Weed Wiper

  1. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    I built my house in a bog and as a result while I can sort of grow grass, I can grow marvellous rushes.
    I'm not into gardening, I just try to keep the worst of the weeds at bay and have some hedges and trees which are all low maintenance.
    I put some drainage in 25 odd years ago and I expect it is all clogged now as the rush problem is getting worse and I don’t want to start putting in French drains again.
    The problem has been made worse by the even more copious than usual rain fall we have been getting here in the last few years.

    I’m not adverse to a bit of chemical warfare and I spray about half a litre of glyphosate weed killer a year.
    I don't go full agent orange, I don’t mind letting nature taking over and I have lots of areas left to their own devices.

    The rushes that bother me are in the grass (would be a bit of a stretch to call it a lawn) so I can’t spray. There are some systemic weed killers that will deliver the kiss of death to rushes while leaving the grass, moss and weeds alone but I read the SDS and decided to give it a by ball.

    Glyphosate will do for them if delivered in a strong enough dose and as the rushes outgrow the grass I thought a wiper would do the job.
    I suppose a sponge tied to a stick and a bucket of weed killer would suffice but why go for the sensible option when you can make another tool.

    Full disclosure here, I’ve no idea if this will work or is even if it's a good idea.


    I made this prototype using whatever I had lying about. (as always)
    I started out by thinking of using a continuous rope or wick that ran through a container of weed killer but I couldn’t think of a suitable absorbent rope, so decided on a line of 9 inch paint rollers .

    The inside dimension of 9 inch paint rollers sleeves is odd so I ended up using some 11/4" pvc pipe for the roller.
    A steel pipe would be far better but this will do for a test.

    Started by making the bushes and drives for the rollers from UHMWPE.

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    I'd a scrap Fiat engine kicking about so I used the crankshaft and cam pullies for the drive

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    I also had a wire feeder from a mig I scraped which I used to power it.
    For the frame and to mount the motor I used some 2inch angle.

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    I got the lend of a Bristle Blaster and had a play on the rusty angle and have to say I'm very impressed.

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    Spot the mistake where I made the adjuster slot on the wrong end and had to weld it up again.

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    Added a gusset to put back some of the strength from the angle I had to chop to give clearance for the belt.

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    Trial assembly to see how it fits,

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  2. DAPPH

    DAPPH as dyslexik as I'm daft

    Messages:
    2,749
    Location:
    Near to Cross Hands Llanelli SouthWales GB
    If it fails try KISS with :-
    Two same sized bike wheels with an A frame to connect them together on an axle . Hang a bit of old thick wool blanket or old cotton fleecy sweat shirt turned inside out or thick medical felt with cable ties going through it over the axle giving you a couple of inches ground clearance and use a killer spray to dose the wool pad away from any wanted greenery , get it to the point of dripping wet and away you go over the taller weeds . You could also cable tie a thin plastic hose from the killer spray lance to the top of the pad and pierce it with a hole every 1.5 inches then give the trigger a squeeze every now & them to re-dose the pad .

    Looking at the rollers nap it's likely to throw off a mist of weed if it gets going too fast as the roller is a nice lever / fulcrum to throw it off.
     
  3. awemawson Forum Supporter

    You need something to break down the waxy surface of the rushes for the glyphosate to be really effective. Just a bit of washing up liquid in the solution.

    cut the rushes to ground level with a fail or similar, and wait for the young growth, then hit that with the weed wiper.

    big clumps can be effectively done with a back pack sprayer.
     
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  4. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    @DAPPH thanks for the ideas, your option was close to my original plan but I have a ride on mower and am lazy so decided to make something that bolts to it.
    Now I've made the contraption I can see where thinner wheels would be a great advantage because when I’m driving about on the mower the wide wheels could (will) be transferring the weed killer from the rushes to the grass and I need to try and not drive over areas that have already been dossed which is not easy.
    If I made a buggy that had 4 thin wheels and was pushed I could be sure I didn’t have cross contamination.
    If I end up killing the grass doing it this way (which is entirely possible) I will go with your option.

    The roller turns quite slowly so I don’t think it will throw off a mist, in fact it is one thing that seems to work well. If the roller isn’t turning and the drip feeders are on, the weed killed drips off the roller sleeves. With the roller turning the weed killer doesn’t drip but seems to saturate the sleeves.


    @awemawson thanks for the tip on the washing up liquid, I can tell you have been battling against rushes as well.
    I was using the weed killer thinned two and a half to one which seem to be the concentration used by farmers. The rushes are nice young growth, they spring up far faster than the grass and get cut as often as I mow the grass. This is not as often as I should because of the amount of rain this year.

    I'm hoping for a few dry days now and will have to cut the grass even if the weed killer hasn’t done its job yet. Should be able to leave it 3 or 4 days. Do you think that is long enough?

    I'll get an update and a few more photos uploaded later.
     
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  5. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

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    Location:
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    Not the problem you have Dcal it is HIDoors & plants also not the size of ground we got rid of the acre & just have 1/4 now with gravle Lawn & beds a lot of beds so simple tube with holes fed from a bottle & tap DSCF0001.JPG DSCF0004.JPG
     
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  6. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    I like that a lot @500e

    It looks more precise than a sprayer.
    Do you used it for the same stuff as a spray? It's not often the wind drops low enough to be able to use the knapsack around here.
    Also what concentration of weed killer do you use?
     
  7. awemawson Forum Supporter

    The whole idea of a weed wiper is that it wipes the weeds and not the grass, so it must be set at the right height, not dribble, and there must be a differential height between what you want and what you want to kill.

    The glyphosate is better taken up by young growth and works by being taken down to the roots.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  8. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    2,645
    Location:
    Cumbria
    If you can pull a mole plough through the ground, and keep the rushes cut short, they'll soon disappear.
     
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  9. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    The weed killer dribbles on to the sleeves and then gets wiped onto the rushes.
    I had it set so it only keeps the sleeves wet and doesn't drip onto the ground while operating.
    I used about 100ml to treat about 100 square meters of grass and rushes so it's not dribbling all over the place.
     
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  10. 500e

    500e Always buy fire insurance a flood is hard to start

    Messages:
    4,813
    Location:
    SWest UK
    Mine is all path & gravel so don't mind a bit of drip you can regulate with the tap so it only goes on the roller though
    .HID goes mental if I get the sprayer out wind & all that drift @Dcal
     
    Dcal likes this.
  11. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    This is the problem I'm trying to improve.

    The green stuff should have been cut weeks ago but we were almost flooded out and the ground is still saturated.
    It's was the worst I had seen in 15 years and the field on the other side of the hedge was a 5 acre lake.


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    To attach the contraption to the ride on, I made a couple of clamps.
    They are a bit heaver duty than necessary but I had the steel kicking about and used them for tig and arc practice.

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    To install I just took the grass box off and clamped it to the frame. I can raise or lower the whole thing to change the clearance.

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    This is it installed.
    I welded some 5mm round bar to cable tie the drip feed pipes to.
    The reservoir was nicked from my mag drill and is perfect for the job.
    I also bent some pipe to mount the reservoir.

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    The drip feeds are from B&Q. Everything else I had kicking about so total spend so far was £11

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    Few more random pics.

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    The oil is from the VVT in the cam pully,

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    It will take a week or two to see if it kills the rushes or kills the grass or both.
     
  12. Turbo Member

    Messages:
    3,674
    Location:
    Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
    You do realise that there is a specific weedkiller used by farmers to kill rushes & weeds and leaves the grass alone. Most of the grazing fields on our farm were covered in rushes, spraying them once a year for 3 years in a row has more or less eradicated them.
     
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  13. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    I would get your drains retrojetted, if they were proper drains when you put them in. Though if the water table is high and ground wet, your on a hiding to nothing.
     
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  14. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Cumbria
    I'll say it again... mole plough ;)

    We have some low lying land that floods every year, and every few years it pans the soil so it doesn't free drain properly. Pull a mole plough through it, and it opens up nicely for draining for another year or two.

    Those rushes will just disappear.

    You're treating the symptom, not the problem.
     
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  15. DAPPH

    DAPPH as dyslexik as I'm daft

    Messages:
    2,749
    Location:
    Near to Cross Hands Llanelli SouthWales GB
    Set your topper high and treat the cut damaged tips within a few hours before they get time to oooze enough protective sealants
    Round up my farmer pal told me that his agricultural grade round up was about three times stronger than the stuff available in the garden centres .. his had a wetting agent in it , looking at the label so did mine .

    Doff is a similar glyphosphate weed killer . The last big box I got was a lot cheaper than round up .
    Grazon 90 was a very effective hormonal selective weed killer ..think you have to have all manner of courses under your belt and be a registered user . It has a residual effect so you can't use mulch or hay from the ground for several years . It also passed through animals.
     
    Dcal likes this.
  16. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland

    I have a litre of MCPA but it's one of the worst for getting into our drinking water and staying in the environment. Even the farmers are being persuaded to treat with glyphosate to reduce its use.
    I did read the SDS and thought I'd try something less nasty first. Munkul’s solution is even better as it removes the need for any chemicals.

    @addjunkie the drains were just perforated pipe and clean stone so no way of jetting them.

    @Munkul I know this isn't a proper fix, it only took me a couple of evenings and a £10 so if I haven’t already destroyed what grass I have it was worth the experiment.
    I need to look into your mole plough idea, however we don't all have access to the kit or the equipment to pull it.
    How deep do they need to go?
    I’m sure someone around here will have one.
    I had visions of stripping the top soil off and putting more drains in but don’t fancy the mess or the cost, your idea seems very doable.

    We are on about 6 foot of peat over blue clay so perfect for holding water.
    There is a an sheugh (field drain) I can eventually drain into but during the flood it just backed up through the drains so in those conditions there is nothing I can do. Only happens about once every 10 or 20 years so not a big deal (until it is.)
    The culvert under the main road that is backing everything up was replaced a few years ago but they didn’t lower it or increase the size.
    It might have been an early flood attenuation scheme because once across the road it's all downhill to the sea.
     
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  17. Munkul

    Munkul Jack of many trades, Master of none

    Messages:
    2,645
    Location:
    Cumbria
    We pull a single leg mole drainer around 8-9" deep. It will pull with 50hp but traction in a bog may be an issue. we always would use a 100hp 4wd these days, and if it's still really wet, the wheels will spin. Not ideal, but it still opens up the ground a bit.
     
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  18. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    @Munkul Now look what you’ve started. I'm searching for mole drainers now. [​IMG]

    @DAPPH Thanks for the advice on weed killer and the application.
    I have Clinic glyphosate that I got from a farmer many years ago. I asked him to get me 5l and he got me 5 gal.
    Must be 15 years old but it still works.

    I remember being stuck for weed killer a couple of years ago, I must have put the 5 gal away so well, I couldn’t find it.
    I went to B&Q and couldn’t believe the prices.
    I bought a plastic tub of it thinking it was the best value, when I got it home it was just plastic bags full of roundup diluted to the right concentration for application!
    When you worked out the amount of active ingredient it was 10 times the price of a good malt.
    I did a proper search for the 5 gal after that and haven't beeen caught out since.
     
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  19. addjunkie

    addjunkie Member

    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Northumberland. Reet oot in the sticks
    Well if its perforated pipe, itll all still be there just full of silt. Just dig it up, at a suitable point, stick the retrojet in. My neighbour hired the kit to go on the back of his tractor and did a fair bit, quite quickly.
     
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  20. Dcal

    Dcal Forum Supporter

    Messages:
    2,224
    Location:
    Antrim Northern Ireland
    Bit of an update on this.
    I was able to leave the treated rushes a week before cutting the grass and it looks like the glyphosate has hurt the rushes and left the grass alone.

    IMG_2837.JPG

    I'll really see how I got on in a week or so.
     
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