Unlike a weed burner, a propane torch has an actual flame. It can be a fire hazard when not used properly. That brings up safety concerns. Got a new propane torch? Planning on using it for weed removal? Concerned about safety? Here’s how to use it without igniting the whole yard.
Wet down the area you will be burning.
This may sound counter-productive. It’s not. Wetting down the burn area prior to use keeps the fire from spreading, especially in drought conditions. No worries. The weeds you direct the flame at will succumb to the intense heat of the torch. Surrounding growth that has been wet down and doesn’t receive the same direct flame will not ignite as readily.
Have a hose handy.
Of course, there are instances in which the flame from the weeds you’re burning will get out of control. This is particularly true when you’re new to using the propane torch. Therefore, you should always have an active garden hose within reach. A sprayer attachment is helpful for keeping water flow off when not needed.
Keep the propane tank and hose at a safe distance.
Propane is highly flammable and explosive when exposed to heat or flame. In other words, the very thing that makes it useful, also makes it dangerous. When burning weeds, be sure to keep the tank well away from the flame. When you finish an area, do not set the tank on heated ground. Keep an eye on the hose that carries the propane to the torch as well. Most are made of rubber, which can melt when exposed to heat or flame.
Use the least force needed for the job.
It’s not necessary to turn the flow of propane on high. It’s also not necessary to accelerate the flame all the way with the air lever. Some acceleration can make the job go faster. Too much acceleration can start a fire or cause the flame to go out, wasting valuable propane.
End the job with water or sand.
Smoldering vegetation is not always visible. When you finish a weed burning job, be sure to use that handy hose to wet the area you just burned off. Concerned with water usage or under strict water restrictions? That’s OK. Use sand to smother the flame instead. Just fill a bucket and keep it close for fire safety.