they will not cause any damage to plants in the surrounding area. The heat from the flame is intense enough to kill weeds but as long as you pay attention to where you are aiming it, the flame will not be harmful to other plants.

Be sure to keep flame weeders away from flammable materials such as dry grass or leaves. Don’t use them near wooden fences and make sure to have the local fire department phone number handy just in case.

Benefits of Using Flame Weeders

For anyone who has ever spent hours bent over in the garden, pulling weeds by hand, the idea of a flame weeder may sound like a dream come true.

Flame weeders use a propane or butane tank to create a small, controlled fire that quickly destroys weed growth. Not only is this method of weed control easier on the body than manual weed removal, but it also has a number of other benefits.

This handy weed control tool can be used on both small and large areas of land, making them ideal for both home gardens and commercial farms.

In addition, they are highly effective at killing weeds, without harming the surrounding soil and vegetation. And because they don’t require the use of herbicides or other chemicals, they are also more environmentally friendly.

For anyone who is looking for an easy, safe, and environmentally friendly way to remove weeds from their garden, flame weeding is a great option.

Cons of Using Flame Weeding for Weed Control

While flame weeders have many benefits, they also have a few drawbacks.

The first is that they are not effective on all types of weeds. Annual weeds are the easiest to kill, while perennial weeds are more difficult.

In addition, flame weeders can be dangerous if not used correctly. Be sure to keep flame weeders away from flammable materials and always use caution when operating them. Make sure children and pets stay far away while you are using it.

Finally, flame weeders can be expensive, depending on the size and type you choose. However, when compared to the cost of hiring a professional to remove weeds, flame weeders are a more affordable option.

close up of a hose with water coming out

How To Use a Flame Weeder Properly

So, you have decided to control weeds by fire. How do you get started? First things first, get out your hose in case of emergencies. Here are a few tips for using a flame weeder safely and effectively.

  1. Choose the right one for the job. There are several different sizes and types of flame weeders available, so be sure to choose one that is best suited for your needs.
  2. Read the instructions carefully. They are not all created equal and each one has its own set of instructions. Be sure to read them thoroughly before using it.
  3. Start with a small area. Flame weeders can be used in both small and large areas, but it is always best to start small and work your way up.
  4. Be careful when using them around flammable materials. As mentioned earlier, flame weeders can be dangerous if not used correctly. Be sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, such as dry grass or leaves.
  5. Pay attention to the wind. This is incredibly important to make sure you stay safe and don’t catch your clothing on fire.
  6. Use caution when operating flame weeders. Make sure children and pets stay away from the area while you are using it.
  7. Be patient. Weeds will not completely disappear overnight. It may take a few passes over the same area to completely remove the weeds.
  8. Keep it clean. After each use, be sure to clean your flame weeder to prevent any damage to the device.

child walking along fence with weeds growing nearby

When and where NOT to use a flame weeder

Flame weeders can be used in a variety of settings, but there are a few places where you should not use them.

  1. Never use them near flammable materials. As mentioned earlier, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Be sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, such as dry grass or leaves.
  2. Do not use them near combustible materials. Combustible materials are materials that can easily ignite and catch on fire. Some examples of combustible materials are gasoline, kerosene, and paint thinner.
  3. Avoid using them in an enclosed area. Flame weeders should only be used in open areas where there is plenty of ventilation.
  4. Obviously, do not use them at night. This should be pretty understandable. If you can’t see well, don’t operate open flames.
  5. Do not use them on wet weeds. While operating a flame weeder after rain cuts down on the chance of unintentional fires, you want to give the plants time to dry off.

Do Flame Weeders Kill Seeds, Too?

Flame weeders are not just used for removing weeds from the surface of the soil. They can also be used to kill weed seeds.

If the weed has already gone to seed and those seeds are on the surface of the dirt underneath the plant, there is a chance they will also die.

Flame weeders are most effective at about 2 to 4 inches from their target. As a result, short weeds (whose seeds are close to the top of the plant they came from) are better controlled with flame weeders than tall ones.

A flame weeder is a safe, easy, and environmentally friendly way to control weeds in your garden. With a little bit of caution, you can use them to rid your garden of unwanted vegetation without harming the environment.

Best Flame Weeders for Home Owners

So, you want to try your hand at flame weeding? Which one do you buy? Here are a few quality brands you might want to consider investing in this spring.

Weed Dragon Backpack Propane Vapor Torch Kit:  Includes a 10-pound empty propane tank and this light weight backpack model is great for around the home and garden.

AUSAIL Weed Torch with Ergonomic Anti-slip Handle: Lightweight build and easy balance design allow you to weed comfortably and avoid bending, crouching, and fatigue while gardening.

Bravex Propane Torch Weed Burner Torch: Wand comes with a flow valve and turbo-blast trigger to adjust the flame size.

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