If you are looking for a no-spray, chemical free method to control weeds on patios, walkways, driveways and more, using a weed torch might just be the answer for you. Even better, it can actually be quite fun to use!
Long before herbicides came into play, burning weeds with a flame was a popular method for handling weeds. It was not only effective, but could quickly burn away unsightly weeds. For homeowners driveways, walkways and patios, it truly was the perfect solution.
There was no waiting for days for a product to take effect. The unwanted foliage simply burned up and disintegrated as soon as it was hit with the flame.
But as chemical sprays became more potent, faster and efficient at killing weeds, they became the product of choice. Sprays were easier to apply, and could cover large areas quickly. Add in that spraying didn’t require a fuel source and was extremely economical, and the weed torch quickly became a thing of the past.
The Return Of The Weed Torch
In recent years, the old flame torch has made a resurgence, and with good reason. As more gardeners and homeowners begin to worry about the health dangers of spraying, inhaling and ingesting chemical herbicides, they looking for less invasive ways to control unsightly and unwanted weeds on their hardscapes.
And even though less harmful weed killing sprays can be made from vinegar and salts, they can unfortunately leave stains and residue on patios and walkways.
Check Our Our Podcast On Controlling Weeds In Flowerbeds!
But with a low flame from a torch, weeds simply vanish into thin air. All without a trace weeds were ever there, or that something was used to remove them. Even better, today’s weed torches are easier to use, and even more effective.
How A Torch Works To Kill Plants
Heat is an extremely effective method for killing plant life. When high heat hits a plant, it causes the cells within the stems and foliage to rupture.
Once that occurs, the plant is no longer able to take in water or nutrients. In addition, the plant also loses it’s ability to harness the power of photosynthesis to grow and repair damage. The end result of both – the plant and it’s roots die off.
For smaller weeds with an annual growing cycle, one hit with a torch is usually enough. For established perennial weeds, it can sometimes take a few applications to totally eliminate the roots. But in the end, the torch usually wins out!
Precautions When Using A Weed Torch
Before we take a look below at selecting the best torch for weed control, there are a few precautions to keep in mind when using a torch.
First and foremost, it’s important to note that a weed torch is not ideal for every situation. Using them around extremely dry areas, or where there is a high chance for wildfires is never a good idea. Likewise, a weed torch should never be used around flammable materials, tanks, etc.
In addition, weed torches should never be used in close proximity to bedding plants, bushes and shrubs. The heat that emanates from the torch can still harm these plants, especially tender annuals.
Finally, for poisonous weeds such as poison ivy, sumac and oak, it is best not to use a torch. While burning, these poisonous weeds release their toxins into the air – and they can easily find their way into your lungs.
The good news is that there all kinds of weed torches now on the market that can handle any size job – from small backyard torches, to large ones that can handle big driveways and more. Here is a look at a few great choices depending on your needs.
With their resurgence in the past few years, there are quite a few new weed torches on the market. Selecting the right torch really comes down to where you will be using it.
For starters, if you have a small patio or walkway, a small hand held torch can more than do the trick. For this task, a butane kitchen torch is the perfect choice.
Most models have a small fuel canister that attaches right to the flame end. They are 100% portable and easy to use to direct a flame right where you need to to kill a few pesky weeds. And – you can still make your creme brulee in the kitchen with them too!
For larger areas, it is important to select a weed torch that has a long arm to keep you from bending down. It also keeps the flame far away from you as well.
Torches like the BLUEFIRE 32″ Long Propane Weed Torch or the BLUEFIRE 150,000 BTU High Output Propane Weed Burner Torch with 10ft Hose are perfect for the job. With a trigger, self-igniting switch on the handle, starting the torches are a breeze.
Torches like the Bluefire models work with nearly any standard fuel cylinder. From MAPP gas to propane tanks, you can hook the torch to whatever size tank you need for both mobility and length of use.
Other Uses For The Torch…
A weed torch can work for more than just torching weeds. They are also perfect for melting off dangerous snow and ice on sidewalks and driveways. And having trouble starting the campfire? Once again, the weed torch can light that wood up in mere seconds!
For more information on natural and organic weed control methods, be sure to check out our “Controlling Weeds” tab on the website. Here is to keeping your yard and landscape neat, tidy, and safe!
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