Wettable sulfur?

Zyperiris(Seattle)April 22, 2009

Mike in the other rose forum told me Wettable sulfur is good for BS and is organic. I found two kinds at the nursery and it did say it was insecticide as well. So is is safe or not?

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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Sulfur is an organic compound, but it is not something that you would want to use in an organic garden unless nothing else would work. Always start with the least toxic substance you can to control the problem you have, and sulfur is way toward the most toxic substances you can use.
I have had good results controlling Black Spot by spraying with either 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in 1 quart of water or a 50/50 mixture of fat free milk and water, and getting the soil the roses are growing in worked into a good, healthy soil.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 12:26PM
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sergeantcuff

zeperiris - it's funny that I read the same post you refer too, and came over to this forum for some more info - and saw your post. So I hope you get some answers, although this forum is almost dead.

I think many posters in the other rose forums grow hundreds of roses all jam-packed together, so it WOULD be difficult for them to grow roses organically. I only have a quarter-acre, but my 40 or so roses are spread all over my heavily landscaped yard.

I understand that blackspot is air-borne, and recently I've read that it doesn't survive on dead fallen leaves (but does survive on canes). The recipe kimmsr gives is sort of like the Cornell formula which I have read does not do much for BS. I tried it myself and it just burned the leaves.

kimmsr - could you share the types or names of the roses you have successfully used your formula on?

I am curious about sulfur. I can't believe that it is as toxic as Banner maxx, Bayer advanced, and all the other products containing ingredients I know nothing about, and can't even pronounce. Unfortunately I have read that sulfur complements these fungicides, but doesn't replace them?

Most of my roses were selected for their disease resistance (many are once bloomers) but in moments of weakness I ordered some roses I probably shouldn't have.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 3:17PM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Well, it seems in the other forum that people suggest sulfur as a remedy that is less toxic than Bayer disease control and so on. So, I continue to be confused with varying opinions.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 11:28PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Banner Maxx and Bater Advanced are not acceptable products for an organic gardener to even think of using. Sulfur might be, as a last resort.
There have been a large number of different roses I have used that mix on but one still around is Queen Elizabeth. I suggested this to one nursery owner, whose whole stock of roses had Black Spot and they sprayed and stopped that on those roses. Now when they get a new shipment of roses in those roses are sprayed with one of those and the roses do not get Black Spot. There is another local nursery that has the same problem and the owner will only use synthetic controls and the roses they have on display all have Black Spot.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 7:26AM
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sergeantcuff

We don't want to use Banner Maxx, etc. That's why we are here asking about sulfur. The fact that one poster has one rose "still around" is not encouraging.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:07AM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

I will use the baking soda mix and perhaps milk and water and soap. I am not going to use chemicals. I have used bit of Rose Defense. Neem Oil.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2009 at 10:45AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

To help your roses, and any other plant, withstand plant diseases adn insect pests better make the soil they are growing in into a good, healthy soil so the plants will grow strong and healthy. The soil the plant is growing in is more important than anythign you can spray.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 6:36AM
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sergeantcuff

A rose that completely defoliates due to blackspot (an air-borne disease by the way) will not be a healthy plant in the healthiest of soils. That's why it is important to grow BS-resistant varieties. Nor will healthy soil repel japanese beetles. That's why I grow many once-bloomers that are finished blooming before the horrible creatures arrive.

Kimmsr - I've enjoyed your posts for years and agree with you 100% but sometimes your stock answers do not really answer the question.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 10:36AM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

I am in the soggy Northwest and BS is an issue. I have taken great care with my rose selections and soil. So far so good.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

To find out how good your soil is sontact your county office of your state universities USDA Cooperative Extension Service and inquire about having a good, reliable soil test done so you know what your soils base pH and nutrient load is and also dig in with these simple soil tests,
1) Structure. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. A good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer you soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.
Many people think they have really good soil but since they have never taken a really good look at the soil they have don't know and are often surprised to find, after haveing all these tests done, that the soil they have is not what they thought. To an organic gardener the soil is the most important part of the garden.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2009 at 7:28AM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

The soil where I am planning my rose garden is in a raised planter. So I am assuming it is not fill dirt from when the house was built. This neighborhood is known as SANDY COURT. I would assume down deep the soil is sandy. I plan on adding lots of good compost, worm castings, chicken manure..The people who lived here before me were into plants..just not roses.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2009 at 10:45PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

My soil here is sand, Lake Michigan beach sand, and had very little to no organic matter in it when we first moved here some 35 years ago. It is possible to get enough organic matter into sand, just as you can do that to clay, and many places have fairly readily available a very good source of OM every fall as the deciduous trees drop their leaves. For the most part this valuable resource is hauled off somewhere where it becomes a source of pollution instead of improving soil.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 7:53AM
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ajpa(z6 se PA)

I found this page on sulfur as an organic control, in case it helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: OISAT - Sulfur

    Bookmark   April 27, 2009 at 9:27AM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Sulfur is actually slightly less toxic than baking soda (negligible in either case). It is a chemical in exactly the same sense that baking soda is a chemical. Both are naturally occurring minerals.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 4:39PM
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sherryocala

Does sulfur sprayed on the plant effect the beneficial fungi in the soil? What if you use it to lower the pH when preparing the bed? Does it have a detrimental effect then on soil fungi (which were probably few if any in my Florida sand)?

Thanks.

Sherry

    Bookmark   April 30, 2009 at 11:23PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Sherry, I wouldn't think so. It is not a broad-spectrum fungicide.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 1:35PM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Mich, I found powder sulfur at my nursery..but it had other stuff in it. I then found the granular kind..is that the kind? What do you do with the granules?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 2:27PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Zyperiris, that could be "garden sulfur" or "flowers of sulfur" for mixing with the soil to lower pH. Sometimes this is pelletized so it can be applied to the lawn with a spreader. For spraying you look for "wettable sulfur" or the slightly more effective "micronized sulfur." These are normally in dry form, but Bonide bottles a product in liquid form. The difference between products is particle size.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 6:29PM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Mich, I did see a bottled sulfur..but it looked like it had an insecticide in it. I will look again

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 6:35PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Check the labelled ingredients. I've seen products that combine sulfur with the organic insecticide pyrethrins. I wouldn't recommend any combination product. They are marketed to gardeners who can't identify problems and are looking to ward off unknown evils.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 11:20AM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Yes Mike..that is the chemical I saw mixed in..

    Bookmark   May 8, 2009 at 12:02AM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Mich, I found the the Micronized sulfer by Bonide. I got the powder kind..I need the spray?

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 9:57PM
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michaelg(7a NC Mts)

Dry micronized sulfur mixes easily with water to form a spray. You will need to add soap as a surfactant or spreader, 2 TSP +/- according to your water chemistry. Start light and add more until it coats the fully open leaves rather than bouncing off.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 4:23PM
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Zyperiris(Seattle)

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 4:53PM
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