FAQ

Who is using the Steamwand range?

Local governments and municipalities in the USA, Canada and Australia, landcare groups, as well as a variety of farmers, varying from vineyards, orchards to aloe vera and other specialist organic producers.

Is there an ideal time to treat weeds with saturated steam?

Yes the best time to treat weeds with saturated steam 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.

Why saturated steam?

Put simply, for hydro-thermal weeding to be commercial viable, temperatures need to be greater than 98° Celsius, 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 the SW range to superheat the water and deliver saturated steam at 98-103°C,  to destroy your weeds.

Will the pressure of the water destroy soil structure or leave a mess on adjacent surfaces?

No. With SW range, the saturated steam is delivered at just 15psi. It thoroughly coats the vegetation and does not disturb your mulch, compact your soil or spray residue onto adjacent surfaces such as walls and pathways.

What is the cost per acre?

A cost per acre is dependant on the crop and the regularity of treatment cycles. Once you have selected the machine that is right for you refer to its spec sheet, which will allow you to calculate anticipated costs.

How much does a steam weeder cost?

There are a number of products in our SW range. Prices start under $10 000 up to $24 000 $AUS dependant on operational output and the type and quantity of applicator heads required. Check out our products page to see our range.

Are earth worms and other soil organisms affected?

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 is that it does not penetrate more than about a ¼”, 5mm, into the soil.  This has great effect on the crowns of weed species but little effect and no lasting impact on either the roots of your perrennial crops, trees, vines etc or your important soil organisms. Earth worms 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 mycorryhizal 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.

Where are the machines manufactured?

The machines are manufactured to specifications in California. The proprietary nozzles and heads are manufactured in Australia.

Is there a portable domestic unit?

A model for residential use is in development. Please email us to receive the updates.

Is there a back pack version?

A back pack version poses some considerable design challenges.  This is in development, we’ll keep you posted.  Please email us to receive the updates.

Is it suitable for a small backyard / residential applications?

Although the use of steam is suitable for many residential applications, at this time we are focusing on larger-scale weed treatment programmes. In the near future we expect some property and landscape maintenance contractors to begin providing residential steam weed treatment services. You can email us to register your interest and we will keep you updated.

Does it affect black plastic and other weed membranes?

Repeated applications have proved that our SW range does not affect black plastic or any other weed control membranes.

Does it affect drip irrigation?

Repeated applications have proved that our SW range does not affect any type of irrigation system with heat. Mechanical damage can be caused in certain circumstances, but the incidence is rare. We can assess your situation initially, by just emailing us a photo. Need more advice? Please contact us by email or call our office.

Does it work on all weeds?

We have not found any soft wooded annual or perennial weed that is resistant to a good dose of our saturated steam, 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 whilst perrenials often require a programmed approach.