Dormant Season Spraying Part 2: Lime Sulfur and Bordeaux Mix

Dormant Season Spraying Part 2: Lime Sulfur and Bordeaux Mix

markyscott

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markyscott submitted a new resource:

Dormant Season Spraying Part 2: Lime Sulfur and Bordeaux Mix - Dormant season application of chemicals to prevent growing season issues with pests and diseases.

Lime Sulfur vs. Bordeaux Mix
Lime sulfur is a mixture of calcium polysulphides formed by reacting calcium hydroxide with sulfur. It’s prepared by boiling the two reactants together with a surfactant (usually soap) and is used in aqueous solution. First used in the 1840s in France to control powdery mildew in grape orchards, it’s likely the earliest synthetic chemical used as a pesticide. Not only is it a powerful fungicide...
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Bonsai Nut

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Thank you for this resource! One comment I would make - lime sulfur is a great topical fungus preventative. However, if your tree already has fungus, lime sulfur will not cure it. You will need to use a different fungicide.
 

markyscott

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Thank you for this resource! One comment I would make - lime sulfur is a great topical fungus preventative. However, if your tree already has fungus, lime sulfur will not cure it. You will need to use a different fungicide.
Dormant spraying with lime sulfur and Bordeaux mix is a preventative, not a cure. Thanks for the clarification.

S
 
D

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@markyscott Thank you for this post, and many others that have been absolutely crucial for me!

I sometimes find it difficult navigating the terminology of "bud swell". Does this refer to when the buds are just slightly more swollen than they were when dormant? Or does it mean when they are 'fully' swollen and it is possible to distinguish the lobes of leaves (though still bunched in a tight ball)?

This might initially come across as a silly question, but I think knowing the parameters of "bud swell" would be especially helpful for me (and others, no doubt) because I have many japanese maples and they tend to unfurl leaves at different times, despite being in the same coldframe. The window can be as great at 4-5 weeks.

It is, of course, much easier to spray all trees at once (as opposed to having weekly sessions over 4-5 weeks, let's say). I think that knowing the limits of what "bud swell" refers to can help people (myself included) nail the "sweet spot" and spray all trees in one go. If the window during which it is best to spray is not very large, maybe two 'sweet spots' can be found!

How soon is too soon, how late is too late? Maybe pictures of buds at different stages would help?
 

PABonsai

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Hi everyone. I just read through these getting ready for my first bonsai winter and I came across this resource online.


It's the recipe for lime sulfur, and appears to basically be the same as Bordeaux that @markyscott described above with the exception that you're using straight sulfur instead of copper sulfate and you boil it just like the inventor. It would make sense that the recipe is very similar as copper sulfate would obviously contain sulfur as the secondary main element. @markyscott maybe you can weigh in on this. Have you seen this before?
 

markyscott

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Hi everyone. I just read through these getting ready for my first bonsai winter and I came across this resource online.


It's the recipe for lime sulfur, and appears to basically be the same as Bordeaux that @markyscott described above with the exception that you're using straight sulfur instead of copper sulfate and you boil it just like the inventor. It would make sense that the recipe is very similar as copper sulfate would obviously contain sulfur as the secondary main element. @markyscott maybe you can weigh in on this. Have you seen this before?
Hi PABonsai. Sure - you can make your own lime sulfur. And you’re right - lime sulfur is similar to Bordeaux mix except BM has copper and uses sulfate instead of sulfur, but it is way easier and less toxic to make than the process of making lime sulfur described in the link. I can’t say that I’ve seen this particular recipe, but it sounds like similar ones I’ve read before. I suggest that you only attempt this if you really hate your neighbors downwind. I’ve never tried to make my own lime sulfur - it sounds like a ton of work and lime sulfur and the Bordeaux mix ingredients are so cheap and readily available that I‘ve never felt the need to try. I’ve no idea what the concentration would be at the end or how the recommended dilution in the article compares to the old Hi-Yield instructions. If you decide to give it a go, be sure to tell us about your experience.

S
 

PABonsai

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I agree on the level of work involved. I just figured the info might be helpful in case anyone wanted it because pure sulfur and hydrated lime are both dirt cheap.

The downside is you'll have to decide if you like your wife or your neighbors more 🤣
 

Hartinez

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Thank you for this resource! One comment I would make - lime sulfur is a great topical fungus preventative. However, if your tree already has fungus, lime sulfur will not cure it. You will need to use a different fungicide.
Dormant spraying with lime sulfur and Bordeaux mix is a preventative, not a cure. Thanks for the clarification.

S
Hi guys. This will be my first season applying both a dormant oil spray and an early lime sulphur spray. I’ve got several New Mexico olive (foresteria Neomexicana) that has exhibited leaf curl on every tree over the last several years. Was hoping the lime sulphur mix would handle but after seeing these comments I’m thinking the fungus is already present and needs to be cured. I used Daconil mid season last year every 2 weeks on all of them, but I’m wondering if you recommend a good early bud swell spray for fungal treatment? Thanks in advance

DH
 

markyscott

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Hi guys. This will be my first season applying both a dormant oil spray and an early lime sulphur spray. I’ve got several New Mexico olive (foresteria Neomexicana) that has exhibited leaf curl on every tree over the last several years. Was hoping the lime sulphur mix would handle but after seeing these comments I’m thinking the fungus is already present and needs to be cured. I used Daconil mid season last year every 2 weeks on all of them, but I’m wondering if you recommend a good early bud swell spray for fungal treatment? Thanks in advance

DH
I'm not sure how that fungus overwinters. I’d probably give the lime sulfur a go myself, and see if you have a better spring this year.
 

Hartinez

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I'm not sure how that fungus overwinters. I’d probably give the lime sulfur a go myself, and see if you have a better spring this year.
Will do.

For reference. This is what happens. The edges of each leaf bulge and curl quite tightly. And the growth slows considerably. Figured it was some sort of leaf curl.
280826
 

Hartinez

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Fungus? Or mites?
Good question. Almost certain it’s not a pest, but then again I’ve never seen a fungal issue that looks like this on any other tree I’ve owned. I’m going to do a dormant oil spray tomorrow and when bids begin to swell, I’ll also do a lime sulphur spray. Hoping all of my New Mexico olive have a much better growing season.
 

Hartinez

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