Greenhouse Fumigation

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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Geoff
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Greenhouse Fumigation

Postby Geoff » Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:36 pm

Do you fumigate your greenhouse or just wash down with Jeyes Fluid?
I have often bought a Sulphur Candle but they seem expensive. Mind you the price for the commonest one, 300g Deadfast, seems to vary from 3.99 at selections.com to 7.95 at TwoWests. Do you know of a cheap supplier? Alternatively can you still buy Flowers of Sulphur (where from?) and burn that somehow? I have found a diy blend of beeswax and Sulphur to make your own. Are there other smokes that are equally effective and economical?
There's a garbled multichoice question if ever there was one!
Last edited by Geoff on Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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David
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby David » Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:53 pm

I'm interested in any answers too as when I went to get the Jeyes in the GC the shelves were full of organic natural disinfectants which I bought.

I filled the sprayer and covered the inside getting into all the little nooks and crannys then left it shut up for two days.

Do you think this will work or should I be getting the fireworks out too?

Thanks

David
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby FredFromOssett » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:08 pm

If the greenhouse is an aluminium frame and you use Jeyes fluid to disinfect it, do ensure that you rinse really thoroughly and remove all traces of Jeyes. A couple of years ago I disinfected with Jeyes and failed to rinse sufficiently; a few days later all the framework was covered with a white powdery efflorescence - after I had refilled the greenhouse with pots and seed trays of course! Removal of this without covering everything with horrible white powder is a pain where it hurts. Be warned.
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby David » Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:46 am

Cheers Fred, good advice indeed. I didn't use Jeyes in the end but I will be going down there this morning just to check that my organic natural disinfectant (no idea whats in it) hasnt had the same effect.

Do you just use jeyes or do u also use the smoke bombs?

David
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby AnneThomas » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:16 pm

Hi Geoff - as I was just browsing through my seed catalogues I saw some Yellow Sulphur and vaguely remembered a query about where to buy Flowers of Sulphur. Assuming the two are the same thing I Yellow Sulpur can be bought from Tamar Organics, Organic Gardening Catalogue and Suffolk Herbs so I would think it would be quite widely available. A year or so ago I did order some sulphur powder through a pharmacy for treating mites on the skin, so you could try this.
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Geoff
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby Geoff » Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:57 pm

Went to the garden centre today (Gordon Riggs 10% Winter sale - sadly no extra 5% for spending over £100 this year) and found Sulphur Candle 300g label price £4.95 and Chempak chip grade sulphur 750g label price £3.25. So if I can work out how to burn it, I have seen a recipe for blending with beeswax, that looks a good deal.
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby David » Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:10 pm

Geoff

What do you think burning the sulphur gives you over washing down with Jeyes or my organic botanical disinfectant?

David
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby Geoff » Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:37 pm

That's really what I was trying to find out. I have three greenhouse books of various vintages and I have searched the RHS but the only place that sulphur smoking seems to be advised is on the sulphur candle tin! I guess the idea is gas will penetrate all the nooks and crannies better than a liquid will.
I have washed down with hot Jeyes Fluid to create a good fug and have set some of the sulphur burning using a bit of candle and some barbecue fluid. I have left it for the night with a blue haze developing.
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby Johnboy » Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:23 am

Hi Geoff,
I was faced with the same problem a few years back as how to ignite sulphur powder. I ended up taking a box of Swan Vesta matches and cutting the heads off and making a small pile of then with a line of more match heads to make a fuse them put the sulphur powder over the lot then setting light to the fuse line and the sulphur burnt almost out and three piles like that did a sixty foot polytunnel. Once alight the Sulphur seems to burn on it's own.
I only use Jeyes Fluid to wash down the wooden staging and use Algon to clean glass and polythene.
JB.
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby garden_serf » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:54 am

If we ever get invaded, JB's your man...sounds like you'd be good at making home made bombs JB! :wink:
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby David » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:37 am

Isnt it amazing the lengths we will go to.

I watched a program about the Home Guard last week and it's clear that spirit of determination and inventiveness is still alive - now its bugs and not stormtroopers but a wonderful thing to see anyway - well done!
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Re: Grenhouse Fumigation

Postby Geoff » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:34 pm

I wouldn't dream of suggesting you try this of course.
Last year I had difficulty getting my cheap sulphur chips to ignite so today I had another go. I put some chips in a tin about the size of the commercial sulphur candles, added a bit of barbecue lighter fuel and gave it a stir. Got a couple of bits a thick soft string and put them in as wicks soaked in barbecue fuel. Melted a tea light in a pyrex beaker in the oven and poured in molten wax to just cover the sulphur. When it started to set I took it down to the greenhouse and lit it. It seems to have burnt a treat, at least I can no longer see it for the fug. I've saved a few quid but not really sure I should have bothered!
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Re: Greenhouse Fumigation

Postby Monika » Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:00 pm

We wondered what that blue haze was to our west, Geoff!

Seriously, it does sound a lot of fiddly (and dangerous?) work just to avoid paying a bit more than a proper sulphur candle which always works at the first lighting and without having to be messed about.

I use a sulphur candle about end of February when I first start sowing things seriously ind the cold greenhouse. Last year I had put some bulbs outside the greenhouse whilst it was being fumigated, unfortunately just by a tiny crack in the frame and the bulb foliage all frizzled up in the sulphur fumes. So beware!
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Re: Greenhouse Fumigation

Postby mr-cecil » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:59 pm

Hi there,

I'm little confused as to how safe it is to use a Sulphur Candle. I have frogs, newts etc. in my polytunnel and I don't want to deliberately kill them. Especially as the frogs will eat slugs etc.

Is a Sulphur Candle basically a blunt instrument that will kill just about everything?
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Re: Greenhouse Fumigation

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Nov 06, 2016 6:38 pm

mr-cecil wrote:Hi there,

I'm little confused as to how safe it is to use a Sulphur Candle. I have frogs, newts etc. in my polytunnel and I don't want to deliberately kill them. Especially as the frogs will eat slugs etc.

Is a Sulphur Candle basically a blunt instrument that will kill just about everything?


A quick google search revealed this warning

Avoid breathing the fumes from a burning sulphur candle as the Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) that is given off will irritate your nose and throat, irritation will also occur on the moist surface of the eye.

The following is part of the Vitax Safety Information sheet, found on the same google search

FIRST AID MEASURES
Skin Contact: Wash off.
Eye Contact: Wash out with water for several minutes, holding eye open if necessary. This should
be done before the onset of symptoms, which may not occur for some hours.
Ingestion: Normally no action needed. If large quantity is ingested, medical observation may
be indicated.
Inhalation: Obtain medical advice if irritation of respiratory tract occurs. Administer artificial
respiration if breathing is irregular or has stopped. Obtain medical attention
immediately.


Sulphur Candles when burnt in use produce sulphur dioxide gas poses additional
health and safety hazards. Sulphur dioxide is categorised as Toxic by inhalation and
Irritating to the eyes and respiratory system. Exposure limit for sulphur dioxide
TWA (8hr) 2ppm, STEL (15mm) 5ppm. (Approximate odour threshold 0.5ppm).
Areas fumigated with a Sulphur Candle should be well ventilated before being put
back into use.



I think that as this is a pesticide that would have the listed effects upon a human it is fairly safe to assume any wildfire in your tunnel would certainly not benefit.
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