Once a popular technique, “weed flaming” is being revived, with excellent results, for nontoxic weed control in home gardens as well as commercial row crops, orchards, and vineyards. Organic growers are excited about flaming because in many cases it works as well as herbicides, is amazingly cost and labor effective, can be done when fields are too wet to cultivate and does not bring dormant weed seeds to the surface. Flaming correctly, it uses the searing heat of a specially designed propane burner to quickly “boil” the water in the cells of the plant. This causes the cell walls to burst. This is usually accomplished in under 2 seconds, without injury to your crop. Weeds are flamed 1–2 days before crop emergence. Flaming is highly effective on young, annual weeds. Perennial weeds with taproots or woody stems may require reflaming. Use extreme caution to prevent injury or fire hazard.
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