When you have plants, especially if they are horticultural, it is important that natural products are used both to combat diseases and pests and to pay them, such as sulfur. This is a mineral that will allow us to enjoy them much longer, since it will keep them safe from one of the most dangerous microorganisms: the fungus. There are many people who do not know what sulfur is for.
So, if you want to know what sulfur is for and how you have to use it, don’t stop reading 🙂.
What is sulfur?
Sulfur is a mineral that has antifungal properties and also repels insects . It is a yellow powder that we can find in two different presentations: one is powder, which is used dry; and another is wettable sulfur that has to be diluted first in water before use. Regardless of which one you buy, you have to know that both will be equally useful to protect the health of your plants.
Of course, it is very important that you never use it when temperatures are above 30ºC since you could burn the leaves, especially if the plant in question is in full sun. Furthermore, below 20ºC, sulfur is ineffective, but you do not have to worry too much about this since most fungi that affect plant beings, such as powdery mildew, do not usually appear at those temperatures.
What is sulfur for
Contrary to what it may seem, sulfur is associated with situations that can be harmful to humans. Its danger does not reside only in this element . It becomes more dangerous when mixed with other substances. We know that sulfur is a non-metallic chemical element that has been used for centuries for many uses.
Among the most prominent we usually group the use of gunpowder and matches or that of being one of the best fertilizers and crop compost. It is highly recommended to correct alkaline soils. If we add sulfur to alkaline soil, we can increase the degree of acidity. There are plants that need a more acidic pH in order to thrive in good conditions.
It is often used frequently in organic farming thanks to its ability to act as a fungicide. A fungicide is an element that helps eliminate fungi that tend to attack crops and ruin crops. Surely you have ever seen sulfur on the corners of buildings. It is usually used to eliminate the remains of dog urine so that fungi and bacteria do not begin to proliferate in that area. Plus, it helps prevent dogs from reusing that corner to urinate.
Many fungi attack crops when humid conditions are favorable for them. In this way, with the use of sulfur, we manage to reduce the ideal conditions for the development of these fungi. There are many experiences and studies analyzing the effectiveness of sulfur. Thanks to these studies, today it can be affirmed that it is one of the safest elements and that it can be used in practically all types of crops. It can only negatively affect some varieties of apple and pear. The rest such as cereals, vines, ornamental plants, etc. The use of sulfur is allowed.
How to use it
It must be taken into account that in order to use sulfur well we must know some fundamental aspects. First of all, it is recommended that you spend at least 21 days before or after treating with some type of mineral oil. Nor is it convenient to use sulfur if the ambient temperature exceeds 28 degrees. The most appropriate is to use powdered sulfur by applying it first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon. In these time bands we find much milder temperatures that allow sulfur to act well.
Otherwise, if we use this element with higher temperatures, it can damage our crops, which is what we want to avoid. On the other hand, it can be mixed with some fertilizers and other elements to optimize performance. It is especially recommended to mix it with some fertilizers. For example, if we want to apply various sulfur treatments we can mix well with bentonites and kaolin. And it is that by mixing the well, the results can be positively valued.
In its wettable presentation, it is possible to mix it with Bacillus thuringiensis in horticultural crops and, especially in vine crops, where it is very effective in controlling the larvae of the cluster moth and powdery mildew.
What is sulfur for: precautions
Apart from those that we have just mentioned, it is necessary that you read the product label in order to use it correctly. On the other hand, you should know that it is a bit toxic both for humans and for other animals since it can cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes.
Another important topic to talk about is vegetable oils (like neem oil). Sulfur and these oils are not compatible . When you use the sulfur, you must wait 21 days before using the oil to avoid problems.
In summary, we are going to see what precautions we must take:
- It should be applied at temperatures below 28º , since if it is applied at a higher temperature, the sulfur could burn the plant. It is also not recommended to use it with excessive humidity.
- It is totally forbidden to mix sulfur with oils or alkaline reacting elements.
- It should not be applied in fields of fruit trees whose fruits are to be preserved or in fields where sensitive fruit trees have been planted (pear, apricot or apple tree).
- It is convenient to apply the sulfur with a duster on days with little wind to gain precision.