Two technologies I had not imagined I would need to master are clearing weeds on a massive scale and managing poison ivy by the ton.
For weed control (not poison ivy), the environmentally friendly and effective management tool is a modified flamethrower. I know that sounds very "Mad Max" but it works! I use the Red Dragon backpack model to keep my roads and paths clear of weeds. Heating weeds to the point that their cell membranes burst is quick, easy and safe - no need to actually burn the plant. In a few days the weeds disappear.
Poison Ivy is trickier. You do not want to burn Poison Ivy since the compounds that cause skin irritation cause respiratory distress if aerosolized in a fire. Although I really do not like to use herbicides of any kind, there is not much choice for clearing significant stands of poison ivy. Our tree specialist recommended that I use a Chapin backpack sprayer with a specialized nozzle that enables precise application. The poison ivy formula he recommended is 3 gallons of water, 7.8 ounces of RoundUp, and 4 tablespoons of Miracle Grow, applied in June when the leaves are fully grown but still tender. The Miracle Grow allows the use of 25% less RoundUp, which is better for the environment. Also, RoundUp is foliar, not soil- based, so there is less contamination. I carefully sprayed all our poison ivy last night and we'll see what happens.
Now that I've mastered weeds and poison ivy, I can turn my attention to electric fencing technologies this weekend - a blog post for next week.