organic bulb dust

covellaNovember 18, 2005

My garden center has done away with toxic bulb dust and showed me a new product by Bonide just called Bulb Dust. Its got Cedar Oil, Garlic Powder and Dried Blood as the active ingredients. It says its for planting, growing (?) and storage for most any type of bulb. He swore this is what they are recommending for dahlia storage so I bought it. It sticks really well I can tell you that - but does anybody else have a comment on this? I got some of the killer toxic stuff too but thought I'd give this a try first.

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Poochella(7 WA)

What was the name of the killer toxic stuff?

When I hear blood, I think disease and bio hazard! I can't help it. I also envision all neighbor dogs and local carnivores scurrying about to get at the scent of both blood and garlic and disturbing whatever's buried in amongst those scents. Just got some onion and garlic dog treats which the dog loves. Who would make such a monstrous concoction? Surely no gardener, nor anyone with an indoor dog! (We still love our dog, however.)

I don't know what to tell you about the Bonide dust. Try it and report back. But I'd put sticks or some dissuasion tactic around wherever I planted a bulb dusted in it, given my experience with blood and bone meal and animals.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 12:20AM
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The toxic stuff is a combo insecticed/fungicide and also made by Bonide and is covered with warning labels not to let enter water supplies, is toxic to all invertebrates and fish, and humans. Don't breathe it or touch it. Active ingredients are Methoxychlor which is a trade name for about a 10 ft chemical equation and Thiram.

The organic stuff also has sulfur in it and the primary ingredient is bone meal - pretty confusing huh?
It says you can store or plant with it. I'm going with the organic stuff and thats that. If they all croak well I'll make some seller happy by buying again next year. I don't have a dog problem - for us its raccoons and skunks who dug up my dahlias several times last spring. I have some mystery dahlias I bought from Alpen Gardens which were so mixed up by the time they were dug up and replanted over and over they never bloomed - so I'm bagging those and labelling carefully to see if I can tell which they are next year. I had made up my mind I would drench my containers in one of those short half life insecticides they use in vegetable gardens when I plant next yr to discourage the varmints from digging.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 10:27AM
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Blood meal is a good deterent for squirrels for sure - maybe chipmunks. Hardware cloth over the tubers until they sprout might be your solution - unless they dig them up after that. I have cut back on my fall bulb planting because of those squirrels. Your product seems to have some merit so give it a shot and let us know how it works.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 2:54PM
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For right now I am just packing dahlia tubers away for the winter. I needed a fungicide to dust them with - hence the search for the perfect item. I'll try to remember to report back next spring how many tubers I lost. For planting I could see dusting with garlic powder which I can buy for a few dollars in bulk at Costco. Maybe that would deter the skunks and raccoons next year? And shouldn't bother the bulbs I wouldn't think.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 4:52PM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Garlic powder sounds so tasty, to me, anyway. What's wrong with sulphur dust? I wear latex gloves when sulphur dusting tubers in a 'shake and bake' type one gallon bag. Sulphur is cheap too. I think I read that bloodmeal deters deer too. Deer have never been a problem with my dahlias, perennials: yes. Mice yes.

Anything with a 10 ft chemical equation makes me nervous. But I bet if compost were delineated in such a manner it would scare man, beast, and child too. I say go for the new Bonide product and see how it works.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 8:25PM
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I would have gladly bought sulfur dust which is what all of you old hands at dahlias recommend, as do some of the dahlia society web pages - but I couldn't find it anywhere. I called 3-4 garden centers and looked at Gardeners Supply online with no luck. Do you buy it locally or mail order somewhere?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2005 at 10:57PM
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plantlady2(NW Washington)

Sulphur dust isn't all that safe either- I ended up in hospital, covered with a rash, swollen up & having trouble breathing the year we used it- & I had on rubber gloves, face mask & long sleeves. Got a bit on me somewhere & it was poison! Even now I can't handle any tubers we get from someone who has used sulphur dust to store. Now we don't use any fungicides to store & don't loose tubers-- or me!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 12:09AM
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Poochella(7 WA)

Plantlady, I would guess you have a sulfur allergy. Best to stay away and stay healthy so you can keep making those beautiful blooms for years to come! I have had no such reactions with or without gloves when I use sulphur or sulfur as some spell it.

Alyrics, I got mine from a farm and garden store. Hi Yield Wettable Sulfur is the brand. Grannymarsh has had luck having a pharmacy special order it for you.

The site below might be useful for other chemicals one is considering, but the link is to Hi Yield sulfur.

Here is a link that might be useful: chemical safety site

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 12:46AM
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I'm with plantlady----I don't put anything on my tubers. Works for me. If I loose them, then I'll buy more. Haven't lost any yet.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2005 at 10:49AM
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rosymoonbeam(z4 BC)

I don't use any kinds of dust or sulphur. I dig them in the fall and let them dry, brush off all the dried dirt. Then put them in a big styrofoam cooler with a thick layer of vermiculite and close the lid.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:37AM
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