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Getting rid of weeds growing up through blacktop; weeding torch?

 
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Hi there. Has anyone here used a propane weeding torch? I have lots and lots of grass and weeds growing up through an old blacktop driveway. They are almost impossible to pull, but on top of that I have severe arthritis and can't get down to ground level. Obviously, i don't want to spray with roundup, so I'm looking for alternatives. Its a MESS and I need to do something really soon.

Thanks in advance!

Ellen
 
pollinator
Posts: 548
Location: Denmark 57N
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A torch will only take the leaves but if you do it often enough it will kill them. Seedlings will keep appearing in the cracks but nothing will stop that short of resurfacing the drive. If you don't have a torch try boiling water from the kettle that also works, obviously better in smaller areas than large ones.
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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I would most likely try a couple of options.

.....Using propane flaming may not give you good results with established weeds, especially grasses. But it would good work with fresh seedlings.
.... Brushing oil onto the foliage during a hot sunny day would kill the greenery. In the past I've used gasoline, diesel, and corn oil. Personally I wouldn't use the gas or diesel anymore, so I'd try an edible oil. There are organic herbicides based upon clove oil.
.... I've heard of people brushing salt down into the cracks to kill and prevent weeds. I haven't tried it.
.... Agricultural vinegar may work for all but the toughest weeds. Again as with most no-roundup herbicides, it's best to use it on a hot sunny day. And take care to wet the entire plant, both tops and bottoms of the leaves.
... And as already mentioned, boiling water would help. But if there are a lot of weeds, you'll need a lot of boiling water.
 
pollinator
Posts: 149
Location: Missoula, MT
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Flame weeder definitely works good on small weeds. If you can avoid driving on the driveway for a week or two, cover it with light-proof black plastic film to deprive the weeds/grass of water and light until they die back to the ground. Then uncover it and rake or burn off the dead stuff, then later use your flame weeder on any little sprouts that come up while they are small.
 
Abe Coley
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Posts: 149
Location: Missoula, MT
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Also, this kind of flame weeder works good because it is very lightweight and the curved handle is comfortable to hold. The only drawback is using those consumable propane bottles, but they can be de-gassed and turned into wind chimes or whatever. flame weeder
 
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