The Success of Weed Prevention Strategies
I heard John Moverley talk at the Amenity awareness event with Welsh Water this week. The comments of participants showed the successes that could be gained from thinking about weed prevention.
Prevention of weeds on different surfaces can require a bit of a paradigm shift. Many of the conversations I have with customers centre around removing, killing or controlling a weed that already exists. Prevention requires us to think about the causes of weeds on a particular surface and how we can make the environment as inhospitable for weeds as possible.
John made some great points in his talk about the need for prevention to begin with the design of our environment. For example, designing the corner of a kerb with a nice wide radius, rather than a sharp corner allows a sweeper to easily follow the edge of the kerb and collect any detritus trapped there.
Another point that was brought up was sealing any cracks in a tarmac surface. These cracks are a great trap for detritus, and so when the organic matter decomposes they fill with soil. I have talked in another post recently about the importance of minimising soil depth. the deeper the cracks in your tarmac, or block paved surface, the deeper you allow the soil to be, so the more likely you are to get perennial weeds that are hard to get rid of.
Because of the importance of removing soil, we need to design and maintain surfaces in such a way that makes it as quick and easy as possible to remove it with something like a sweeper.
Newport Council commented at the meeting about their success with preventative maintenance. They have been using Kersten weed brushes to minimise the soil buildup over winter and the team has seen a big reduction in the amount of weeds coming up in the spring. This has resulted in a large reduction in the use of glyphosate around Newport.
Kersten sweepers and weed brushes are great at maintaining hard surfaces by removing detritus and debris which reduces weed growth and is fundamental to Integrated weed management.
More information on Kersten Weed Brushes can be found on the Mechanical Weed Removal Page.