Frequently asked questions
What is hydrothermal weed control?
Essentially it is the use of superheated water to destroy unwanted plants through thermal shock. Saturated steam delivery is the by far the fastest and most efficient way to do this. Our machine delivers near boiling water using a small showerhead type applicator for spot weeding and edging, and enclosed steam box heads for garden beds and larger areas. The enclosed heads direct the saturated steam delivery to precise areas eliminating the possibility of accidentally damaging desirable plants.
Why hydrothermal weed control?
We have found it to be the best possible method for controlling weeds both in the short and long term. Hydrothermal is the safer choice from an environmental, health and long term cost effectiveness perspective.
Who else is using this method of weed control?
In New Zealand, Australia, USA and Canada local governments, hospitals, educational institutions, retirement villages, organic farmers and contractors are choosing hydrothermal weed control because it is the safest option to use with no adverse effects on people, animals and our environment.
Will the pressure of the water harm the soil itself or leave a mess on nearby surfaces?
The saturated steam and boiling water is delivered at low pressure, so it won’t disturb your mulch or compact your soil. Beneficial soil microbes should not be affected and the treated weeds quickly become food for a rapid repopulation of soil organisms helping to build a humus layer in your soil. The hot water only penetrates about 5mm down into the soil, so earthworms are usually unaffected as they mostly live lower down in the soil unless the conditions are very wet. There should be no unwanted spray residue onto nearby surfaces such as walls and pathways.
Does the treatment stop the weeds from re-germinating?
Most of the weed seeds will be denatured on the first application, but after the first treatment some weed species can be germinated and re-emerge about 28 days later. We recommend treating the weeds again at this point, but the process is much faster the second time around as this is only to treat the re-emerged species. After a further 28 days the same species generally reappear again, but after a third and final application the seed bank will be depleted and they will be gone for good. Because of this we recommend a three-treatment weed control plan from the beginning, and we will tell you this before we begin.
Does this type of weed control kill the root system of the treated plants?
This type of treatment does ultimately affect the weed roots. During the course of the three treatments it will either kill the weed outright or delay its re-growth response. Destroying the portion of the plant above the ground forces the biological process of the weed to store energy in its roots to regenerate the above ground portion of the plant. The root zone reduces until the plant has enough leaf growth again to re-grow its leaves, stem and roots. Subsequent treatments of the saturated steam delivered before the plant has regenerated its root zone, will eliminate the weed.
Does it affect black plastic, weed mat or drip irrigation systems?
Repeated applications have proven that the heat of the weed treatment process does not affect any weed control membranes or irrigation systems.
Does it work on all weeds?
All soft wooded annuals and perennial weeds can be successfully treated. Ideally the weed growth will need to be cut down to a maximum of 100 mm height before attempting the treatment. Annuals can be eradicated in just one treatment if it is done at the right time within the growth cycle. Hardy perennials such as Kikuyu and Bermuda grasses will need a programmed approach. We also have a steam ‘spike’ tool which can pierce the roots or trunk of thicker, more established woody growth.