Several years ago, I used to have a neighbor who was very much about how his front lawn looked. While I wasn’t being intentionally defiant about his wishes to keep the neighborhood looking clean and orderly, I did have a very good excuse for letting my front lawn fail to meet his standards: my spouse and I were both full time college students, both working full time, and had volunteer responsibilities in our local community. So yes, our front yard did start to look a bit neglected.
We finally got around to cleaning it up, and our neighbor had come out to tell us how much better it looked, but that we worked too hard pulling weeds on our hands and knees. He was holding a spray bottle of some chemical that I was sure I didn’t want where I walked. I thanked him for the compliment on the lawn, and politely declined his toxic spray.
I was exhausted, and had began to walk in the front door, when something made me look back at my neighbor. Apparently I had missed a weed under one of the bushes, and he felt compelled to lean over the short fence, and spray the weed for me.
I’m not sure what upset me more, the fact that he thought I didn’t see him and therefore it was okay to spray chemicals on my yard, or the fact that he chose to spray one tiny weed that would have taken just as much effort to pull. Regardless, since then, I have been a lot more responsible for my yard, if for no other reason than to not have my neighbors spraying questionable chemicals on my lawn.
But now… I have a much better and easier solution.
I don’t normally write articles on gardening, so please don’t subscribe to my newsletter if that is what you’re hoping to get. The articles posted on our site are intended for health, both nutritional and skin health, but since I grow my own organic garden as a means to afford organically grown food, I thought I would share my favorite trick at keeping the pesky weeds at bay.
I generally pull weeds by hand, because by the time I get my garden growing, there aren’t that many left, and pulling a weed here and there is no big deal. But when it comes to the start of the growing season, the weeds are usually a huge problem.
I imagine the weed seeds fly in from everywhere, are brought in on my shoes, by my dogs, via wind, who knows. The only thing I’m sure of is that every spring, a ton of weeds starts to pop up right where I don’t want them.
As mentioned, my garden is organic, so spraying chemicals that make all the weeds stop growing and only allow for the chemical resistant crops to grow is not on my agenda. So for many years, I got down on my hands and knees, and spent hours preparing my garden bed. I tried using a hoe, and that works, but it seems I had to come back every few days and do it again when the new weeds started to sprout.
Then, I discovered my solution: Ta-da! The Red Dragon VT 2-23 C Weed Dragon 100,000-BTU Propane Vapor Torch Kit:
The Red Dragon doesn’t come with a propane tank. Hopefully you already have one. If not, here’s one you can buy on amazon, though consider size if you’re going to be carrying it long distances: Worthington 336483 20-Pound Steel Propane Tank with Bulletin Gas Gauge.
There is something beautiful about fire, and when used as a method to control weed sprouts, it does two things. First, it melts down the cell walls of the baby weeds, which prevent water absorption, which then results in the plants death. But the best part of it is that also kills the seeds that haven’t germinated yet. So I only have to do the job once. I love it! I bought my Red Dragon over four years ago from amazon, and it is my first and favorite go to gardening tool. Oh, it has other uses I’m sure, but that’s what I use it for.
Now, you are playing with fire, so some caution needs to be exercised. Don’t use on windy days; it is best used right before rain. Don’t use in close proximity to things that can catch on fire easily, such as uncomposted mulch. Don’t use in the hot summer when burn restrictions may be in place, have a water hose handy, and please use common sense.
I generally fill my propane tank in early spring (about now – which is what prompted me to share my secret today), and wait for a non-windy day with a forecast of evening rain. Then off I go to tackle my garden weeds before they can become a problem.
It is important that you tackle the weeds when they are just sprouting, it doesn’t work for older weeds because by then the roots have developed enough to send up new green shoots. But if you catch them at the right time (early), then one time is all it takes.
It has been by far my best tool for my garden, and all my other problem weeds. It this is something that interests you, give it a try. It is well worth the time and effort it saves.
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