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Tues., November 19, 1996



By Peggy McCracken

Hot water treatment

sends weeds to grave

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I've heard of hot air killing plants, but hot water is a new one on me.
There's just no end to what you learn watching television. This show was
one I hadn't seen before, and I don't remember the name. It showcases
new inventions that may change our future.

The hot water machine sprays boiling-plus water onto plants and holds
it there for a few minutes to strip the wax off the leaves, as I recall.
Without the wax to hold in moisture, the plants die from dehydration in
a couple of days. The seeds die, too, so that ends it for the weed or
grass that got zapped.

While I watched, the machine drove through an orange grove, spraying
water on grass and weeds about a foot tall. A long rubber-like mat
dragging along behind the spray heads covered the grass for about two
minutes. When it came out from under the mat, the grass looked healthy.
But the camera showed a swath that had been sprayed two days earlier,
and it was brown.

While the big machine looked expensive, the reporter showed a hand-held
zapper that can be used on individual weeds. I was wondering how that
would work on the grass growing in my street. It bugs me to death! I
tried pouring hot water on it, but I didn't know then you have to hold
the heat in for two minutes, so it didn't work. I poured vinegar on it.
That didn't work. I poured gasoline and discarded oil on it. That killed
it only temporarily. I sprayed it with a herbicide formulated especially
for grass. That did the trick. But it is so expensive and so dangerous
to use.

So the water treatment sounds great. It has to be way over the boiling
point, though, and I'm not sure I could get it hot enough on my kitchen
stove. Even if I could, I'd trip and spill it on my foot. Yow!! When I
turn up the hot water heater to run the dishwasher, I nearly always
scald myself.

New inventions intrigue me. It's exciting to think that we don't have
to settle for what we have. Someone out there always has a better idea.
Or does he?

"What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun." Eccl. 1:10, NIV.

Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and editor whose column appears
each Tuesday.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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