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Cheap substitute for Surround?

Posted by tracydr 9b (My Page) on
Tue, May 24, 11 at 16:56

I just realized that the poultice I use on my horses, called Ice Tite, has only two ingredients. Kaolin clay and peppermint. I think it may be a great substitute for the insecticide Surround. You can get it at most Tack stores. I know Desert Saddlery in Gilbert carries it. I need to figure out how much to mix with water. I'm assuming it would be good to strain before putting in the sprayer.
Who knows, the peppermint might make it work better? Thinking I'll try it on a single squash as a test if I get squash bugs again.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cheap substitute for Surround?

tracydr let me know how this works for you. I asked a similar question in the Fruit & Orchard Forum a few months back. I asked if I could use Food Grade or Cosmetic Grade Kaolin clay as a substitute since no one sells Surround in Arizona and shipping costs a mint. The answer from harvestman and others who's opinion I respect was a resounding "No". They said the particle size of the Kaolin clay in Surround has been made smaller than Kaolin clay in other forms. That the smaller particle size allows plants to easily breath through it. Of course no one had ever used any other form of Kaolin clay to check it out but thats what the manufacturer claims. I certainly think its worth a try. If it works please share your results here as it could save others a bit of cash.

RE: Cheap substitute for Surround?

I will. I havent tried it since I dont have any bug problem right now. It's supposed to help with sun scalding too, though? If that's the case, I might try it on a tomato plant that has a lovely one pounder starting to get burned. Maybe I could just spray that tomato to help protect it?

RE: experiment time?

I will certainly test it on a disposable plant before using it on a favorite, first. Last year, towards the middle of July, the squash bugs hit me hard. I have a lot more cucurbits this year and I'd hate to have to buy 50 lbs of Surround if this could work.
Seriously, how much could they really change the size of a clay particle? Sounds more like a sales pitch to me. I say we do some careful experiments on plants we don't love too much.

RE: Cheap substitute for Surround?

I think it may just be slick marketing to. However there are ways to reduce particle size. I'm just not so sure that Kaolin clay needs it. If you have ever worked with the stuff and you have then you know it suspends in water fairly easily.

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