The tool that I am going to tell you about
is for using herbicides such as RoundUp. The biggest mistakes that
people make when using non-selective herbicides like RoundUp is over
spray getting the herbicide on plants that they did not intend to
spray, and over applying the product. If you spray to the point of run
off, you are applying way too much.
The weed dabber is a tool used for spot treating weeds without getting
the herbicide on other plants.
Start by going to your hardware store and buying a piece of 1- ½” PVC
pipe. You only need a piece 30” long, but they might make you buy a
10' section. It's pretty cheap though. You'll need a plastic PVC cap
for one end of the pipe, and on the other end you'll need an adapter
to convert the PVC pipe to a standard pipe thread. You'll have to let
the clerk at the hardware store help you find the best combination of
fittings to use. What you need to do is to get the PVC pipe reduced
down to a male garden hose type fitting. Hardware stores sell brass
fittings that convert standard pipe thread to the same thread used on
Probably what you'll end up with is an adapter that will convert the
1-½” PVC to 3/4” male pipe. Then an adapter to convert the 3/4” male
pipe to a male garden house fitting. They also make a cap that you can
install on the end of a garden hose, you'll need one of those. This
cap must have a rubber garden hose washer in it so it seals properly.
The PVC fittings have to be glued on so you'll have to pick up some
PVC pipe glue and cleaner. You have to use the cleaner to remove the
film and gloss from the PVC pipe and fittings before you glue them.
Once you have them cleaned, just apply a coating of glue to both the
pipe and the fitting, slide the fitting on and twist it at the same
time. Hold the fitting tight for 60 seconds and it will be glued
Cut a piece of pipe 30” long and glue the pipe cap on one end, and the
PVC to pipe thread adapter on the other end. Apply a small amount of
pipe dope or Teflon tape to the threads of the adapter, and screw the
male garden house fitting onto the adapter. Screw the garden hose cap
to the male garden hose fitting.
Now back to the end of the pipe that you glued the pipe cap to. Drill
a very small hole right in the middle of the pipe cap. You might have
to experiment a little with the size of the hole you need, but make
sure you start with a very small hole. I'd start with 1/16”. Cut a
piece of regular household sponge in a square about 1-½” square. What
you are going to do is place this sponge over the small hole you
drilled in the pipe cap, and secure it there by covering it with a
piece of light weight screen or mesh cloth. Maybe even a piece of an
onion bag. You can secure the mesh to the PVC pipe with a hose clamp,
or electrical tape.
Remove the garden hose cap from the other end of the PVC pipe, and
fill the pipe with pre-mixed (ready to use) RoundUp. Replace the
garden hose cap and you have yourself a weed dabber. The RoundUp will
seep out the hole in the end of pipe cap and be absorbed by the
sponge. As long as the garden hose cap is tight the vacuum in the pipe
will keep the herbicide from running out too fast. Once the sponge is
damp, you can start dabbing weeds. Remember, you only want the weeds
damp and not dripping wet. As long as you are leaving some RoundUp on
the weeds as you dab them, the herbicide should kill them.
Depending on the temperatures, it could take a week or so before you
can see the effects of the herbicide. If the sponge gets too dry you
can loosen the cap a little to release the vacuum and more herbicide
will be released onto the sponge. Or you can simply turn the tool
upside down and that should let some air into the chamber, thus
releasing the vacuum. As always, read the label and follow the
directions on the herbicide package.
Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most
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