Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tools for Killing Weeds

Don't have much luck with growing plants however that was a serious problem if you lived in the 19th Century and grew up on a farm. Below are a couple of tidbits regarding killing weeds.

Weeds are easily killed when they are first seen, and more easily still, before they are seen at all. A heavy rake is better than a hoe for this work, and will do more in ten minutes, than can be done with a hoe in an hour. An implement made as in will do this work of
weeding in an excellent manner. This is made of a heavy rake head, with a handle attached as Siiowd, and furnished with a number of teeth placed about an inch apart. The teeth may be made of forty-penny nails, or one-quarter inch round iron, the weight of which will bury them in the soil without any effort. It is much more easy to work with this implement, than with a lighter rake. The beds may be cleaned close to the plants, and it should be used as soon as the weeds begin to appear.
For killing perennial weeds, a spud is a convenient implement with which to cut off the roots below the surface.

A good spud may be made from a carpenter's chisel of large size. This should be attached to a handle sufficiently long to allow it to be used without stooping. By thrusting this diagonally against the root, that may be cut off as far below the surface as desired. Some weeds, however, such as dandelion, plantain, etc., are not killed by merely cutting them, but need the application of some destructive liquid to make complete work. In England, oil of vitroil (sulphuric acid) is used for this purpose, but that is dangerous to handle, and must be kept in glass. Strong brine or coal-oil is sometimes applied to the roots to destroy them. We give an illustration of a vessel for the application of liquids, which is attached to the spud, and allows the cutting and killing to be done at one operation. Figure 205 shows the spud, a, with its attachment, a tin vessel with a tapering nozzle and holding about a quart, at b. At c, is a valve, which covers a small air-hole, against which it is pressed by a spring, and which may be raised by the cord, e. After cutting the root, a pull of the cord will raise the valve, allow air to enter the vessel, and a small quantity of the liquid will pass out and come in contact with the root.

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