Another question about sulphur

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Flatland, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    As I said in my first thread I am using sulphur to fight red legged earth mite by dusting leaves. I am wondering if I could dust the soil where I have planted broad beans. I know as soon as they come up the mite will be on them like mad. So I was wondering if dusting the soil would get them before the seeds sprout and what affect that would have on the soil. I realise it could raise the PH but would it have any other problems
     
  2. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    First you have to assess whether in fact it is working on your existing crops.
    LEave a few plants untreated to see whether they all go there or whether the treated plants still have a few on.
    Putting it on the soil is probably not a good move as it will kill all the biological life such as earth worms that come in contact with it as it is washed into the ground when you water or it rains.
    I know some ends up on the soil when you dust but it is not nearly as much & still does damage when it does land on the soil.
    Sulphur is a micro trace element meaning it is required in small amounts.
    Putting a large amount on when the soil does not need it will through everything way out of balance.
    Google life cycle of red mites to see when & where they hatch in relation to your plants.
    It might just be better to move that type of plants to another bed & leave the current bed to fallow for a year to break the red mite cycle. Turn it into a huge compost heap. Perhaps if you can heat up the soil via compost making you might kill the mite eggs.
     
  3. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The sulphur is working because the silver beet leaves are no longer being silvered. The mite suck the green out of the leaves. There are mites all over my place, they get stuck into the Lucerne. The problem is because they are over the whole place it is very hard to eradicate them from the veggie patch. The land is slowly getting better though. When I first moved here there was not an earthworm on the place now there are quite a few. I bought some to start with & put them in certain places & they have moved out from there. we do a lot of mowing excess grass & that has really helped putting organic matter into the sand . I did buy some good mite which are supposed to eat the bad ones but I think that is a very long-term project. I guess I already knew putting sulphur out on the ground would be a bad idea. Hopefully as the life comes back into the soil the red legged earth mite won't be as much as a problem as they are now. I have removed the capeweed that they love from the veggie garden & orchard area that is supposed to help limit their numbers because they lay eggs on the capeweed to get through summer. I'm also getting rid of the capeweed in the paddocks because it is bad for horses & occupies land that would be better used growing things that sheep & horses can eat. in the paddocks I have a lot of Lucerne that the sheep & horse love but so too does the RLEM but I am adding in types of grasses that the RLEM don't eat so hopefully that will reduce their numbers. I just keep telling myself that I am improving the soil so it will get more life in it which will help to get the bugs good & bad into balance.
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    That all sounds like a good plan Flatland.
    You are definitely heading in the right direction.
    I think somewhere a very long time ago I learned that earth worms inadvertently eat some stage of RLEM & other such critters.
    The premise being that the more earth worms in a given volume of soil, the more healthy it will be in general.
     
  5. Flatland

    Flatland Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Not heard of earthworms eating RLEM but as the mite spend most of their time in the ground seems reasonable that the worms would eat some of them.
    My thinking is the healthier I can get the soil they better the plants will grow so the more they can withstand the bugs including RLEM. When I first started turning up earthworms I was running round giving high fives. I was so happy to see some life coming back into my soil. it still has a long way to go but I really feel I am achieving something. The old adage "Yon don't own the land you only mind it for a time so you should try to leave it better than you found it" Something like that anyway
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes I know how exciting you must feel re finding earthworms, Flatland!
    It's how I am when I find one now also! :D
     
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