do u make your own lime sulfur?

franktank232(z5 WI)April 1, 2013

I have 2lbs of sulfur here (powder) and 50lbs of hydrated lime... The ratio looks like 80lbs S/40lbs lime/50 gallons water... Cook it for an hour... I only have a handful of trees...if i make up a gallon or so of concentrate, how long does it store? Anyone make it?

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Since it's nearly impossible for home growers to obtain L-S in California I once looked at the possibility of making some for myself (living in an area where copper sprays just don't cut it against PLC). I *might* have considered it if I still had access to my old lab, but speaking as a chemist I would not "try this at home". The fumes are tremendous (in a very bad way). The mess is a close second.

Lime-Sulfur is really not that expensive. Making your own would be, IMHO, penny-wise and pound-foolish. It also does not keep that well, so making a bucket-full is not a great idea unless you plan to use it.

Incidentally, it *is* possible to obtain L-S in California. There is a pet-dip product which can be purchased from out-of-state vendors who will ship to California. The product is 98% (as opposed to the typical 20-ish% of the tree spray) so a little goes a long way and that means you don't have to pay for shipping a lot of water. My peaches leafed out completely free of PLC this season after a near-terminal case last year :-)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:26AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

Why can't u get it in California? I know hydrated lime is cheap..a 50lb bag at Menards is $7 ...i have the sulfur... i'd cook it outside on the grill (i have a side burner) hard there. I'm a good cook :)! I just don't need that much; i've never seen lime sulfur in the local stores...maybe Ace Hardward?

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:59AM
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My understanding of the situation in CA is that it's not strictly illegal to sell to home growers but that vendors "voluntarily" removed the product from shelves under pressure from the State because L-S was being used in suicides. Commercial growers can get it easily.

Perhaps something similar is going on in WI if you can't locate any. In the past it was readily available in CA nurseries and hardware outlets. Or perhaps like some outlets here in CA yours in WI are going "anti-chemical" and view L-S as a work of the devil :-)

In any case, if you really don't need "that much", it's hardly worth the effort, mess and potential hazard to cook some up. And your neighbors will not be pleased.

It cost me $16 (including shipping) for 16 oz. of the 98% pet-dip product. That may seem pricey, but it's really like buying 1 gal of the garden product because of the concentration. 1 gal of L-S is going to last me quite awhile.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:24PM
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What is the name of the pet dip and where does one buy it? Or has anyone found lime-sulfur spray online? I've had trouble locating it. Thanks. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 1:54PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I've never seen it locally either...although I guess i haven't looked everywhere.. I'm just going to cook some up. I can probably make a gallon of spray for a buck..if not less.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:24PM
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I've placed a link below to where I ordered the product. There are other on-line vendors. Just remember, this is 98% while the tree spray product is about 24%, so you need to take that into account. Typical usage for dormant season calls for 10 Tbsp per gallon of spray. So that means you would use about 8 tsp. of the pet-dip product per gallon of spray.

98% is no joke. Wear gloves and follow all the other precautions for spraying with L-S. Don't be tempted to buy a lot unless you will actually use it up within a year or two. It doesn't have a great shelf life and it is probably more stable in the concentrated form, so don't dilute a bunch and leave it sit around.

In the following post I've added a link to a copy of the use directions from my last "legal" bottle (since gone bad) of the original agricultural product.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pet-dip

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:51PM
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The link below is to directions for L-S use on fruit trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dormant spray directions

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:52PM
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I can get the 29% Green Cypress LS from Peaceful Valley in northern CA for $30/2.5 gal. Or I pick some up when I'm across the border in OR. ;)

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 5:20PM
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My Peaceful Valley catalog says that L-S requires a pesticide permit # from all CA growers or residents. I doubt that most home growers have one (I don't). There's also a long list of states where it doesn't go, including WI.

So the price is not bad for the pet dip. The 16 oz. bottle is actually a gallon of comparable strength for $16 including the shipping. The Peaceful Valley price does not include shipping--if you could get it.

Yep, if you live near a border, you can get L-S in either Oregon or Arizona.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:38PM
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I mixed it up some about 2 years ago. The place that I bought the hydrated lime from said it has about a one season shelf life after the bag is opened. Mixed and sprayable, only a week or two. Just what I was told anyway.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:24PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

I'm making some right now... so far so good... making a small batch.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:06PM
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A family member will be going through Oregon later this year. What stores there carry the lime sulfur spray? Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Actually, the pet dip products are the roughly the same concentration as the agricultural lime sulfur spray. Their information is a little misleading - the 97.8% concentration is of 'Sulfurated Lime Solution,' of which approximately 28% is Calcium polysulfide, same as the ag spray. See link below for the MSDS of the pet dip product.

Here is a link that might be useful: pet dip msds

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:47AM
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Read a bit closer steve los osos. "Pesticide ID # is required for all CA commercial growers AND all Nevada County, CA residents" So that means only commercial and residents of one county. It's true there is no shipping from PV to MI, but it's a Brandt product and they may be able to get it locally.

Northwoodsis, I get small bottles of lime sulfur at Wilco coop in Canby OR. That way I don't waste too much once a bottle is opened.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:41AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

The last I was able to get was from a commercial supply in 2-1/2 gallon jug and it crystallized so fast in the jug I could not use much of it. Al

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:16AM
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happyballz(9A/B Valrico,Florida)

California sure sounds like a sad nanny state.

You tried ordering online?

This post was edited by HappyBallz on Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 10:49

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 10:48AM
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johnnycom, the MSDS itself is news to me. I agree with you that it says the concentrations are essentially the same, but my experience with the product runs counter to that. It's certainly more evil looking than the L-S I remember and it works great at the dilution I specified. Having read a lot of generic MSDS in my former career, I have to wonder if they didn't just cobble one together.

Whatever the case, it works for me!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:36AM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

If you make it yourself...wear old clothes... and rubber gloves ... the stuff stinks ...don't breathe in the fumes. My hands smelled like fireworks when i was done. I'll probably spray today if the temp gets to 40F.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 11:54AM
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franktank...since it's been over a year now and I'm sure you already used your mixture could you report on how it worked out? Did you have any issues with nozzle clogging or anything? Was it effective?
I'm considering making some, it certainly seems easy enough, but it seems to me there may be issues with clumping or nozzle clogging. I haven't read this or anything, but I know you are supposed to strain it and it seems like lime would clump and clog.
I'm going to do a first time dormant oil spray this year and would like to incorporate lime-sulfur to the oil spray.
I'm about out of chlorothalonil and it's kinda pricey imo for a dormant additive and I'm not sold on it's effectiveness despite mountains of research supporting it. My gut tells me lime-sulfer may be a more effective, at least when used as a dormant spray due to it's caustic properties.
I want to get spraying costs down and this seems like a doable and effective alternative.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 2:19PM
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