Mike Burgess  |  Lucky Monkeys Ranch  |  Willits, CA

Subject: Steam Weeders - any good ?

With the current issues about fire, and air permits and insurance, we are going to have to move away from flame weeding.

Wondering if anyone has experience with steam as a weed top kill agent ? a couple weekly cycles and that should eventually starve the roots. Anyone have a system for hire, or maybe consider shared ownership or tool library. $17K for weeding 6x a year is steep..

In Topics Pest & Disease Management

In General FarmsReach community

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  |  Wine Country Cuisine  |  Santa Rosa, CA commented

The day after our first rain of the season, 1.1` inches, I flamed my chard beds, both for weeds and aphids. I noticed several years ago that flaming kills flea beetles, diabrotica, slugs, aphids, ants, caterpillars, egg masses, mold and everything else. As an alternative to flaming during the fire season, I'm looking at the Nilfisk Magnum hot water pressure washer. It is stainless steel with a diesel fired water heater and gas engine pump and delivers up to 4 gallons per minute of 190 degree water at up to 4000 psi. Larger or multiple nozzles lower the pressure. This is hot enough to cook all the critters without the fire hazard or plant damage and would pulverize weeds at higher pressures. I could carry the washer in my tractor loader with a 275 gallon tote of water on my 3 point hitch. The washer is about $7,000 which is less than the cost of 2 years worth of chemicals plus the sprayer. Plus I can use it to clean my equipment.

01/18/20 10:57 AM

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