The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Gardens => Topic started by: sabrina on March 24, 2019, 10:51:37 am

Title: Killing Weeds
Post by: sabrina on March 24, 2019, 10:51:37 am
We have a very large area around our cottage that is wee stones. Loads of parking but it can get lots off weeds. the back garden is the same with plants grown in tubs. My question is this, as Roundup has such bad press these days and talk of a ban what should I use now. Would making up salt and viniger in water be safe for my chickens, dogs and cats. Does it work ?
Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: Fleecewife on March 24, 2019, 11:56:15 am
What about a flame gun?  It causes the cells of the weeds to burst and the plants then die over the next wee while.  It's not very kind to any insects also there, as they frazzle, but better than a poison to my mind.
Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: chrismahon on March 24, 2019, 12:23:32 pm
We used hand sprayed vinegar at our last place- works but you need a lot of it and regularly. We had no problems with cats, dogs and chickens walking over the area. Have now bought a weed gun which uses a lot of gas but avoids weedkiller laden rainwater runoff into the fruit trees. Unfortunately the flame gun doesn't seem to work on grasses in the gravel, although it kills everything else well. So it looks like we need a combination approach- unfortunately the driveway and car standing areas are far too large an area for vinegar. I'd say the gas (in a 10kg bottle) costs about the same as weedkiller. You can buy electric weed guns but they are very slow compared to a big gas flame.
Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: arobwk on March 24, 2019, 02:04:06 pm
@sabrina - I don't think one should be diluting the salt and vinegar in water.  (If one was using industrial strength acetic acid, then maybe, but culinary vinegar is only about pH 4 I believe.)  Just dissolve the salt in the vinegar.  I can't imagine a bit of salt and household vinegar is going to upset chickens and pets. 

Flame guns are good, albeit there is an environmental impact from burning butane.  (I have no idea about herbicides v butane in terms of relative environmental impact !)  I do have a burner (roofer's version rather than a small "gardener's" version) - very effective at clearing top-growth, but obviously does not kill the roots and perniscious weeds will need repeat treatments as they re-emerge. 

[Not the same problem, but I would offer a note about flame guns and field fencing:  unfortunately, I have found to my cost, they can "burn off" the galvanising to fencing mesh/wires.  Mine was rabbit mesh, but I imagine the wires of stock mesh would be equally affected. 
I have also found to my cost that even my puniest strimmer will easily rip through rabbit mesh and, so, both burning and strimming along my fence-lines is now a no-no for me. I'm still pondering how best to manage fence-line grass and weeds.]
Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: Steph Hen on March 25, 2019, 10:49:41 am
I'm not impressed by my lidl flame gun. Looks a mess and grows back pretty quick.

For the new garden fence I'm planning a sacrificial wood board laid running under it so that i can mow close enough without weeding or burning or strimming.

For drives, gravel and patios, I'm told rock salt works.

If there's not much, boiling water works.
Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: henchard on March 25, 2019, 12:50:07 pm
Scrape the stones off (using a mini digger if necessary), lay a permeable weed fabric then replace stones (or new stones). That was my solution. (

Voila no more weeding.

Title: Re: Killing Weeds
Post by: cloddopper on March 25, 2019, 11:15:08 pm
I got fed up with both neighbours either side of me being lazy sods and letting their Leylandi,  weeds , brambles & ivy encroach on my garden through th lattice wood fencing .

 I waited till the went on holiday ,cut their weeds back to the fence line piled the weeds & cut branches on their side .  Then dug holes for & concreted in 24 X  9 foot H section concrete posts so 5 foot stuck up on my side , then cast a 3 inch X 3 foot wide concrete path all round my property casting  a 5 inch high lip  in place of wooden the gravel board between the panel section  in H section concrete posts .

 I don't get weeds as such now and a quick shot of SBK brushwood killer & paraffin sorts out any ivy that tries to get through the panels .

So far this last 15 yrs none of it has rotted , save for me starting to change out the 23 panels that are at the end of their life due to the severe gales of a few weeks ago .