How to kill a weed with heat?

How to kill a weed with heat?

To really understand how weed control can be used most effectively, it is useful to understand the basic parts of a plant and the requirements of a plant to grow. With this knowledge, we can develop strategies to interrupt the natural plant cycle.

Parts of a plant

Plant structure

Each part of the plant has a different function

• Roots

The roots anchor the plants in the soil and absorb nutrients and water that are needed by the rest of the plant

• Stems

Stems support the upper part of the plant and act as a transport system for nutrients, water, sugar, and starches

• Leaves

Leaves are the parts of the plant where photosynthesis usually occurs - where food for the plant is made. The green substance, chlorophyll, captures light energy and uses it to convert water and carbon dioxide into plant food and oxygen

• Flowers

Flowers are the reproductive part of plants. They often have showy petals and fragrances to attract pollinators such as birds, bees, and other insects

• Fruits

Fruits are the fleshy substances that usually surround seeds. They protect the seeds and attract animals to eat them. This helps in seed dispersal

• Seeds

Seeds may be surrounded by fruit and contain plant material that can develop into another plant.

Plant requirements

The basic requirements of plants to grow are room to grow, access to light, air, water and nutrients.

• Room to grow

The above ground portions of the plant need space so leaves can expand and gather the sun’s energy to carry out the job of making food. Roots also need room to grow to provide sufficient access to water and nutrients.

• Light

Plants need light. They use light energy to change carbon dioxide and water into food. This process of food production is called photosynthesis.

• Water

Water is essential to all life on earth. No known organism can exist without water. Plants use water for many life processes, including moving nutrients throughout the plant.

• Air

Green plants take in carbon dioxide from air and use it during photosynthesis to make food.

• Nutrients

Most of the nutrients that a plant needs are taken up by the plant through its roots.

Back to the question "How to kill a weed with heat?"

By removing one or more of the plant requirements we can seriously affect the plants ability to survive.

When applying heat we are mainly looking to treat the leaves. 

This is where photosynthesis takes place - converting sunlight into energy.  By applying heat to the leaf we can make the cells within the plant coagulate of burst, making it impossible for the plant to photosynthesise. 

Without this ability the plant will die.

Some plants store a lot of energy in their roots and will regrow using this stored energy - repeated application of heat will fatigue the plant until it has used its entire store of energy.  At this point the weed will not be able to regrow.

You can find out more about our weed burners here

For more information on any of our articles or products, please contact us;
Phone: 0118 9869 253

Dead weed

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The 3 biggest threats to surface performance



Kersten launches "The Surface Maintenance Handbook"

This comprehensive handbook will be your year round companion
to surface maintenance. It outlines the 3 biggest threats to your
surfaces and exactly what you can do to tackle them.

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How to kill a weed?

To really understand how weed control can be used most effectively, it is useful to understand the basic parts of a plant and the requirements of a plant to grow. With this knowledge, we can develop strategies to interrupt the natural plant cycle.

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The Chronicles of Kaptain Klean

The Chronicles of Kaptain Klean - Episode 1 (Weeds by the Water)

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Testimonials from our customers

What our customers say about our machines:

Thames Water

 "This is the best machine combination that we have used ... and it coped well with the inclines. Plus, we swapped the attachment and used the sweeper to collect all the debris that we had extracted from the concrete of the reservoir."

Tyne Valley Garden Centre

"We could be spending up to 20 hours a week removing moss and dirt from the pedestrian areas and it seemed nothing we did made much difference." Following a demonstration by Kersten, John saw an immediate improvement. "I was so impressed, I needed the machine there and then and simply bought Trevor's demonstrator."

Ascott Under Wychwood Parish Council

"I was soon to discover that keeping roads and pavements clear of snow and ice was not simply a case of throwing some salt or grit down."

Powys County Council

"The major benefit of these new vehicles is that we are able to provide a service to people who we haven't been able to help before. We are hoping now that we can keep access to schools, old people's homes and emergency services buildings clear of snow, even in the must rural of places."

Crawley Council

"Our staff worked extremely hard over the winter when snow twice seriously affected movement across the town. This equipment will help us to be much more effective should we experience similar conditions in the future. Our machine has been invaluable, particularly for clearing snow on the steep drive. The secret for removing moss and grime from the block paving is to shovel on fine sharp sand and spread either with brush or weed brush on bad areas. Wait for continuous rain and brush again - comes up like new!”

Oldham Council

“To comply with European directives we needed to find a way to remove weed and moss growth from Oldham's paved and tarmaced areas. And to do this without too much chemical use.This is a problem that can be very labour and time intensive and we are always looking to give ratepayers best value. So Kersten's extensive range of machines easily fulfilled our needs.”

FFL Services

"It does what it says on the tin. The 16hp twin cylinder engine has loads of power for this job."

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Kersten UK to attend Scotplant 2020

The final preparations are being put in place for ScotPlant 2020, the most important event of the year for the Scottish construction equipment sector.

Kersten will be in attendance at stall R3 across from our partners at Balgownie.

Scotplant 2020 looks set to be the largest in the events 20+ year history. For the first time the avenue between the indoor and outdoor arenas will also be hired out for exhibitors - meaning there will be more than ever.

Sales & Marketing manager Sean will be in attendance alongside Operations Manager Doug with additional support from the marketing team. 

With a larger stand than we have had at previous events, we will showcase a range of new products from Kersten and our partners at Ripagreen as well as some of our existing weed control and surface maintenance equipment. This is a great opportunity to pick the brains of Sean and Doug and get a sneak peak at innovative new products which will be released later in the year.

Best of all, we will also be giving away a selection of free products throughout the day so make sure you swing by and say hello.

Additional information can be found at the Scotplant website - make sure you're following us on social media if you're unable to attend. We will be posting all our updates there - Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube!

See you there!

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Use your machine for winter maintenance

Use your machine for winter maintenance!

The great thing about a multi-attachment machine is that it can be utilised all year round.
The Kersten two-wheel tractors can be fitted with snow chains and winter attachments to transform your machine into the ultimate winter companion for paths and car parks. The hydraulic drive is extremely useful for slowing the wheel speed to avoid slipping on the icy surface when using the winter attachments.
The snow sweeper - For light snow fall, the sweeper is a perfect tool and clears access paths quickly. The sweeper will deal with up to 5cm of snow quite easily by angling the brush and wind-rowing it. The gaps in the rows of bristles allow the sweeper to deal with the large volumes of material that need to be moved by the brush. When used on fresh snow the brush can sweep down to the surface dries quickly is therefore less likely to be slippery.
The snow plough - A snow plough attachment can be fitted to the K-series or UBS for dealing with heavier snow drifts. The snow plough is a straight blade with a sprung “break-back” system that allows it to ride over obstacles such as drain covers or speed bumps. The plough can be positioned for ploughing forward or can be angled to the left and right.
The salt spreader - A hydraulic drive salt spreader is available for the K-series machines, which can carry up to 70 litres of salt. The spreader is fitted with a mesh for breaking up large clumps of salt before they go through the machine. A special agitator has been designed to deal with damp salt, using a chain to break up the material. Guards allow the spread width to be adjusted to suit the application.
The snow blower – For deeper drifts of snow the UBS machines can be fitted with a snowblower. This uses a two-stage tooth and fan system to break up the snow and then pull it through the machine. The snow is then blown through a chute by the fan, the chute can be adjusted to place the snow in the desired direction. A snow blower requires at least a few inches of snow before it will work effectively.

For more information on any Kersten articles or products, please contact us directly:  Email: Phone: 0118 9869 253

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Why choose a Kersten Weedbrush?

Why choose a Kersten WeedBrush?

When moss and weeds become established on hard surfaces they are difficult to remove with a sweeper.

For this application we have made the Weedbrush.

Kersten WeedBrushes have been designed to quickly remove weeds and moss, along with the soil they grow in from hard surfaces like tarmac and block paving. We achieve this with several features not typically found on other Weedbrushes.

VersaBrush – The WeedBrush is fitted with VersaBrushes. These brush sections are composed of two wire types. Thick flat wires are used to cut the weeds and soil from the surface and removes the material; like using many tiny shovels. Thinner wire then sweeps the surface clean. The more soil that we can remove the longer the surface will remain free of weeds.

Angling – The WeedBrush can be angled in all directions for getting into cracks and crevices’. Using the brush on an angle allows it to penetrate the joints in surfaces such as block paving and cope with cambers.

Pressure – Brush height and pressure is controlled by an adjustable castor wheel placed close to the brush and a weight on top. This allows the pressure to be adjusted to suit the application, achieving a perfect combination of cleaning performance and brush life.

Stone guard – To reduce stone throwing, our WeedBrushes rotate at very low speeds of between 180 – 400 rpm. Because of the high torque, we are still able to achieve a great finish, but the lower speed gives much less energy to stones and other debris so they are not turned into dangerous projectiles. A protective guard also helps to keep material close to the brush, so the arisings are easy to clean up after WeedBrushing. The slow rotation speed has the added benefit of creating less vibration.

Just add water – By adding water the WeedBrush is able to scrub dirt and algae from surfaces such as sandstone and other paving.

Click here to see our range of WeedBrushes!

For more information on any Kersten articles or products, please contact us directly: 
Phone: 0118 9869 253

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Creating a weed control strategy for all seasons; Pesticide Free

If you are used to a spraying schedule, then putting together another sort of Weed elimination strategy can be a bit daunting. But if you go back to basics, it's quite simple.

Weeds use a combination of natural processes to grow. If we can disrupt these processes we can eliminate the weeds effectively.

1. The soil cycle.

It is soil which provides most of the nutrients and water storage that gives weeds the opportunity to grow on hard surfaces. A clean hard surface such as tarmac or block paving has no nutrients to offer an opportunistic weed.

But how does the soil get there?

This video gives us a good display of what occurs over the course of just a couple of months to organic matter from trees, grass, hedges and other plant sources when it is left to decompose.

Click Here to watch!

In the Summer and Autumn, organic debris is constantly being left on the surface in the form of grass cuttings, hedge clippings, leaves etc. When these decompose into soil, it gives an opportunity for weeds to grow.

The easiest way to reduce weeds is by eliminating these opportunities. Collecting detritus shortly after it is dropped by vacuuming or sweeping is a simple way to tackle this. When the soil is firmly established, such as a build up on path edges, or in gaps between block paving then it must be removed by another method such as weed brushing.

Weed brushing can be done in the winter. All the annual plants will be gone, so it is easier to see the offending soil and remaining established weeds. Doing this in winter also gives you a head start, as the first new weeds won't begin to grow until spring. If they have nothing to grow in, you have won half the battle already.

2. The plant life cycle.

 While plants life cycles are continuous, a plant’s life begins with the seed. With water, right temperature and right location, the seed grows. It becomes a seedling. Roots push down into the ground to get water and minerals. The stem reaches for the sun, and leaves begin to unfold. A bud appears. The plants then produce flowers. The flowers are then pollinated in many ways – by bees, moths, butterflies, insects, moths, bats, butterflies and even by the wind. The pollinated flower turns into fruit. The new seeds are inside the fruit. The ripe fruit drops to the ground and the cycle begins again.

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For annual plants the plant life cycle will all happen within a few months. Our best chance at interrupting this cycle and preventing new growth is to eliminate the plant before it seeds.

Most seeds will germinate and begin to grow in the spring and will be dropping seeds by late summer. Therefore, the best time to kill the plant is in spring. We can do this in one of several ways.

  • A plant needs; Light, Air, Water, Nutrients and Warmth in order to survive. We can kill a plant by depriving it of any of these things.

If a plant has soil, it is quite difficult to deprive the plant of water, nutrients, water and warmth when it is outside. The easiest one to go for is light. We can do this either by;

  • Covering the plant so that no light can reach it.
  • Destroying the chlorophyll in the plant which does the job of processing the sunlight and turning it into energy (Photosynthesis).

Option 2 is by far the more viable for larger areas and can be achieved by exposing the plant to high temperatures.

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A common misconception is that the plant has to be visibly scorched before it will suffer. The fact is, a plant leaf only has to be briefly exposed to a temperature of around 80°C to suffer terminal damage. This exposure to severe heat bursts the cells in the plant leaf. This in turn renders the plant incapable of converting light energy in to chemical energy (Photosynthesis) effectively causing starvation.

Further thought and research on this subject will reveal this method is most effective on young, fleshy, hungry plants rather than old established woody plants, which may have sufficient amounts of stored energy in their stems and roots to overcome temporary food shortages.  The earlier in the plant life cycle we treat the plant, the more effective the treatment will be.

As plants emerge at different times in spring and different plants will take varying numbers of treatments due to the energy stored in the roots, it is good practise to carry out several treatments of heat throughout the spring season.

From all this knowledge we can determine the most effective strategy for weed elimination.

The effective regime;

Winter - Weedbrushing and collection of soil, which will prevent opportunities for weed growth.

Spring - Several treatments with heat such as a weed burner, which will kill the emerging weeds before they seed.

Summer - Sweeping grass cuttings, hedge clippings and other organic debris to prevent this from being allowed to decompose and form more soil.

Autumn - Collecting dead leaves and other organic debris that naturally falls from deciduous and annual plants in Autumn to prevent this from being allowed to decompose and form more soil.

For more information about maintaining surfaces; check out our surface maintenance handbook click here.

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Mud on road prompts warnings

Mud on the road won't make you popular with the neighbours!

Mud on the road is, understandably, a biproduct from a range of businesses. From farms and construction sites to haulage companies and builders yards it is inevitable that some kind of debris will end up being left behind.

Kersten equipment is best placed to help with this problem and stop you falling foul of both Highways Act 1980 and Road Traffic Act 1988 which can lead to imprisonment if not adhered to.

Farmers in Yorkshire, for example, have been warned that they must:

  • Be prepared to hire equipment promptly to remove deposits
  • Keep to their own farm roads whenever possible
  • Keep to low speeds and prevent mud from being deposited by removing any excess before driving on to roads
  • Use authorised signs positioned to give maximum visibility to road users
  • Clean the road as necessary during the working day and always at the end of the working day

Kersten sweepers have been specifically designed to remove soil and heavy debris on hard surfaces. This is achieved by several very important design features not typically found on other sweepers such as the 5 rows of bristles found on our sweeper brush, ability to fine tune the pressure of the brush and fantastic dexterity, allowing you to angle the brush to sweep forwards, left or right.

We have a selection of front mounted sweepers to help with this problem that can be fitted to machinery that will already be on site - there are attachments for tractors, forklifts, tele-handlers and unimogs depending on your lifting system.

Our sweepers can also be fitted with a range of accessories for making the job even easier:

Floating Collector Box

Adding our floating collector box allows you to follow the contours of the road as you sweep meaning a cleaner finish which won't damage the road surface and gives users an easy way to dispose of the debris. Perfect for soil, moss and sand.

Gully Brush

Our gully brush pulls material from the edges of the path or road in order for it to be collected by the main sweeper reducing the amount of passes needed to remove the debris.

Brush Guard

In place of a collector box a brush guard can be fitted to prevent debris being flicked into the air, with the material instead being contained close to the brush. This is extremely useful when trying to wind-row material.

Mud Scraper

Sitting ahead of the brush, our mud scraper loosens mud, soil, sand and other organic compounds to make sure you get a clean sweep first time and reduce the amount of passes required.

For more information on any Kersten articles or products, please contact us directly: Email: Phone: 0118 9869 253

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Why is a clear kerb important?

Kerb Edging - Why is a clear kerb important?

Wow! There's a kerb!

A kerb is expensive to install, so someone put it there for a reason...
In low-speed environments, kerbs are effective at channelling traffic and can provide some re-directive capacity for low-speed impacts. On higher speed roads, the main function of curbs is to provide drainage and they are mostly used in areas of a bridge approach or other locations with erosion risk. In both these cases a hidden kerb is not performing it's function. This material will be preventing water run off, blocking drains and will act more like a ramp than a re-directive for traffic! So having a clear Kerb is important.

It also looks much more attractive to have a crisp clean kerb! A weedbrush is the perfect tool for keeping a kerb clear, but some weedbrushes are designed for heavier work than others. The UBS is designed to deal with heavy soil all day long, while being easy on the operator. For more information on the UBS and weedbrush please check out this link;

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Why we're on LinkedIn

We are on LinkedIn to help solve our customers' problems.

We know that every connection we make on LinkedIn is the start of a journey.  

When someone connects with us on LinkedIn it is usually because they are aware of a problem in their business that we might be able to help them solve.  It may be an artificial tennis court that has problems with drainage, or block paving that is slippery and covered in moss. 

Whatever it is, there are several key stages in a customer's journey to solving their problem, and LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to help them get to the next stage.  We love to solve problems, that's why we love LinkedIn!

The stages are;

Problem aware - The customer may be aware of the problem, but it can be very helpful to explore it with them to uncover the cause.  LinkedIn allows us to talk about specific problems like detritus build up, surface compaction and surface displacement, which lead to weeds, drainage problems and cause damage to hard surfaces over time.  An article or a video is a great way to get this information across.

Solution aware - Once we truly understand the problem, we can help the customer to explore the different ways to solve the problem.  Each situation is a little unique and so problems that look similar on the surface sometimes have different solutions.  LinkedIn is a great place to discuss particular scenarios and get into a back and forth discussion.  

Product aware - Once a customer has identified a solution that will meet their specific needs then we can help guide them to a product that will deliver that solution.  We can do this by sharing information on what makes our products different and why this matters.  Videos are great for this.

Fully aware - Once a customer has narrowed down a product, there is still work for us to do.  We can help them find a dealer close to them who will provide great backup and help them purchase the machine.  We can also post content about looking after the machines and getting the best from them.  

By using LinkedIn as a way to build this relationship with our customers, it let's us focus on using the website as a resource for sharing links and documents relating to more than just the product.  

For help with your own grounds maintenance problems, please get in touch.

0118 9869 253

Or check us out on LinkedIn.

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