FLAME WEEDING 101

A Quick Guide To Weed Control With A RED DRAGON® Torch. Get There Early!

Flaming is a great way to eliminate weeds in rock gardens!

When flame weeding, the most effective method is to catch weeds early, from 1-4 inches. At this small stage, flaming is nearly 100% effective, whereas weeds over 4 inches are more difficult to kill without an extended dose of heat.

By destroying cell structure in the plant leaf, the weed will no longer put energy toward growth, so even on big weeds, you will see a stunting effect or even a kill, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.

On smaller weeds a slow walk is usually the best pace - just a split second of heat should kill unwanted weeds and grasses - you don't need to burn them to a crisp. By nature, some grasses will return following a flaming. Repeat applications, however, will usually do the trick. For best results, increase exposure to the heat if weeds are wet from dew. Water on the leaves acts as insulation and decreases cell damage unless exposure time is increased.

It is important to remember when flaming in and around desireable plants that heating those leaves can cause damage as well, so be careful around flowers and shrubs - particularly evergreens. Conifers are very flammable and should be avoided. Poison ivy, oak or any poisonous plant should be avoided also- the smoke from flamed leaves will cause a rash to your skin, eyes and lungs!

What's the best advice we can give you? If in doubt, don't. Always allow a safe distance between the flame and desireable plants, shrubs and trees. Always keep a fire extinguisher and water supply close in case of an emergency.

  • A quick pass with the torch and you'll see weeds wilt and die.

  • A thumb print on the weed leaf indicates success.

  • Shortly after flaming the weed turns a dark green and shows stress and wilting.

  • Days later, weed decay is obvious.

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