Don't slam the string up against anything solid. As you found out, it only slows you down. Notice where the outter diameter of the cutting circle is, and sweep that where you want to cut. There is some skill involved, which requires practice. When you can cut past twenty or thirty fence posts without having to advance the string, you are starting to get it.
I used to spray Round up on my fence lines but once you start, all you will get to grow back are noxious weeds. I'm still fighting the pokeweed that got started all over my farm. I had nightshade, horse nettle, dock, amaranth and other nasty things get a foothold on my property by using Round up that I ended up having to pull up by hand or escalate to spraying more often. It is seriously overrated and not as safe as we are led to believe and simply leads to more resistant noxious weeds.
Now I mow as close as I can with my belly mower and weed eat if necessary. Now it's mostly grass again (three years after ceasing to use Round up), the animals will graze that area right under the lower strand of my fence and they do a pretty good job keeping it down. I don't have to weed eat all that much but I don't have the kind of fence you have.
As for being "safe" around animals, I'm pretty sure that Round up caused the death of an older cat I had...or it was so much a coincidence to be hard to believe. She was in our fenced back yard just resting. I was spraying and was in a hurry so instead of taking her in, I figured it would be dry in a few minutes (when it dries it's supposedly safe for animals to be around) so I went ahead and sprayed the fence. I was not that close to her and it was not windy.
That night she went into convulsions and full liver failure. We had to euthanize her at the vet's the next day. She was in fairly good health so the timing of her liver failure was awfully suspect to me. That is the last time I sprayed that supposedly safe poison on my farm.
Just so you can see that I'm not making it all up regarding possible dangers of using the stuff:
One of my good friends is a boarded veterinary toxicologist (and a card-carrying member of PETA--we sort of agree to disagree about certain things). He worked at the ASPCA poison control center for several years, so I'd consider him a good source. He says glyphosate (aka Round Up) is not toxic to mammals, but it does make plants taste sweeter. Therefore, animals may be more likely to eat something poisonous because it is more palatable than it normally would be.
Me, I go back and forth on the comparative evils of spraying (I agree with DB's observation that all you get is a bumper crop of noxious weeds) and weed whacking (I can never get the pull-start ones started, the battery ones run out of juice at about the sixth fence panel, and both kinds hurt my back to hold for any length of time). What I really need is to with that Powerball lottery so I can hire someone else to do it!
Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.
The trick is to have your mesh installed a couple of inches off the ground and then weed eat under it. If you decide to use roundup, I think you end up pretty committed to using roundup down the road because of what others have described about the weeds. Also, in hilly locations with loose soil the lack of vegetation under the fence can under time cause erosion at the fence line, that's another reason to consider not using roundup. Grazing with goats or sheep will definitely make the job a LOT easier, and diamond mesh will contain goats and sheep very nicely, no need to tie anything to a tire.
Remember too that goats are primarily browsers while sheep are grazers. Plan accordingly. Of course if you do get goats or sheep, you're going to need a donkey or two to protect them from predators. (Cue donkey enablers!)
“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
There was what appeared to be a large Rottie in my guys paddock as I was leaving yesterday evening, and I had never seen it before. It was in a high-alert stance, and I was like "omagerd wtf is THAT in my boys' paddock?!" I yelled at to go home, which did nothing at all other than make Rory come bouncing out of the three sided run-in to see what I was yelling about. Odie came sauntering out a few seconds later after he got a chance to peek into Rory's hopefully empty feed bucket....and I watched the dog, which would have dwarfed Odie, hightail it under the fence and into the neighbor's yard like his ass was on fire and his hair was catching!! From a good distance too! I took this from the front, zoomed as far as my phone could zoom, and they are standing pretty close to where the Rottie was. I imagine a goat, sheep or other short grazer would be safe with a (cute, friendly, adorable) companion donk donk to protect it!
To be relevant, I had a prof in college tell me about a guy who used a goat tied to a car as his way to clear areas, and moved the car every other day. Then he went on spring break and figured the goat would be ok because it's not like that areas were bare ground after a day...came home and the goat had eaten all the rubber striping stuff around the windows and doors off his car. Snurk!
COTH's official mini-donk enabler
"I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl
How do you effectively weed wack against the diamond mesh no climb fencing? I use pretty heavy string but it doesn't work well and the fence eats up the string. Help!
you don't hit the wire, only the ground.
but seriously, use round up on the fence line, weed eating will eventually eat your fence as well:
I had a basketball goal in my driveway. the metal pipe it was hung from was easily 6 inches in diameter, the metal about 1/4 of an inch thick. One day I noticed it swaying a little more than it should have: it was only standing by the grace of god, on about a forth of the material, the rest had been eaten away by years of weed whacking around it! Not long after, the thing toppled in a storm, missing my van by two feet!