Weed management on pavements: machines and methods

By Selina de Lang

Monday 27 February

Weed management

Managing weeds on pavements: here's how to do it

Effective weed management listens very closely. Weed growth is erratic and unpredictable, and with the right temperature and moisture ratio, weeds come out of the ground everywhere. This creates challenges depending on the type of pavement and location. In this blog, we look at weed management on pavements. Which machines do you use and why? And what is a good practice? We asked Jacob Verheij of landscaping company Verheij Integrale groenzorg.

Hot water as a long-term solution

Verheij is a familiar face as a green space manager throughout the Netherlands. The Sliedrecht-based company has specialised in weed management on pavements for municipalities and governments, among others. A lot of research has been done on this topic within the company and, in addition, Jacob has extensive practical experience in efficient weed control as a contractor. He explains that he likes working with hot water, because in the long run it combats weeds better than mechanical methods do.

"Mechanical management with mowers or brushes, for example, ensures that you only remove the weeds on the surface. With structural treatment with hot water, you destroy the cells of the plant, exhausting it and it decays after a while. This way, it takes much longer for the weeds to recover."

Verheij's method for weed management

"Our method of managing weeds on pavements is as follows: we identify hotspots where weeds are growing on a weekly basis. If a management action is required, we choose the method of management, including thermal or mechanical. We attach a priority to this management action. This information is immediately visible in an implementation map that our employees use to take targeted action. We steer a lot towards using the hot water method because it has many advantages. The main reason is its effectiveness: you don't have to return to the same hot spot as quickly. You can also apply it to any type of pavement. Finally, it does not harm the environment: for example, you don't have stones flying away like mowing can. The only places where we cannot apply this method is at petrol stations and on stretches of paved ground where there is water."

Hot water units for targeted weed control

When working with hot water, Verheij uses Empas' hot water units. "We pump surface water into the units and it goes through a spiral that heats the water to above 100 degrees. We then spray that water at 102 degrees targeting the spots where it is needed. That way, you immediately tackle the hotspots and remove the weeds."

Verheij is very pleased with the hot water units: "They make weed control very easy, because you can work in a targeted way. You can also carry a good amount of water and the water is quickly at the right temperature."

Increasingly sustainable

By applying hot water weed control, Verheij aims to manage weeds in an increasingly sustainable way. Jacob says: "Together with Empas, we have started working in an increasingly environmentally friendly way. We regularly spar with each other: how can we make the hot water method even faster and more effective? Recently, Empas made some upgrades to our machines based on our wishes, so that they can process a larger amount of water even faster."

For the future, Verheij has ambitious plans: "We would like to move towards CO2-neutral operations. That we achieve a high production rate with hot water in a climate-friendly way."

Also manage weeds with Empas machines?

Like Verheij, would you like to get started with Empas machines? Then read more about our solutions for hot water weed management here or contact us to discuss the possibilities. You can do so by email at verkoop@empas.nl or by phone at +31(0)318-525888.