Keith Kridler, Texas

an alternate to HWT?

June 19, 2008
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Categories: Bulb Information, Diseases and Pests, Fungus, Growing Daffodils, Nematode, Virus

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Hot water treatment as far as I have read will NOT kill the various virus’s that daffodil bulbs can be infested with.
Hot water treatment for bulbs is normally used to kill mites, nematodes, bulb flies ETC. There is an EXTREMELY fine line between using enough heat long enough to kill these living, oxygen breathing organisms while NOT killing the Carbon Dioxide breathing plant materials!
NORMALLY I would assume it is a combination of the heat AND water that DROWNS the mites and the bulb fly larva or grubs that are living inside the scales or deep inside the bulbs. AGAIN VERY often they recommend adding soaps to the water to allow the moisture to penetrate between dried bulb scales to remove the air and get the water to penetrate the air pockets quicker.
For killing nematodes they NORMALLY recommend adding one of several different types of insecticides or disinfectants to kill these exceedingly hardy creatures! FORMALDEHYDE used for embalming humans is used in Hot Water Treatments for bulbs. Your BARE skin will absorb these chemicals used to kill nematodes that are surviving swimming around in the bulb soup!!!!
Fungus or rot in the daffodils is again NOT killed by heat alone! There are different types of fungicides that are needed to be added to the Hot Water Treatment to kill different types of fungus that attack the different bulbs. AGAIN if the fungus is already deep within the scales of the bulb or IF the fungus is in the vascular system of the bulb, fungicides that kill by contact WILL NOT affect the fungus. Fungicides are applied as a preventive measure to plants and NOT as a cure all treatment!
There ARE systemic fungicides but they need to be carried through out the whole plant from root to bulb to leaf (or in reverse order) and would need to be carried inside the bulb to EVERY cell that is containing the living fungus. Again if you do not get enough systemic fungicide into the various infected cells then it will probably continue to grow and spread out inside the bulb. MANY of the fungicides that work this year (or even this week with roses) will kill off just PART of the susceptible fungi. The rest develop immunity to that fungicide and you need to rotate through different types of fungicides. OF COURSE you won’t know whether the fungicide treatment works or NOT until the bulb lives or dies!
Microwave ovens: OK catch six or seven flies and put them each in a separate bottle and place them scattered around the inside of the microwave oven. Then place a half dozen different types of seedlings in the oven, or half a dozed different types of small veggies in the oven and see if you kill the seedlings or the flies first:-))
To simulate a bulb fly inside a daffodil bulb cut open an Irish Potato and hide the fly in the bottle, inside the potato. Even IF you could come up with the perfect location inside the microwave and the perfect amount of timed heat you will NEVER be able to use this same formula on a different microwave unit!
Each size and volume and even the shape of the daffodil bulbs will affect how the heat in a microwave is injected into the bulbs. Ever notice how eggs and some vegetables will EXPLODE in a microwave while the outside of them is still COLD to the touch:-))
Don’t virus’ even survive being exposed to radiation in medical machines?
Interesting topic and maybe Ted and some of the more knowledgeable folks will chime in here. We are “solarizing” future flower beds right now for our Master Gardeners because they wanted an organic way to kill nut grass and weeds. But in East Texas we are having 101*F (38*C) air temperatures. Even so this is ONLY going to kill the tops of the plants/weeds and NOT kill off the roots, nut sedges and seeds that will be exposed when we dig and plant! Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas

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