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 Post subject: Torch for weed control?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:04 am 
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I live kind of in the country with cows and pastures and all kinds of things that blow in. My lawn is 3/4 acre and bumpy and uneven. What drives me crazy is dallisgrass. Will torching work? I see those propane torches advertised. Is it a gimmick?

I don't mind adding some other solutions to the torch if that works but here outside of Dallas, Tx. I thought I might just burn it off and throw out some buffalo grass seed. Eventually the bermuda will fill in if the weeds are gone - or St Augustine for parts of the yard.

I water very little outside of the foundation.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:24 pm 
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The roots are dense and deep. I don't think you'd kill the grass, it could come back, and you might accidentally start a grass fire. You'd be held responsible for that if it got off of your property, so I'd recommend you take the conservative route and dig it out.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:44 pm 
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northwesterner wrote:
The roots are dense and deep. I don't think you'd kill the grass, it could come back, and you might accidentally start a grass fire. You'd be held responsible for that if it got off of your property, so I'd recommend you take the conservative route and dig it out.


Hello Neighbor in Ft Worth -

I am not worried about the fire. I will make sure either to carry water and burlap or to wait till it rains. I just want to know if it will work. Digging it out will have me outside till next year. Seriously. I have done a little of that. In some places it is just about solid.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:11 pm 
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Post a link to the torch you have in mind so others can take a look at it.

I spent a lot of time in my younger years starting fires with drip torches (burning slash for the US Forest Service) and putting out forest fires (building fire line). It takes a lot of preparation to burn a site or burn stuff on a site (the building fire line part). Preparation that would be as time consuming as if you simply dug out the dallisgrass in the first place. In my opinion. If you brought in heavy equipment to dig a fire line you might as well just use it to dig out the grass instead.

You might want to try some of the Avenger weed control that is vinegar and orange oil. Treat a few areas and see if it has any impact. You'll find a photo of the produce on the Weed Control the Natural Way page.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:22 pm 
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Here you go...

http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-91033.html

I can wait till it rains or just keep a hose handy. Either way. I won't burn anything down.

Here is a demo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QwQbcgmxK_o

EDIT - Looking at other sites (Neil Sperry), there is discussion of the seeds left behind. I wonder if the flame effects the seeds. I have also look at some other videos of farmers using a flame device hooked to tractors. In fields were they planted.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:30 pm 
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That's completely different than what I thought you were describing, but I suspect with dallisgrass you'd need to hold the torch on each one longer - the roots are deep and tough. Grass is a plant that evolved with fire - a fast moving flame will burn off the top and then new blades will sprout either very soon from the roots or after the next rain. And there are seeds that are triggered to sprout after exposure to heat.

You'll need to get deep to kill the dallisgrass root, hence the possibility of coals or embers. Be very careful if you do this.

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