What happens when it burns away?
Since weeds look unsightly and can damage paved surfaces, they should be removed regularly. Many hobby gardeners use special weed burners for this purpose. Contrary to what the name suggests, these are not used for torching with flame or fire, but work according to the following principle:
- The weeds are suddenly heated to around 110 degrees Celsius.
- This causes the proteins to coagulate inside the plants.
- The cells burst and the cell fluid leaks out.
- As a result, the unwanted green withers and can be easily removed.
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Is burning allowed?
Since weeds are not burned with fire with this method, weed burners are allowed. Section 12 of the Plant Protection Act even states that weeds on paved surfaces should be removed mechanically or thermally.
However, the device must not be used everywhere. N 3 39 paragraph 5 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act, you may:
- unused green space
- Soils under hedges
- Soils on slopes
do not use. It is also prohibited to use it if the heat could create a fire hazard.
This also means that you must not simply burn weeds with the Bunsen burner in your household, as it destroys the plants with a flame.
What is the principle behind the devices available on the market?
The gas burners approved for domestic use reach the required temperature through:
- a hot gas mixture
- Infrared radiation
- hot water vapor
- hot air.
Open fire, however, is not used.
What should I look for when buying a weed burner?
In the following table we have clearly summarized all the features that the devices should have:
|Adjustable flame||Not all weeds require full heat. With an adjustable flame you not only save gas, but also protect the environment through reduced CO2 emissions.|
|Weight||Working with very heavy gas burners is often strenuous on large areas.|
|ignition||Choose a device with piezo ignition. With this you do not have to fiddle with the lighter at the combustion opening, because the gas ignites at the push of a button.|
|temperature||The temperature range should be tailored to the weeds that you primarily want to kill. Stubborn grasses and dandelions are very tough and you need to burn them at high temperatures. If, on the other hand, only grass grows in the joints, a device with a low temperature range is sufficient.|
Simple gas burners that meet these requirements are available from specialist gardeners for as little as 30 euros.
Instructions on how to burn properly:
Choose a dry, windless day for this work. The heat works badly on a wet surface and you have to use significantly more expensive gas.
For your own safety, you should wear sturdy shoes and long trousers. Safety gloves and goggles are recommended. Make sure that neither children nor pets are in the immediate vicinity.
Follow these steps:
- Sweep the entire area and remove dirt. In particular, fallen leaves and dry twigs should be removed because of the risk of fire.
- Clear all fire-endangered objects to one side.
- Connect the gas cylinder to the burner according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure that the connections are tight, as escaping gas can be a source of danger.
- Start with the scarfing at one end of the surface and position the gas bottle so that it is not in the area of the burner.
- Operate the ignition and set the gas flame.
- Slowly run the flame along the joint.
- Keep checking that you are burning the weeds well so that they can be removed easily.
- If necessary, adjust the heat.
- Work your way forward systematically and move the gas bottle over and over again so that the hose is not stretched and it accidentally tips over.
After burning, remove all plant residues with a strong broom.
Since grasses and well-rooted plants are very resilient and quickly sprout again after flaring, you should go over the area again after about two weeks. Over time, the weeds are weakened so much that they only need to be flamed every few months.
What are the advantages of this method?
While mechanical weeding with a joint scraper is tedious and herbicides damage the environment, the flame-cutting device offers various advantages:
- Weed killing is quick and very effective.
- There are no environmentally harmful residues.
- The burning away of weeds is non-toxic and therefore biologically harmless.
- Since the devices are operated while standing, the work is back-friendly and not very strenuous.
To prevent accidents, you should neither smoke nor operate other sources of fire in the vicinity, e.g. the grill, while the fire is being lit. Glowing objects and open flames can cause the gas burner to malfunction and lead to serious accidents.