Timing is critical in flame weed control, and Johan should be able to
provide you with more details both on timing and building a flamer.
Another method we use on our farm is called stale-seed bed. We prepare a
seed bed fine enought to plant vegetables into, and then let it sit until
weeds have germinated but are still very small (no more than cotyledons),
usually a week or two. We then go over the ground with a chain harrow, but
any cultivation that is shallow works. The idea is to get the first flush
of weeds out before you plant the crop. It's important not to cultivate
aggresively, or you'll bring up more weed seeds--just skim the surface.
This technique works very well, and is worth the loss of a week or two,
espeically in small seeded crops like carrots, onions, and lettuce.
Division of Nutritional Sciences
231N MVR Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853