How to Kill Weeds with Propane

Farmers have used controlled burning to improve crops for centuries!  But it hasn’t been until recently that home owners are using mechanical torches, or flamers, around the home to kill unwanted weeds.  

Flamers are portable gas torches that create intense heat to kill weeds with propane.  The popularity of flamers decreased when herbicides came onto the market. However, with increased reports of the harmful effects of herbicides to people, pets and the environmentlike respiratory damage and soil contamination, homeowners are weary to continue to use them.  

The flamer method is herbicide free – it doesn’t contaminate groundwater and leaves no chemical residue on crops or landscape.  

Flamers are a safe and chemical free alternative to herbicides.  

When operated properly, flamers are also a time-effective weed killer eliminating the need to bend and pull, disturb the soil or lace both soil and crops with herbicides.

Chemical herbicides can contaminate groundwater and leave chemical residues on crops or landscape.

Of course, personal and environmental safety concerns of another type arise when using flamers!  Always check with your local fire department or town clerk before investing in a flamer. 


  • Torches are ideal for killing weeds along non-flammable areas such as sidewalk cracks and rocky terrain.

  • NEVER torch weeds growing on dry, combustible or flammable materials.

  • NEVER use flamers during periods of drought.  Always check with your local fire department or town clerk before investing in a flamer.

  • NEVER burn poison ivy or other poisonous plants. The smoke can cause serious allergic reactions.

  • These portable flamers use pressurized tanks of propane and, if handled carelessly, can be hazardous.

How to use a flamer:

  1. Contact the fire department and obtain a burn permit if one is required in your area before torching weeds.

  2. Water the soil and weeds thoroughly before torching in order to aid in heat conduction.

  3. Open the flame-adjusting valve by giving 1/8 turn or until a small amount of gas can be heard escaping. Ignite the flamer using flint lighter.  Turn the flame-adjusting value to adjust the size of the flame to a low pilot flame that will keep the flamer burning. A small flame is adequate for torching weeds.

  4. Torch weeds in spring or early summer as young weeds emerge. Young, tender weeds require less heat and less fuel than larger weeds.  Begin in the a.m. hours before the heat of the day for safest results.

  5. Hold the flamer and walk at a slow rate along the weeds. Pass the flamer over each weed in a sweeping motion, touching each weed with the flame for no more than a split second. You only need to apply enough heat to wilt the weed but not burn them.  When you apply the right amount of heat to a weed, the water in the cells boil and cause the plant to atrophy.

  6. Torch weeds once every two to three weeks in ongoing applications or as needed until the next frost.  Flaming kills annual weeds completely but does not completely eradicate the roots of perennial weeds.  With multiple treatments, however, you can deplete a perennial weed’s stored root energy, killing the weed.

Flamers are the safe and chemical free alternative to using herbicides to eliminate weeds.

Don’t know where to get a flamer?
Call All Gas Welding & Supply, Co. to purchase yours today!


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Combined Energy Services Employee

Combined Energy Services

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