Turning up the heat on weeds

Article image - Turning up the heat on weeds Steam treating weeds in the Mahomets Flats playground.

Weeds across the City of Greater Geraldton, Western Australia, are beginning to feel the heat as a 12-month steam treatment trial for the unwanted plants rolls out.

The trial, which began in July, uses a purpose built, steam treatment machine that applies steam directly to plant foliage.

Chief Executive Officer, Ross McKim, said the trial is part of ongoing investigations to identify alternative, environmentally friendly and cost effective ways to control weeds.

“Managing weeds in our parks, open spaces, road reserves and paths and even in our drains is a massive, never ending, task.

“Weeds can have a huge impact on our environment by choking out native plant species and reducing food sources or habitat for native animals.

“They can also create fire hazards which is why weed control is a very important part of the City’s operations.

“Given the sheer volume of work involved in weed control we are always looking for alternative weed management practices that can achieve effective results whilst reducing the need for chemical control methods.”

The trial will monitor the cost and efficiency of steam as an alternative to glyphosate for weed control.