KAPA‘A — Steam kills grass, said Fern Anuenue Holland, a community organizer for the Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action Friday during a break in pesticide-free training for county workers responsible for park maintenance, held at Kapa‘a Beach Park.
“Steam is very effective,” Holland said. “It kills the plant down to the root, and even is able to keep the seeds from germinating by rupturing the seed casing. The only thing is that after you apply the steam, the plant still looks green.”
Holland said steam is effective against tough grasses like the guinea grass and buffalo grass that is plaguing portions of Ke Ala Hele Makala‘e multi-use path.
She was one of the representatives from Beyond Pesticides that took part in a pilot, pesticide-free training Thursday and Friday.
“We are working with the nonprofit Beyond Pesticides to explore pesticide-free-training methods to maintain our county facilities,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in a press release. “County staff piloted this training at the Captain Cook Park in Waimea, and at the Kapa‘a Beach Park.”
Training involved turf health, landscape areas, as well as weed management for roads and other areas. “Weeds take root in bare ground,” Holland said. “If the turf is healthy, there is no room for weeds to root.”
Pesticide-free land care focuses on managing weeds and insects through the building of soil conditions, and employing cultural practices such as aeration, overseeding, dethatching and proper mowing and watering, stated the Beyond Pesticides representatives.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.