With all the recent press about the dangers of chemical weed control it was the perfect time to explore a new option in weed control from Weedtechnics. The Green Ninja Stealth is the smallest in the Weedtechnics range and is ideally suited to landscape maintenance professionals.
This safe green system uses steam from everyday water to destroy the cells in weedsresulting in fast death with no chemicals and no residue left in the soil. The Green Ninja uses a diesel burner powered from an electric motor to heat the water above boiling point to 120ºC. The complex result is liquefi ed steam under pressure, which is applied via various application devices at lower pressure after passing through a depressurisation chamber.
There are three types of applicator heads for weed control: a open head, covered head and spike. The open head is great for general applications in larger open garden beds and hard surfaces such as cracks in pavers.
The covered head is ideally suited to smaller weeds in and around plants as it is designed to be dragged along the surface of the ground resulting in no overspray.
I particularly liked the spike applicator, which allows the operator to jam the spike below the ground and inject the liquified steam directly in and around the bulbs of those extremely hard to kill species, such as Onion Weed and Nutgrass. Results are extremely fast compared to chemical herbicides.
After using the covered head on young ‘Farmers Friend’ weed seedlings it was evident that the weeds were wilting and showing signs of discolouration within minutes and totally brown and crispy within a couple of hours. Results on Couch grass in hard surface cracks were just as impressive. When attacked with the open head the Couch was browned totally after 24 hours, which is much faster than a chemical application on this tough weed.
The ‘Stealth’ model is quiet with an electric motor making it great for residential and noise-sensitive sites, but there is a ‘Pro’ model available with a petrol engine, which would suit many applications and where there is no power available.
The machine came on a very well set up trailer and I believe there are about a dozen options available with trailerpackages to suit the Weedtechnics range. The trailer that the Stealth was on had an electric winch to load the machine onto the trailer should the site determine that it needs to be removed from the trailer. There was a dedicated corner on the trailer to take a generator to power the machine if 240 volt power was not available. A 60m hose reel mounted on the front of the trailer enabled me to spray far away from the machine, easily accessing residential backyards.
A great feature to the hose reel is an electric auto rewind, which can be operated from the hose reel itself or from a remote control ensuring effortless hose retrieval with no ‘hose rage’. The trailer also had a large water tank should mains water not be available. It is worth noting the Green Ninjaonly uses 5 litres of water per minute and can draw from an external tank if the unit is not mounted on a trailer with a tank.
Overall, I think this weed killing technology from Weedtechnics is an excellent product – it is environmentally friendly compared to traditional chemical weed control applications, results are faster and it is much safer for the operator. An added bonus is that it also cleans. With a cleaning nozzle fitted hot water is sprayed under pressure to clean surfaces as you would do with a water blaster.
The beneficial difference to a conventional water blaster is the pressure is much lower, so it is not as harsh on the surface being cleaned and it is also a much faster process.