Thermal weeding: an effective alternative to chemical products?

Weeding is part of the essential gardening work, whether in the vegetable garden, the pleasure garden or in the paths. For too long we have abused toxic and polluting weedkillers to which we are now paying a heavy price at all levels. Fortunately, there is an alternative to these chemicals for eliminating weeds, namely thermal weeding. Let’s see together what it consists of, if it is as effective as they say and what the different models of thermal weeders are.

Thermal weeding: how does it work?

It’s about a weeding technique which consists in eliminating undesirable plants without any chemicals since it relies on the use of heat. The principle is therefore simple, the thermal shock having the effect of destroying the plant cells whose membrane bursts under the effect of the high temperature. The drying of a plant is obtained in a few hours because the water contained in the cells escapes.

The Thermal shock can be obtained by pouring boiling water over a weed or by exposing the plant to a flame. Extremely simple, the heat treatment nevertheless involves having to repeat the task two or three times to be perfectly efficient. This makes it possible to completely exhaust the plant and therefore kill it. This is how we manage to eradicate 100% of unwanted weeds since they can no longer grow back.

Thermal weeding: excellent results in just 2 seconds

Some neophyte gardeners cannot be satisfied with this alternative to pesticides because they just don’t apply the right process.

Just expose unwanted weeds to this strong heat stroke for only 2 seconds at most. At first glance, nothing seems to be happening. But a few hours later, or at most in three or four days, all the plant parts are completely dried out, including the roots.

This exposure time, which must not exceed 2 seconds, must imperatively be respected and this is the whole secret of the efficiency of thermal weeding. If the plant is exposed to heat for a longer period of time, a burning. And this is precisely what should not be done because, as paradoxical as it may seem, the burnt plants will heal at the level of the parts that have remained intact and will grow back more, becoming, as a result, even more invasive. Insisting on unwanted weeds with a thermal weeder is therefore a false good idea since we obtain the opposite result to that expected!

Of course, there are “weeds” tougher than others, which can only be wiped out after two or three passages of the thermal weeder. This is for example the case of dandelion and other plants with taproots, or couch grass. Similarly, ivy is a creeping plant which can prove to be very invasive and which can be exterminated using this process provided pass several times a few days apart due to its high resistance. But we do not exceed 2 seconds at each session.

Never mind, the patience is worth it since you get an excellent result without any chemicals. It is only byplant exhaustion that we manage to annihilate it. And as much as not to let the weeds grow because it is on the young plants that thermal weed control is the most effective.

Electric or gas thermal weeder: main features

This weeding process has undeniable advantages and requires the use of an up-to-date device. Found in the signs dedicated to gardening two large families of thermal weedersto know :

  • The electric thermal weeders : the hot air they propel is around 600°C. They require a nearby electrical outlet. These models are sold between 70 and 90 € and are suitable for small areas to be weeded. The price range oscillates between 40 and 110 €.
  • The gas thermal weeders : equipped with a cartridge (Propane or Butane) or, for professional models, coupled with a gas bottle. Some of these models expose the plants to a temperature of 1,200 to 1,400°C. Their autonomy varies between 3 and 6 hours. Some are even equipped with a bottle trolley. It is necessary to count between 250 and more than 600 € for this type of thermal weeding device.

Regardless of the model chosen, caution should be exercised when using an electric or gas appliance in areas particularly exposed to the risk of fire.

You should also know that the plants located in the immediate vicinity of the weeds that you want to eradicate are also exposed to the heat given off by a weeder. So be careful if you use this alternative to chemicals in the vegetable garden or flower beds. It is therefore recommended to use a hoe or, quite simply, weed manually in order to preserve the plants that we wish to keep.

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