Chapter 24

Vineyard Weed Management


Flaming is a method where propane-fueled burners can be used to control young weeds in mature vineyards. Heat from the flamer causes the weeds’ cell sap to expand, rupturing the cell walls. The length of time the flame is applied depends on the age, size, and tenderness of the weed. It is recommended that the flame be applied to weeds when they are 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 cm) tall and typically in the spring and early summer.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Flame weeding is an increasingly attractive weed control method because it provides multiple advantages over chemical and mechanical weed management methods used in both conventional and organic farming operations. Compared with the use of chemical herbicides with conventional crop systems, flame weeding does not leave chemical residues in or on plants, soil, air, or water.

Timing of Flame Weeding

Timing is probably the most important factor that influences the success of flaming, and it must be timed to balance weed damage with crop damage.

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