Yes, the best time to treat weeds with saturated steam and boiling water is soon after germination. This will give you the most bang for your buck and a thorough kill, however you can treat at any time of the life cycle but the speed of application will vary. Check out our video for a practical demonstration (and yes, it was uploaded to YouTube by a client in 2010):
Put simply, for hydro-thermal weeding to be commercial viable, temperatures need to be greater than 98° Celsius, (205°F) and must have rapid transfer into the plant cells. Propane flame and non-saturated steam is less efficient at transferring destructive heat into the vegetation and hot water will do the job but is much slower and uses a lot more energy. You can rely on our SW range to superheat the water and deliver saturated steam at 98-103°C, 205-218°F to destroy your weeds quickly and effectively.
Satusteam™ does not heat the soil during normal weed control application. It cooks the surface vegetation of the weeds. Penetration is about 5mm into the soil. Repeat treatments are required to contain invasive weeds - usually at 4-6 weeks intervals. We do have different kinds of applicator heads, designed and developed to solve specific weeding challenges.
Studies have shown that Satusteam™ is actually beneficial for microbial activity - in fact, it increases because of the decay of the freshly cooked vegetation!
With Satusteam, you can commence vegetation management earlier in spring, at first germination. The heat and water destroy young weeds on contact. There is a noticeable control of the seed bank. Seeds will be denatured and die, or be germinated and sprout to be killed this year – not next.
Weeding with boiling water is that the combination of adding heat and water to the soil surface germinates some species in a seed bank. Some species of seeds can’t tolerate the heat and are de-natured, they die and decay in the soil, whilst others love it, as it splits the hard seed coat and allows their first embryonic roots and shoots to emerge. Either way, it’s a bonus. It’s a bonus because we can now deplete the seed bank which means that we can control next year’s weeds this year.
Subsequent treatments of Satusteam™, delivered before the plant has regenerated its root zone, will eliminate the weed.
With enough volume, there is some penetration into the meristematic growth points, where the root zone becomes stem, which will either kill the weed outright or delay its regrowth response.
Destroying the above-ground portion of the plant forces the biological process of the weed to use the store of energy in its roots to regenerate the above-ground portion of the plant. The root zone diminishes until the plant has enough leaf growth to photosynthesise and generate enough sugars, starches, proteins etc to regrow leaf, stem and roots.
Local governments and municipalities in the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as a variety of organic farmers, varying from vineyards, orchards to aloe vera and other specialist organic producers. Equestrian and properties with other animals also love our toxin-free weeding solutions.
Our saturated steam provides rapid penetration and transfer of heat to any vegetation which the applicator heads pass over. It is non-selective on any organisms. A benefit of our economical use of saturated steam and boiling water is that it does not penetrate more than about a ¼”, 5mm, into the soil. This has a great effect on the crowns of weed species but the little effect and no lasting impact on either the roots of your perennial crops, trees, vines etc or your important soil organisms. Earthworms tend to be found lower down in the soil profile unless there are very wet surface conditions. Our observation is that the destroyed weeds quickly become detritus providing food for a rapid repopulation of soil organisms which helps builds a humus layer in your soil.
To kill most plant pathogens and beneficial microbes such as Rhizobium bacteria and mycorrhizal populations the soil temperature must be “raised and held at between 60 – 80ºC for 30 minutes.” ( KA Hendreck & N. Black (1994 Revised Edition) Growing Media for Ornamental Plants and Turf. Randwick: University of NSW Press.) With our SW weed control on average only the top ¼”, 5mm of the soil directly under the head is heated for a couple of minutes.
The Weedtechnics Satusteam™ machines are manufactured to our specifications in California, USA. The proprietary nozzles and heads are manufactured in Australia.
We have not found any soft wooded annual or perennial weed that is resistant to a good dose of our Satusteam™. However, there are many variable factors to consider when we help you design your weed management strategy. For example, are the weeds annuals or perennials, what stage in the growth cycle is the weed, do they have deep rhizomes, bulbs or corms? Treated at the right time annuals can be eradicated after one treatment and perennials such as, Bermuda grass (couch) Kikuyu, Dandelions require a programmed approach.
Satusteam™ started hepling people transition into holistic weed control from mechanical (whipper snippers), manual (nad weeding), thermal (flaming) or chemical weed control since 2004. Satusteam™ is our patented organic weed control technology.