If you still have plenty of kid in you, you will find delight in using a weed flamer. Red Dragon has two perfect sizes of torch kits for the home gardener that are easy to use and effective in getting rid of pesky weeds. Flame weeding is environmentally friendly because it doesn’t rely on chemicals and only leaves behind a little soil enriching ash. It works great on most broadleaf weeds and provides an organic way to deal with plant pests in the vegetable garden and elsewhere. One of the best uses is around brick or stone walls and paths, but the units can’t be beat for cleaning out cracks in the driveway or pavement either.
Most home gardeners try to steer away from chemicals that can be dangerous around children and pets and that linger in ground water. Flame weeding is an excellent way to avoid such dangers, and it’s fun too. It can be used in a variety of conditions and has a very controlled flame. The practice is best on broadleaf and annual weeds. Perennial weeds with deep taproots will take several treatments before the weed is fully killed. Starting in spring will give you the best control, when you can flame away young weeds. Then all you have to do is walk your property once in a while and catch any stragglers.
The larger Weed Dragon Torch Kits are a good size for melting ice or clearing wide swathes of weeds. The torch uses the same type of propane tank that a BBQ uses and can come with a cart (sold separately) with wheels to support the weight of the tank, making maneuverability easy. The wand shoots out a flame that can get up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 C.), but all you really need to boil the water in the plant’s cells is a temperature of 212 F. (100 C.). For most weeds, a slow leisurely walk is the correct pace for flaming. The weed doesn’t have to be burnt to ash to kill it, but some tenacious weeds, like dandelions, should be hit hard and may need retreatment. However, even those types of weeds will eventually succumb because the damage to the leaves will prevent photosynthesis, a process plants need to produce carbohydrates.
Users with smaller spaces to control weeds will want the Mini Dragon. It uses either the 14 oz. or 1 pound (.45 kg.) sized propane tanks attached directly to the flaming wand. The whole affair is light and easily portable, so much so that it can be used to light a campfire, BBQ, or just for spot weeding. One of the best things about flame weeding is its economy. You can weed your whole yard for a fraction of the price it costs to buy chemicals and feel a whole lot better about leaving a clean footprint on the land.
Another bonus of Weed Dragon flamers is that they are made in the U.S.A., which keeps jobs here while reducing the damage to our earth. It’s a win-win in garden chores.