Rambo Gardening Techniques and Punk Firefighters

My approach to gardening this year is to kill kill kill everything in sight.

I wanted to plant some things but there is no room in my yard for useful vegetation because it’s all been taken over by crazy soul-sucking weeds. Blackberry vines that I thought were cute and semi-useful have multiplied by such an alarming rate that I fear they may be organizing to overthrow our family and crush our home. Some of the vines are as thick as small tree trunks.

Then there are the dandelions, the morning glory vines, the moss, the crab grass, the terrifyingly invasive Japanese Knot Weed and all of their friends. Any time I clear an area to plant something, the weeds come in thicker and stronger because they have so much freshly churned earth to grow in.

So this year I’ve got chemicals for the areas around the yard where I won’t be planting other things. And for areas where poison would compromise the soil and surrounding plants, I bought a flame thrower.

For reals.

It’s also known as a garden torch but when I ignite that thing and walk up and down the rows of my vegetative nemeses, an area I like to call “The Kill Zone,” I feel mighty powerful indeed. All of my childhood pyro tendencies and all of my current pent-up frustrations come out as I pull my little red wagon full of propane around the yard, laying waste to every living thing that I don’t choose to let live. It’s kind of magical.

Dan stands by as fire marshal and every once in a while I let him have a turn with the big flaming gun, which he assembled for me.

At one point on Saturday I hit a patch of dried leaves that got a little bit out of control and Dan doused it, worried that someone might call the fire department if they saw the smoke.

I think of fire fighters differently lately.

Laylee’s been playing my Style Savvy game on the DSi. I was hooked for a couple of weeks but got over it pretty fast. It’s a little repetitive and there’s only one body type in the game. But Laylee likes it and I had a fun couple of weeks with it. She was recently telling me all about the shop she’s set up and what her favorite clothing suppliers are.

“I don’t really like Mad Jack,” she said of the goth punk clothing supplier. “It’s my least favorite of all the clothes. I don’t even know who would wear it except like punk rock people and firefighters and stuff.”

Apparently firefighters wear spiked dog collars on their necks, dress nearly all in black, carry their wallets on chains and enjoy wearing their hair in purple striped Mohawks. I hadn’t noticed that before but if they have to come out next time I’m Rambo-ing the weed bed, I’ll keep a closer eye on thier fashion choices.

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6 Responses to Rambo Gardening Techniques and Punk Firefighters

  1. Emily says:

    Laylee makes me laugh. She clearly has an eye for fashion. Good luck with your anti-weed efforts.

  2. Cynthia says:

    I think you are such a talented writer that creates images beautifully with words but somethings just require actual visuals. I want to see you using your blow torch. 🙂

  3. Pam in Utah says:

    WoW! A real flame thrower! we usually only use ours on birthday candles, hehehe. Hope you get those pesky weeds under control. Maybe we’ll have to convert to your style of flame throwing!

  4. proud daughter of Eve says:

    If you weed at night, it inhibits the weeds’ ability to grow back. But the flamethrower sounds cool too. I wish I had one for the ivy!

  5. Jenetta says:

    Hi fellow Seattle mom! Your project sounds like fun to me. I graduated in horticulture so weeding is kind of my specialty you might say.

    Blackberries are definitely the worst. Flames won’t even kill them because they can live underneath the soil for a while before popping back up when the danger has gone. The best thing I’ve found for getting rid of them is to cut the stalks back almost to the ground. Then painting the stumps with undiluted roundup right away. It won’t affect any other plants and it will eat away at the stump and roots.

    There are also other systemic weed killers you can paint on the stumps to get those nasty plants, the only thing you have to remember is to do it right after you cut the stalks while the juices are still flowing.

  6. When I was in Germany last summer visiting my in-laws, my husband and I were quite impressed with FIL’s weed-controlling technique that we had never seen before, which is probably exactly what you are talking about with your flame-thrower-garden-torch thingy. And oh, we were so impressed with the Germans and their Earth-friendliness, and thought, ‘Oh, how wonderful it would be if we lazy Americans could get off our poison-chemical-laden hineys and create something similar! Why is this not available in the US?’ And of course, upon returning to the states, we never even bothered to find out if it was available, just wistfully storing that as one of those things we would miss about our time overseas.

    Um, yeah. Just saying that a year later, it’s nice to have come across this post and to now know that such things do exist state-side, and if I can find one locally, I think I may have just made my husband’s day (since I point-blank refuse to let him use Round-Up and the like…). Yay!

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