Greenhouse Fumigator or Vapourizor – electrically operated – August 2020

As promised in previous post, here is our personal views on an electrically operated Greenhouse Fumigator.

We have no affiliation with any of the manufacturer’s or suppliers in this post. And we are not professionally qualified to give medical advice. It is our own personnal opiniums.

Sulphur fumigation

Sulphur fumigation

Always read the Suppliers details and the Health and Safety documentation before proceding.

BACKGROUND INFO

Just for a bit of background info, this type of fumigator can be used with Sulphur UK name (Sulfur US name, Flowers of sulphur, Brimstone, Elemental sulfur ). This fumigator can also it can be used with other chemicals, but this outside of our brief and experience.

Sulphur Powder

Sulphur Powder

Sulpur has a Melting Point of 115.21 °C the powder turns to liquid at approximately 145-150 °C, it then only disipates as sulphur vapour.

Sulphur Liquid

Sulphur Liquid

Both molten and solid forms are combustible and will ignite at high temperatures (>200°C), burning with a pale blue flame that may be difficult to see in daylight. When it ignites Sulphur Dioxide is produced.

It is at this point that caution must be mentioned Sulpur Dioxide must not be mixed with water, as this will produce a weak sulphuric acid (H2SO3). 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.

Sulphuric acid can errode alluminium greenhouses and staging. I remember leaving a tin of Bordeaux mixture on some alluminium staging trays. At the end of winter I had a hole with the tin on the floor.

However in this instance the Fumigator is thermostatically controlled to within 145-150 °C, it then only disipates as sulphur vapour. There is not adjustments for temperature it is fixed, this is good when using unskilled personnel.

Sulphur fumigation

Sulphur fumigation

Sulphur fumigation

Sulphur fumigation

Sulpur vapour has less of a dangerous, and it is generally an allowed as an approved pesticide in organic gardening (please check 1st).

TARGET SPECIES

Sulphur vapour kills mould spores, preventing the spread of fungi and rot fungicide against black spot, powdery mildew and rust. Sulphur is also toxic to spider mites and various other grow-room pests. Also thrips, aphids and psyllids. However beneficial used as biological can be effected, and also moluscs, and small animals and Amphibians.

Will not harm beneficial insects including honeybees.

LIMITATIONS

Ensure that sulphur is safe for the species of plants you need to treat. Sulphur proves toxic to several plant species whilst in leaf these include grapes, apple, pear, blueberry, currants, gooseberry, apricot, brambles, peaches and vine crops. Over winter it is effective on overwintering pest insects.Special precautions must be taken when using with Delicious or Cox’s Orange Pippin apples and there X’s.

Check on a sample first before you do your whole greenhouse.

CHECK BEFORE USE

Damage include scorching, dwarfing of leaves, rolling of leaves downwards,  premature defoliation and reduced yields

Lichens and bryophytes are among the most sensitive and have been successfully used as indicators of sulphur dioxide pollution.

USE OF FUMIGATOR.

One fumigator  is suitable for 100m sq floor area, so that would cover most domestic greenhouses. All window and doors shut, and plan to start in the evening. The advice is switch off everthing electrical. But I prefer to get my high output fan running, just to ensure though distribution of the vapour.

Greenhouse Fan

Greenhouse Fan

The location of the fumigator is recommened to be 1m below the appex, which is not a bad height, as I don’t bang my head on it.

DOSAGE

2 gram dose of sulphur over an 8 hour period ensuring there is no wastage. There is a marker on the cup, which when filled will give 150 hours use. The application is recommended that it is used during night time, and of varying doseages every other night over a 2 week period, this is shown in the instruction manual. A electrical timer is recommended.

TOO MUCH SULPHUR SIDE EFFECTS

Too much sulphur can change the PH of soil, so care has to be taken and steps take to reduce PH or inrease PH. Sulphur is the element usually recommended for increase acidification of the soil.

PPE

Sulphur Warnings

Sulphur Warnings

 

  • Chemical-resistant rubber gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Protective clothing
  • Pump sprayer
  • Soap

Other PPE must be used where instructed in supplies / manfacturers documentation. Always ask first.

OTHER USES

The first use of lime sulphur for the control of peach leaf curl was in California in 1886. It’s made by reacting together sulphur and builder’s lime (calcium hydroxide) – which is different to garden lime (calcium carbonate).

Lime sulphur can be used during dormancy to control a range of fungal diseases including Black Spot, Powdery Mildew, Freckle, Leaf Curl, Rust, Shot Hole and Brown Rot, as well as various Scale and Mite pests.

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