How to kill a weed with heat?

How to kill a weed with heat?

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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.

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