How to Make a Weed Dabber
by Michael J. McGroarty -
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.
dabber is a tool used for spot treating weeds without
getting the herbicide on other plants.
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 garden hoses.
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.
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 tightly.
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
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.
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
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
www.freeplants.com and sign up for his excellent
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