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GH Fumigation

Posted by Hudson...WY Z3 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 13, 13 at 8:47

Can anyone help me with your GH fumigation experience?

...How frequent do you fumigate?
...How do you fumigate?
...When do you fumigate?
...Do Sulphur fumigation candles work?
...Do you notice a difference with the elimination/reduction of insects and fungal spores/mold after fumigation?

I do not currently have a fumigation program with our GH - I have never fumigated. I do not currently have - what I consider - an abnormal problem with insects and mold in our GH because our GH is well ventilated and screened from insects.

However - maybe a regular (annual ?) GH fumigation plan would help in the reduction of spider mites, aphids, fungal spores - etc. etc - and I should be fumigating my GH on a regular basis??

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: GH Fumigation

I suspect everyone's situation is different and requires different solutions. In my case in sub-tropical south AL, I have plants in the GH only in cold weather - it sits empty of plants from May - Oct. Also, the GH sits on a wooden deck 8' above the ground. I've never had a plant insect problem in the GH, but it does attract our delightful southern bugs such as fleas, bees, wasps, ants, roaches, beetles, ticks, mosquitoes.... I bomb the GH with a pyrethrin twice, spaced a week apart, in late September. That holds it until I clear it of plants the next spring.

RE: GH Fumigation

Apparently there are not many that fumigate their GH's today - based on the lack of response to this post. It must have been more back in the 50's ? We did as much reading as possible on sulfur fumigation and decided to give it a try before planting any plants in our GH this year - and do some experimenting of our own.

One does have to be careful with open flames and I would not recommend it for small GH's because of the intense heat. We placed wood chips soaked in kerosene in a heavy duty deep metal pan then added sulfur chips (pearls) on top. The pan was sitting on a concrete paver and in an open area away from any combustibles. There were flames at first to ignite the sulfur. By the time the sulfur was burning the wood chips were consumed. We left the GH closed for 24 hours then aired it out. We don't know if this fumigation got rid of the red spiders and mildew - but it was worth a try - we will soon find out this spring. Sulfur has an irritating and suffocating affect on humans so one has to leave the GH immediately after lighting the sulfur. Do your own research - limited resources ourself - we are not suggesting that you fumigate the way we did - we would be interested in methods that work for you though.

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Now that the GH is fumigated - we plan to vaporize sulfur as needed in the GH to get rid of bugs and mildew on the plants throughout the GH season. We tested the method today before planting any seedlings in the GH. Are any of you using this or a similar vaporizer that could give us advice on usage and help us from making mistakes ?

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This post was edited by Hudson...WY on Thu, Mar 20, 14 at 15:45

RE: GH Fumigation

My dad had a flower growing operation in central Indiana in the '30s-70s. When I worked in the greenhouses in the '40s and early '50s, before the day of synthetic fumigants, we did a lot of fumigation, along with spraying. The only fumigant name I remember is Nico-Fume, which I guess was nicotine based. It stunk up the place something awful. Another one left a less unpleasant sweetish, sort of almondish odor.

RE: GH Fumigation

Billala - did the Nico-Fume work - not that I would want to try it if it smells so bad? The Sulfur didn't smell bad when I opened the GH this morning - it may have been that I didn't run the vaporizer long enough (I ran it for 5 hours) or our GH is too large for one vaporizer. The instruction say to run it 1-4 times a week depending on the bug activity (aphids, spider mites, mildew etc.) The sulfur apparently changes the PH on the plant leaves and the surface on everything else in the GH that eliminates the bugs, eggs & mildew. If the smell isn't any worse than it was this morning - I can live with that if it gets rid of the bugs/mildew!

RE: GH Fumigation

The nicotine bombs had/have an Ld50 of 83. Pretty dangerous and I think idiots have died staying inside with their fumes. Its about 7 times stronger than diazanon. Have never heard of a pure sulfur burn. I like to jet spray plants when they get spidery, then if needed use a soap spray. Yellow pennzoil cans covered with petroleum jelly and preset around plants known to get whiteflies work very effectively.

RE: GH Fumigation

Hudson - I guess the Nico-Fume worked. My Dad used it from the time I was old enough to be out there until I left home in the early '50s. I think it was for aphids, but I'm not sure. I probably remember it from when I was small because of how it was lit. You punched two holes in the can, put the can in a wire holder, then lit a sparkler (think Halloween), put the sparkler in one hole in the can, and voila, smoke started coming out both holes. You started in the far end of a house (two people did it in the end of two joined houses, three in the end of three joined houses etc.), then walked backwards to the front of the house waving the holder from side to side and staying ahead of the smoke wall. When you got to the front end you got out of there pronto and stayed out for some time - I think it was eight hours or so. He always did it at the end of the workday and left the place closed up until the next morning. I helped do it when I became old enough.

RE: GH Fumigation

I don't have a large gh. I never fumigate. As soon as things are well established in the gh, I water really well. Then I release about 2000 ladybugs in there and close the door so they can't escape. I leave them for three days or so. Then I open the door and they can stay or leave. They eat aphids, mites, white flies, eggs laid by other insects,etc. Since I started this, most small fungus gnats, white flies have disappeared. I have found they always need water (damp soil and leaves) to begin with. I always do this in spring or early summer...because ladybugs are available locally at that time. You can order them on-line.

RE: GH Fumigation

Sounds like a good option loveitgreen. The fumigation process may not be necessary for most GH's and certainly not applicable for small GH's - IMO. We did fumigate though - and now we vaporized with sulfur once a week for 3 hours during the night - on a timer. The vaporizer is also not for a small GH - our GH is just large enough for it to work with our 16' high ridge as the vaporizer does get hot and should be hung about 4' from the ridge and above the plants - to be effective.

We have had bugs and/or fungus mold every year since we built our GH - especially Aphids, Thrips and Red Spider Mites - constant battle! We are happy to report that we have not had one single bug or mold in our GH this year - NONE - GONE - we have done nothing except vaporize once a week for 3 hours - thats it - NO BUGS! There is more than one way to solve a problem!! So far - vaporizing with sulfur is working for us!

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