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propane weed burners

 
Leah Sattler
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has anyone actually used one of these? our local farm stores carry one for about 50$ and I am thinking it would be a more freindly way of controling weeds around electric fence lines and garden paths.
 
paul wheaton
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I had one once.

The trick is to use it when the ground is moist. Otherwise a fire could get out of hand.

I also had a cordless hedge trimmer that did a pretty good job of clearing a lot of grass from under an electric fence.
 
Leah Sattler
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the fire part does spook me some. I feel like I am trying to hold a helicopter when I am trying to run our gas powered weed wacker. I wasn't aware that cordless hedgetrimmers were available. how well did it last? I'm always wary of cordless things, they just never seem to have much life in them. but I am going to be using electric fence as a primary containment for my goats for a while (hopefully  :roll and I know that I will have to spend some time maintaining the fence line. I managed to mostly get up about 2-3 acres worth yesterday although I still have another strand and some weed chopping to do before before I can switch it on.
 
Susan Monroe
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Location: Western WA
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The weed burners aren't like gas-powered motors, it's just an adjustable propane gas jet, almost silent.  There's no jet-blast affect where you have to fight to hold onto it.

The hardest part about it is if you buy the very cheapest one and have to carry the tank around and the hose is too short.  If you get one with the larger tank (make sure it's refillable), use one of those ratcheting tie-downs to attach it to a dolly or a kid's wagon (etc) and pull it behind you. 

It is really only safe to use when the weeds/grasses are green.  The heat causes the plant cells to rupture.  Still, they're only good on weeds that don't have deep tap roots.  They don't kill things like dandelions, unless maybe if you make repeated attacks (which I never get around to doing).

Here is a video of the Red Dragon Flame Weeder in use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14DVs6alR-Q&feature=related

I'm sure you're smart enough not to have dogs or small children nearby, or be wearing floppy bell-bottoms and sandals while you work... 

Sue



 
Jeremy Bunag
gardener
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Location: Central IL
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I've been thinking about one for myself.  The only "big" thing I've heard (maybe it was here?) is to be careful if poison ivy is one of the things you're blasting.  You'll aerosolize the toxin and make yourself real uncomfy, skin and lung-wise!

Other than that, people find it very theraputic.  Thus, I'm thinking about it!

-Jeremy
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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I had one for a while.

While it does feed the pyromaniac in me, I ended up using it rarely.  It just didn't seem to be much of a fit for me.  I seemed to be able to come up with other ways of getting stuff done.

As for the cordless hedge trimmer ...  I ended up with all of my electric fences being pretty portable.  And a lot of times I would run the bush hog where I was about to put a fence.  So I guess I eliminated the need for the hedge trimmer.  So it ended up not being used either.

 
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