Weeding is a necessary part of gardening. Those pesky little menaces can overrun your garden goodies before you even notice. By the time you can’t tell the good leaves from the bad leaves, you’ve lost the war.
So weeding is a discipline in the garden. Regular weeding helps enable a good harvest and makes your garden look more appealing, so you spend more time in it, and you weed more often. Pulling a few little buggers every day is a lot easier than hours crawling around cursing Adam and the Fall, and that snake…
Weeding. There are lots of ways to do it.
Not doing it is my favorite. 🙂 Burying weeds, or weeding and then burying is my preferred method. Mulch is essential to the garden anyway, throwing an extra pile on the top of some weeds is enough to block out the light and kill them off. This works well on weeds that are short and low to the ground. It is horrible for the mother of all weeds… bermuda.
Bermuda will crawl its way up through the mulch and continue it’s plague. I hate the stuff.
So you can dig, and pull. This is the most basic weeding method, and at some point you have to do it. Bite the bullet and rip those pesky roots out of the ground. Hoes, hula hoes, shovels, flat head screwdrivers, and all kinds of hand tools can be useful when it comes to the dig and pull method. It is gratifying when you see one of those big, long roots come out of soil in one solid piece. You just have to be sure you don’t damage the good stuff while you’re pulling up the bad.
You could spray.
I don’t spray. Spraying is bad. Don’t spray. You can’t spray. No spraying. I think you know how I feel about the spraying.
But there is one method that’s a little different, but is probably the most gratifying of all weeding methods.
And all of the men said, “YES!” After all, there is a little pyromania in all of us, probably more in us men. There is just something about watching a weed wilt, die, and turn to a charred little skeleton right before your eyes. (insert maniacal laughter here).
Now there are different instruments for this. For precision, in tight places, when your lettuces and broccoli are right next door to the offender you can use a small hand held welding torch. This is a basic that most people have laying around in their garage somewhere. A little Bernzomatic mapp torch works wonders. They have some with the trigger ignition, but from my experience this eventually stop working. I use a flint sparker. They fit in your back pocket and are just handy to have anyway. Especially for the bigger torches…
Like a yard torch! These are great because they have a little wider diameter, still use the small gas bottles, but last for a good length of time. They are just the right height and you don’t have to bend over like the little torches. Now… a yard torch will take out all of the plants AROUND the weeds, so these are more suited toward general areas that you are trying to clean up.
Of course if you have a BIG area, then a bad boy like THIS ONE can save you a lot of time… and burn through a lot of propane, but hey, it’s the fun… I mean, the removal of weeds that is really important.
You do want to use caution when weeding with fire MWAHAHA… sorry. Caution, yes, caution. It’s good to put a good sprayer on your garden hose and turn the hose on high and keep it handy… just in case something catches fire a little easier than you expected it to.
Wear boots or some other very formidable shoe that can easily stomp out a small flame. Flip flops are not your friends here.
Keep children and pets away. Fido can do some really nasty damage to the new poodle doo of his if he gets too close to the flames. Likewise make sure your kids understand that this is NOT something that they are allowed to touch or even be around while it is taking place.
And finally, and probably most important… this is FIRE. Make sure that you are only burning things that should be burnt. Probably not the best one to use while weeding next to a house, wooden fence, or next to the dried up corn stalks. PAY ATTENTION to what you are burning. Don’t bend down to move something and end up putting the flame on your prized pea plants, they’ll be TOAST.
So weeding is necessary, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be entertaining. Just use caution and common sense.
What are your favorite ways to weed?
Just in case you are wondering, NO, I am not getting paid by any of the links in this post. I put them in just for a quick visual of what I am talking about. That is a thought though… maybe I could get them to pay me in propane! 🙂
I dig, I pull, I compost – old school. 🙂
Keith, most of my weeding is either deep mulch or hand weeding with various hoes or a spade if out of control like this year happens. I have used the torch method but it usually been on the cracks in the sidewalks but I’m thinking of converting over to a vinegar spray to kill unwanted weeds in the side walk cracks. I like to keep my yard weed spray free so that I can use the grass on my garden as mulch on in the compost pile. The yard is not the pristine magazine looking yard but it does generate quite a lot of green nitrogen for the garden that’s pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, or any other cide that isn’t good for gardens. I’m in negotiation with a friend that has a vacant lot to just keep the lot mowed next year just for the green stuff to use for mulch or compost material. That way I know there are no chemicals in the bags of yard waste.
Have a great pyro weed killing day. 🙂
Lol, I am SO glad that there is a huge expanse of water, across which I can appreciate your flame throwing weeding methods 😀
My garden is woefully neglected at the moment. I need to make the effort to clear it out ready for the enriching process to begin.
Cardboard mulch is my latest weed control kit.
I like the flip flop comment 😄
My preferred method is to pull them up by the roots on days when the ground is moist enough to permit that. Of course that takes way too long if you have to weed a lot of gardens (as we do). The most efficient way I’ve come up with is to use a wheel hoe to clear the middles. For close up work I still have to use an old-fashioned hoe or do it by hand. I’ve thought of get a flamer and maybe someday I’ll give it a try.
Hah.. I love your methods! 🙂
I need a torch, we’re in the process of deep mulching everything to help with the weeds, but so far it’s a 1/2 acre garden that i’m pulling weeds by hand. Torch is now totally on my to-buy list!