Geology And Geophysics

Sulfur Saves Plants

Trenna Sue Hiler's image for:
"Sulfur Saves Plants"
Caption: directions
Image by: Dwayne Madded
© Creative Commons-licensed content requiring attributio

The use of sulfur in gardening  goes back a long time in history. Over 3000 years ago Homer mentions the use of sulfur and a pesticide. As it turns out is is also very effective as a fungicide treatment as well. It is very important to prevent fungus, because once it enters the garden it is almost impossible to get rid of.

There are a few things that can help avoid fungal disease. Be sure to provide good air circulation.  This means planting the plants far enough apart that the air can get around them. Always water the plants from the base instead of leaves. (In other words, sprinklers are not your best option, drip systems are better for personal gardening.) Replace all the mulch each season. Gather up any leaves as they fall.

Many commercial farms use sulfur. It is especially effective for powdery mildew of gooseberries, apples, ornamentals, hops, sugar beets, grapes and strawberries.

Sulfur is the active ingredient in products that go by other names. Here are some of the most common.

* Thiolux

There are over 300 where sulfur is the active ingredient.

One of the conveniences of sulfur is the number of ways it can be administered. It comes in flowable, wettable and colloidal formulations.  If you choose to use the powder form wearing some kind of mask is a good idea. It is not lethal, but it can irritate the eyes and lungs.

Sulfur is dangerous to the plants when it is too hot. It should not be applied when the temperature is over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It can cause leaf burn in these kind of temperatures.

It is important not to use sulfur if you have applied oils within the last 30 days. The combination is not healthy for the plant.

Sulfur is not toxic to humans or animals. After two years of normal weather patterns 22 to 24 percent of sulfur has leached back into its original form into the soil.

Some organic gardeners have placed beneficial mites in their gardens. Sulfur kills these mites, so that combination does not make a successful gardening match.

The form of sulfur used is completely up to the individual gardener. There are no conclusive tests that report one works better than the other. It comes down to which is the most comfortable for the gardener to use.

It is important to have good, healthy fruits and vegetables. Sulfur may be part of your plan to make that happen.

More about this author: Trenna Sue Hiler

From Around the Web

  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrow
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrow