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What to do with dead weeds after spraying

Weeds suck nutrients and moisture from the soil. They rob plants of essential nutrients and make your garden less attractive.

As a gardener, you should aim to keep weeds at the minimum since completely getting rid of them is difficult, especially after flowering takes place. Some of the common ways are to spray, pull weeds or mow them.

3 ways to get rid of dead weeds after spraying

Dead weeds often harbor some insects and diseases that can get transferred to your healthy plants. Once you get rid of them using a weed killer, you will need to remove them through these methods:

1.  Uprooting

After using a weed killer, you can decide to pull the dead weeds out. Most gardeners often get tempted to pull the weeds out in handfuls.

However, doing this can cause the weeds to span into two and leave the roots intact. If the weeds have not dried totally, new weeds may sprout. You can use weeding tools to prevent such issues.

One advantage of removing dead weeds from your lawn by uprooting or digging them out is that the processes remove the entire weed from the ground.

By removing the whole plant, you are sure that the weed will not sprout in the same location. Uprooting dead weeds also ensures that existing plants do not get damaged in the process.

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The best time to uproot or dig up the weeds is after the rains when the soil is soft enough to allow you to pull the weeds out.

2. Burning

Sometimes, you may use herbicides to spray the weeds and they fail to dry up. If you do not wish to use harsh chemicals that may destroy your plants, you can burn them using a propane torch.

We recommend the Flame King YSNPQ810CGA which is effective, easy to use, and comes with an integrated lighter.

Propane torch weed burner
Image: Flame King

Although a torch may not be efficient for the lawn as it may harm the grass, you can use it to burn weeds on sidewalk cracks, in the driveways, road, and rocks or concrete.

To use the torch, follow these steps:

  • Get the torch and propane to the area where you wish to burn the weeds
  • Load the propane tank while ensuring that the pressure valve is pointing away from you
  • Use a lighter to ignite the torch and steady it between 6 – 12 inches above the weeds
  • Move the torch from side to side over the weeds to burn them until they wilt. Concentrate on burning the stem base of the weeds without allowing them to catch fire, as this can stimulate regrowth
  • Repeat the same process until you get rid of all the dead weeds
  • When done, allow the torch to cool before storing it
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Here’s a detailed guide to burning weeds with a propane torch.

Note: You may need to contact the fire department before burning the weeds. Follow the instructions the department gives you carefully. You will require a snow or grain shovel to blot out any fire that gets outside the weed area.

3. Safe disposal of poisonous weeds

When dealing with toxic weeds, you should be careful about the methods you use to get rid of them because some remain poisonous long after they are dead.

It is often risky trying to burn or compost such weeds. You can stuff them in garbage bags and discard them in the trash or transfer stations based on your country’s regulations.

How to get rid of dead weeds on the rocks

Before placing landscaping rocks in an area, you will need to ensure that the place is free from weeds. If you are not in a rush to place the rocks, you can start by covering the area with plastic material for about six weeks.

This method will kill all the weeds underneath, and you can dig them out to remove the roots.  Alternatively, you can also spray the weeds with a non-selective, post-emergent herbicide.

If you do not wish to remove the weeds from your lawn after spraying, you can also leave them in place. This often works best for young weeds that can serve as organic matter to the soil. The method is not ideal for mature weeds with seeds that can sprout again.

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Will dead weeds decompose? When left on the ground, properly sprayed dead weeds dry out and decompose rapidly, typically in a few weeks. The decomposed chippings often add organic matter to the soil.