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When the weeds just sprout in the joints, the frustration is great. Burning is a well-known method that thoroughly removes the weeds with little effort and in a short time. Many gardeners swear by flaming and already own a weed burner and use it to regularly free their paved paths and areas from stubborn weeds. You can find out how this works and whether this is even allowed here.
Joints in the garden are visited by weeds at regular intervals and not only spoil the look, but can also damage them. Since weeding with a joint scraper is cumbersome and sweaty, many gardeners decide to purchase a weed burner. The function does not actually burn the weeds:
- Weeds are strongly heated
- Proteins inside the plant begin to coagulate
- then the cells burst open
- Cell fluid leaks out
- Weeds “burst” and wither
This is important because since the weeds are not burned directly, it is legal to use a weed burner.
Allowed or forbidden?
You can safely use the device to get rid of annoying weeds in the garden. In addition, this method completely dispenses with the use of chemical weed killers and even household remedies. As a result, neither the soil, nor the microorganisms, nor plants and animals are negatively affected or even killed. This only kills the weeds. However, you must be careful not to use the torch on the wrong surfaces. According to Section 39 Paragraph 5 of the BNatSchG (Federal Nature Conservation Act), the following surfaces may not be flamed:
- field margins
- Floor space (unused)
- floors on hedges
- soils on slopes
Of course, in very few cases will you have one of the above ground covers on your property. With these, however, it is completely forbidden to flame the weeds. Of course, it is also forbidden to use the device if there is an unavoidable risk of fire as a result of its use. As soon as you cannot secure the areas, you should look for another type of weed killer. Otherwise there is no problem in burning off the weeds and thus relying on an environmentally friendly method that does not require the use of chemicals.
tip: Don't be surprised if, after flaming, herbs such as nettles, thistles and various grass taxa keep sprouting out of the joints or along the wayside. These weeds are stubborn because their center of vegetation is below, not above, the ground and thus cannot be reached with the flame.
Before you start burning the weeds, you need the right tools. You can find these in the following list:
- weed burner
- sturdy shoes
- propane cylinder
- optional: safety gloves and goggles
Choosing the right weed burner is very important. You should consider the following points when making your selection:
If you only need to kill weeds with a weak heat resistance, it is not necessary to use all the power. Therefore, use a device with an adjustable flame. This also saves you gas as you use less to flame the weeds.
Compare the weight of the devices. A heavy burner quickly gets in the way of large areas, which can become exhausting in the long run. So if you have to work a large area with the device, it is better to opt for a lower weight, even if it costs more. For small paths or terraces, on the other hand, you can use a heavier device.
Only select devices with a so-called piezo ignition. This has the decisive advantage that you do not have to hold a lighter to the burner opening yourself to ignite the gas. The ignition does this for you via a button.
The supported temperature range of the device should be based on the typical weeds that you have in the garden or on the property that penetrate through the cracks. So it's not enough if you tackle stubborn grass with 60 °C. Again, using 700°C to 1,000°C is overkill when dealing with delicate crops. In this case you would only waste energy and gas.
The prices for weed burners are between 25 and 50 euros and only go over 100 euros with a few exceptions. After you have acquired a suitable device, you can start burning the weeds in the joints.
tip: When purchasing your flame burner, make sure that you also purchase a suitable pressure regulator and gas hose if they are not already included in the scope of delivery. These are essential to be able to use the weed burner.
In order to get the best result from using the device, you need to make some preparations beforehand. These relate primarily to the workplace so you can use the full effect of the flame. Remember, the better the preparation, the less time you'll need for flaming, which will save you gas. The following points give you an overview of the necessary preparations:
- Remove dirt from surfaces
- this also includes branches and leaves, as there is a risk of fire
- Internalize the operating instructions with safety instructions for the device
- move fire-endangered objects out of the way
As you can see, the area to be worked should be free of objects and debris that could catch fire. This is particularly important in autumn, when a lot of leaves fall from the tree, which are highly flammable in dry conditions.
Burning weeds: instructions
After preparation, you can start flaming. Follow the instructions below:
1. Select a dry day for flaming. The wetter the soil, the worse the heat is on the weeds and you will need to use significantly more gas. It should also not have rained the day before, otherwise there will still be moisture in the soil and on the plants.
2. Furthermore, you should not choose windy days for this endeavor. Since the wind carries the flame away, it quickly becomes a hazard. Particularly strong winds can also prevent the burner from starting at all. Lawns are often set on fire by the wind, as these are in close proximity to the joints and the flame can jump over them.
3. Put your kids and pets away. You don't want them to accidentally get burned.
4. Connect the gas cylinder to the burner using the hose. Follow the device manufacturer's instructions to avoid possible sources of error. The connections should be tight so that no gas escapes and becomes a hazard. In addition, you will not waste gas if the hose is correctly connected to the torch.
5. Start at one end of the area to be treated. Before doing so, place the gas bottle in a safe place away from the burner. You will need to keep moving the cylinder depending on the length of hose you are using to keep the hose from straining and tipping the gas cylinder over.
6. Press the ignition switch and within moments you should see a flame at the burner port. Now regulate this according to the setting options on your device. At the beginning, it is best to set the device to a low temperature to test the effect on the weeds. You can still adjust these when flaming.
7. Now slowly run the flame along the joints to heat the weed. Be sure to watch your feet. After a while, check whether the weeds have really been burned off and adjust the temperature of the flame according to what has happened so far. Proceed in this manner until all joints have been flamed.
8. After burning, use the broom to remove the plant debris. Before doing this, however, allow the joints to cool down a little, as some stones could retain the heat for a longer period of time.
9. If you have persistent species to contend with, now is the time to remove their vegetative organs from the soil as thoroughly as possible.
Repeat the flaming regularly as the weeds come back. Be sure to only flame beds in the morning hours or midday. At this time there are fewer beneficial insects that would also suffer damage from the burning.
tip: When flaming the weeds, be careful never to smoke or have any other open flame nearby. Since gas is used to develop the flame, a lit cigarette could create a dangerous situation.