Field of weeds

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
Tora
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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Tora » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:17 pm

Shizuman wrote:
Tora wrote:I used brand new fresh (with a touch of petrol) kerosene and it took an age to heat up too! Same deal nice patch of kero smelling dirt! Im considering using my little brazing torch to preheat the coils before lighting it up. It might speed up the process slightly.


Brilliant!!!

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Zasso Nouka » Fri Aug 31, 2018 5:57 am

Be careful when heating the coils, the metal is quite soft and pliable, the last thing you want to do is damage them and get a leak. The flame weeders with an external tank preheat the coil using a gas bombe and that is quicker than using the wick type ones.

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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Shizuman » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:27 am

Zasso Nouka wrote:Be careful when heating the coils, the metal is quite soft and pliable, the last thing you want to do is damage them and get a leak. The flame weeders with an external tank preheat the coil using a gas bombe and that is quicker than using the wick type ones.


Thats a very good point, ill have to figure out how to do it without breaking the thing.

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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Zasso Nouka » Fri Aug 31, 2018 8:22 am

So long as you play the flame over the entire coil and don't hold the most intense part on one spot it might be workable, also having the coil full of kerosene might possibly help with cooling them. Perhaps having your blow torch on a lowish setting might avoid any damage.

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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Zasso Nouka » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:43 am

One further thing I should add is it's advisable to carry one of those butane torch/turbo lighters when using a flame weeder as it's possible to 'blow' the flame out in some circumstances and it's easiest to relight with a turbo lighter.

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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Tora » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:52 pm

Does anyone have experience with using cover crops to reclaim a field from weeds? What do you recommend? If possible, without tilling. Casting seeds? Yes I'd like a free lunch too. The area I mowed two weeks ago is looking pretty desolate with little regrowth of weeds which is real rare compared to previous battles earlier this year. It seems like now would be a good time for a cover/transition crop to get a foothold and hopefully slow down the big weeds for next year when I hope to have more time to dedicate to planting.

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Re: Field of weeds

Postby Zasso Nouka » Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:52 am

Sorghum is quite good at suppressing weeds as it grows very tall and if planted densely will crowd out competition, is your mower a flail type mower ? That's ideal but your mower should be up to the job regardless. It is a bit late to be planting sorghum and it won't reach it's full size but may do the job. You could try Italian rye grass but the problem there is it can be hard to distinguish the rye grass from the weeds and it doesn't grow significantly higher than the weeds you are trying to get rid of. Hairy vetch is a good winter cover crop that adds nitrogen to the soil. You could try broadcasting the seed but I honestly have no idea how good germination rates would be as I use a seeder when planting cover crops, rates could probably be improved if it's possible to lightly rake or hoe the area over after. If there are too many roots in the soil to do this passing over with a kusakariki first and running the disc a centimetre or so under the soil will chop them up enough to be able to rake the area of hoe it after.

You could try an alternative plan to prepare the soil for next year, actually encouraging as many seeds to germinate as possible, then killing them with hoeing or your flame weeder and thus reducing the number of active seeds in the top layer of your soil. Then repeat the process as many times as possible. This has the benefit of actually removing those seeds from the equation so they aren't just waiting for the right conditions to spring to life next year or the year after.

You'll notice the species of weeds germinating will begin to change soon as we go into autumn. Less of the horrific summer grasses and more chickweed, vetches and other winter visitors.


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