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Right Tool: Right Job – Dusting off a Few Cobwebs

November 06, 2008

All of my garden coaching clients know that I like to talk about a few “rights” in gardening — right plant: right place, right cut: right place, right amendment: right time, right tool: right job and so on…

Well, today a man in Georgia could have used a reminder about using the right tool for the right job. Rather than get out a broom or a feather duster to remove cobwebs around the house, he pulled out a blow-torch and not only got rid of the spiders’ homes but his own in the process. The Times-Herald reports Β nobody was hurt (except maybe a spider or two?) and this was an accident.

I have to wonder about the accident part. Then again, I do see plastic bags with “this is not a toy” stamped all over them and so many other “no brainer” warnings on just about everything these days. I suppose any accident can happen, and I should take this as a reminder to take nothing for granted and assume everyone knows nothing.

When I worked in high tech years ago and an old topic would come up for discussion, I often found myself saying, “I’ve got to dust off the cobwebs in my head on this one before I dive back in.”Β I supposeΒ this saying can apply to just about anything.

So, as a safety reminder for those of you out there who are thinking about cleaning your garden beds (or anything else) with fire, just remember that flame weeders, which are mini-torches, should be used with care at all times. They do emit fire for goodness sake! Don’t use them on dry areas. Take care when using them on driveways and patios and anything else. Water everything down to ensure you put out any mini fires and keep an eye on your spaces. Don’t flame anything without proper covering on your body. It could be easy to flame a bare toe with one of these things. And, if you’re not sure if the flame weeder (or blow torch) is appropriate, just don’t use it, okay? Get down on your knees and pull those weeds by hand, or get out a feather duster and a ladder (after reading all the warnings about ladders) and dust those cobwebs to oblivion. It may be a cliche, but really “better safe than sorry!”

1 Comment

  1. […] So, what are other methods? Well, I’m not going to suggest you use herbicides, but if your dandelion is coming up in a stone patio or sidewalk, you might consider using a flame weeder (Available in the gardening tools store here). And, of course, when you do use flame for any purpose be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions, wear safety gear, keep a hose nearby in case of a flare up, and just be smart about it. Nobody wants to be this guy. […]

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