[permaculture] Tending the Wild, Wood Ash

J. Kolenovsky garden at hal-pc.org
Mon Dec 18 21:51:27 EST 2006


Between 2002 - 2004 I operated a landscape company. I had seen
advertisements about these in the mail. They looked cool.Sounded great.
The picture showed zapping grass between sidewalk cracks. Thats probably
about all its good for. Kidding. I thought it would be good for
enviro-friendly biomass maintenance. I tried general weeds, weeds and
stems/stalks growing up chain link fence, borders, unwanted grass areas
(or anything else).

1. It depended on the season. Spring and summer not as efficient.

2. Summer - watch dry material in windy areas.

3. Winter - material dormant - worked somewhat ok.

4. When it did work ok, a lot of propane was used to produce almost
disappointing results of achieving a kill. Don't use it on a windy day.
If day not windy, the best it would do is kill down to ground level and
not roots. (that's where you apply Roundup to finish the job. Get it?
Right.) The handle I had adjusted from 3/8 flame to 6 inches. Bear in
mind the hottest part is the blue flame and not the yellow. I would say
that beneficials were destroyed down to 1/2 inch below top of soil. If
you shot clover in Spring, all it did was wilt to the ground. I had a 40
lb propane tank and a cart. Although I wouldn't put my hand in front of
it, it is a half strength wannabe flame thrower.

Works well in remote areas where one can't get equipment in or doesn't
have the chemicals.

It's a a coin-toss depending on what you have to do, for what reason,
where.

J
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Message: 4
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 16:53:28 -0500
From: lbsaltzman at aol.com
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Tending the Wild, Wood Ash
To: rkelly at bigfoot.com, permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Message-ID: <8C8F1061622ECE1-88C-2814 at mblk-d49.sysops.aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Because California indigenous people burned regularly, the fires weren't
extremely hot or big compared to wild fires. Apparently the flames were
about two feet high. How this compares to a propose contraption, I have
no idea.  Somehow I can't quite get behind the idea of using such a
device on the land. 
 
-----Original Message-----
From: marshall_mush at yahoo.com
To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
Sent: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: [permaculture] Tending the Wild, Wood Ash


Just last night I was talking with a friend who
was curious about  "fire weeders" -- propane
powered contraptions that you use to burn out any
weed seed.  (You wheel along like a vacuum and
everything under the hood gets torched.) 

I wondered whether such heat also killed
beneficials in the soil, or whether those deeper
in the soil quickly repopulated the top layer
that was burned.  

Now that I think of burning as a tried and true
technique, I wonder again whether these fire
weeders, propane consumption aside, are a pretty
good idea.

Thoughts on the topic, anyone?

Thanks,

Rob



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