Steam weeder to reduce herbicide use

Article image - Steam weeder to reduce herbicide use Parks and gardens’ Mitch Fechner demonstrates the steam weed unit.

Cook Shire Council, Queensland, will be reducing the use of herbicides around towns, with the addition of a new steam weeder to the parks and gardens arsenal.

The new unit uses steam to kill weeds, which also increases the team’s operational abilities.

Cook Shire Council Parks and Waste Operations Manager, Jim Doidge, said, “It enables us to tackle weeds around town in a much wider range of weather conditions, including the famous Cooktown wind, when we can’t use herbicides.”

The steam weeder is designed for operation in high use public areas, particularly along street edges, gutters and channels, and will reduce reliance on herbicides. “It isn’t suited to all areas, and can only be used on low weed growth, so it won’t be replacing herbicide weed control in the Shire.

“The weeder also only kills on contact, unlike herbicides which will penetrate to the root system of a plant, so there can be regrowth. That being said, the steam can sterilise seeds, which helps reduce re-germination of pest plants.”