Thermic Weeding

For the gardener, weeding never seems to end.  The easy solution is to resort to chemical weed-killer which is ecologically damaging. However,  more and more people are turning to thermic weeding which is more environmentally friendly.

Thermic weedingThe technique

The big plus for thermic weeding is that it  respects the environment.  It consists of causing a thermal shock which explodes the organic cells without burning them.  This technique is simply the use of a phenomenon well-known to gardeners: the heatwave.

As the flame brushes the weed, water evaporates and the proteins in the cells coagulate.  The effect can be seen in the hours which follow:  little by little, the part of the plant treated dries out.

The Material

There are many burning procedures on the market.  The most popular one is burning by flame.  It is carried out by a thermal weed-killer which is also known as a weeding rod.  This device contains a burning flame torch, a handle with a tap which regulates output and about five metres of tube.  It is simply connected to a bottle of propane or butane gas.

The other procedures use the same thermal shock technique.  The flame is replaced by an infrared beam or a vapour discharge, according to the models.  A more recent technique using microwave technology is being tested at the moment mainly on large agricultural surfaces.  If tests are successful, a model for the ordinary gardener may be developed.

In practice

Weeding is done by passing the flame over the weed for 1 or 2 seconds at a distance of about ten centimetres.  This operation is more often successful on young shoots, especially in mid-season (Autumn and Spring).  For more developed or more resistant plants (couch grass, ivy, etc.) you may need to treat several times with an interval of 15 days.  A final advantage of this technique:  it is efficient in all weathers, rainy or dry, etc..

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