Charles Gerard Co. Ltd
For Horticultural & Floricultural Accessoires
Our steaming systems are successfully used for diverse applications in many operations. We ensure that all our technical developments provide maximum quality, flexibility, and cost-saving.
Our business began more than 60 years ago and our core expertise is in powerful systems for use in horticulture.
We offer the same high-level expertise for wineries, industrial applications and not least in agriculture - simply in any operation where the user needs up to two tons of superheated steam at 110-200°C per hour - for mobile, easy and efficient use and at low maintenance cost.
For over 100 years, treatment with steaming has been successfully used in horticulture. Steaming has consistently proved itself, especially as a plant-protection measure against all kinds of weeds and germs.
New steaming technologies make the use of steam more and more profitable.
Steam completely eliminates weeds, weed seeds and pathogens from the treated soil and compost, simply by using humid heat. The result is always a completely healthy and clean soil that is ideally prepared for growing your plants.
Your optimal steaming system
Each market garden has its own characteristics and peculiarities, including soil and compost types, locations, as well as the equipment and technology used by the gardener.
We therefore offer a wide range of various steaming systems for different applications.
In horticulture, besides selection of the right steaming system, optimal preparation of the soil is the most important aspect for achieving the desired outcome.
Natural soil disinfection with steam
Use of superheated steam is recognised both by practitioners and scientists as the best and most effective method for cleaning infected soils and substrates.
It is proven that superheated steam quickly and reliably liberates the soil from phytotoxic substances and germs, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes and other pests.
According to the recognised results of scientific research, treatment with steam is partial results in partial disinfection. After cooling down, important and heat-resistant micro-
organisms revitalize the soil again.
Besides the liberation of the soil from soil-borne pathogens and pests, other positive effects of steaming should be emphasised:
Destruction of all weed seeds: Read more!
Impedes soil exhaustion due to activation of chemical-biological conversion processes.
Applying steam to plants releases blocked nutritive substances and makes them open and available.
No use of chemicals and no residues.
As soon as the soil has cooled down, you can begin tilling.
Steaming leads to a favourable starting position for your new plantation and thence to quicker growth and better resistance.
Steam trumps agrochemistry
The advantages of superheated steam against agrochemicals have already been
scientifically proven some time ago:
No risk of poisoning of soil, plants and people.
No waiting time between steaming and cultivation is necessary.
No chemical residues in plants and ground water
No risk of resistance formation
Comprehensive effect against all pests, weeds, etc.
The cost remains low thanks to effective steaming technologies, particularly container steaming with an extraction system and sandwich-type steaming.
Comparison of cost:
More than 10 years ago, treatment with methyl bromide, which was very popular but is prohibited worldwide today, cost about 10,000 Euros per hectare (including labour and material cost). Treatment effect at about 25cm depth required 80 g methyl bromide per 1 sq. m.
At the beginning of 2016, investment in the sanitisation of wide surfaces with superheated steam at 25cm depth cost about 8,000 Euros* per hectare, including acquisition and energy cost. This applies especially to the state-of-the-art methods, e.g. hood or sandwich-type steaming with fully-automated machines.
* This calculation is based on the annual surface performance of 20ha and full automation.
Observe the 200°C temperature!
The high efficiency and cost-saving benefits of our steaming systems for horticulture are based particularly on the use of hot steam at 200°C.
This high temperature facilitates quick and uniform penetration of heat into the earth or substrate. The steam thus does not condense too quickly.
We therefore achieve an optimal performance at minimum energy consumption of about 1kg of fuel heating oil per cubic metre of steamed product.
Steam is better than dry heat
IMPORTANT: Due to the advantageous chemical and physical properties of water, the steam trumps all other thermal soil sanitisation methods (infrared, microwave or widely used flame devices).
Unlike dry heat methods, e.g. burning-off, after which most of weed seeds still survive and the soil itself can be heavy damaged by incineration, gentle treatment with the humid heat from the steam ensures 100% sanitisation.
The advantage of steaming is especially distinctive for weed control. Conversely, when using flame techniques, you can only reach the surface parts of weeds and heat them up for a short time. After such treatment, the weed can still sprout again rapidly.
Unlike a flame, hot steam condensed on the plant will release heat for a longer time. Moreover, steam can also penetrate into the soil and reach the roots of weeds. Hot steam thus achieves much more sustainable and comprehensive results.
Sterilisation and preparation
There are various possibilities for superheated steam use in agriculture. Everywhere where humid heat is applied, you can make your process even more cost-efficient with our MSD technology - whether at 200°C or even just at 110°C.
The MSD steaming systems has been proven in practice in different agricultural operations for decades:
Mushroom cultivation (sterilisation of substrates and rooms)
Livestock breeding, esp. fowl (for sanitisation of bird coops)
Pig feeding (disinfection of food garbage for foodstuff preparation)
Partial elimination of invasive neophytes (Japanese knotweed, yellow nutsedge etc.)
Unlike in horticulture, in classical agriculture, steaming only plays a role as an effective shallow remedy against weeds, micro-organisms and pests because of relatively low yields per hectare.