Sustainable Weed Control

Allied offers products that help vineyard managers and farmers organically remove weeds:  hand torches and back pack torches manufactured by Red Dragon®.

All kits include everything necessary to operate except the propane tank — which we sell separately. They feature rugged, all steel construction and are designed to operate on propane vapor only. Kits are available with capacities from 25,000 to 500,000 BTU/hr. All Red Dragon®, Weed Dragon® and Mini Dragon® Vapor Torch Kits are made in the U.S.A. Seven of the kits have received CSA certification for use in the U.S. and Canada.

How to weed using flames

When flame weeding, the most effective method is to catch weeds early, from 1-4 inches. At this small stage, flaming is nearly 100% effective, whereas weeds over 4 inches are more difficult to kill without an extended dose of heat.

By destroying cell structure in the plant leaf, the weed will no longer put energy toward growth, so even on big weeds, you will see a stunting effect or even a kill, depending on how established the root system is and how long the plant was exposed to heat.

On smaller weeds a slow walk is usually the best pace – just a split second of heat should kill unwanted weeds and grasses – you don’t need to burn them to a crisp. By nature, some grasses will return following a flaming. Repeat applications, however, will usually do the trick. For best results, increase exposure to the heat if weeds are wet from dew. Water on the leaves acts as insulation and decreases cell damage unless exposure time is increased.

It is important to remember when flaming in and around desirable plants that heating those leaves can cause damage as well, so be careful around flowers and shrubs — particularly evergreens. Conifers are very flammable and should be avoided. Poison ivy, oak or any poisonous plant should be avoided also — the smoke from flamed leaves will cause a rash to your skin, eyes and lungs!

What’s the best advice we can give you? If in doubt, don’t. Always allow a safe distance between the flame and desirable plants, shrubs and trees. Always keep a fire extinguisher and water supply close in case of an emergency.

The flaming demonstration below shows one of the uses of propane for organic/green vineyards to maintain weed control. In Napa, Sonoma and all wine-producing regions, the use of propane flaming has been on the rise in popularity for the past decade. We find that certified organic vineyards are using this process for controlling their weeds the organic/green way.


Need sustainable weed control torches?

Contact us today to learn more about the wide variety of Red Dragon® torch and tank combinations we offer you. We will gladly provide you with a FREE ESTIMATE.

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