Keith Kridler, Texas

Brain Fart

June 25, 2008

Categories: Basal Rot, Bulb Information, Diseases and Pests, Growing Daffodils, Nematode, Soil

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Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas I posted the other day about plant matter needing CO2 and insects needing Oxygen to live and the gentleman posted that plant roots also need Oxygen to grow which they do.
In Texas the summer heat cooks our bodies, brains above ground and our daffodil bulbs buried in the sun heated soil.
I want to think out loud about soil pests, bulb storage and fumigation of the bulbs.
We all agree that higher nitrogen levels in the hot, moist summer soils when the daffodil bulbs are dormant are BAD for the bulbs as this leads to increased basal rot. Same goes for storing daffodil bulbs in plastic bags or sealed up plastic tubs where the bulbs cannot breathe or get air exchanges to remove moisture as the bulbs continue to respiration!
OK you ADD nitrogen fertilizer to compost piles to INCREASE the numbers of living organisms in the compost and they consume the nitrogen, use up the oxygen in the compost piles, break down the carbon in the pile and produce Carbon Dioxide and heat in such quantities that you need to “turn or fluff up” the compost pile every week or so to get MORE oxygen into the middle of the pile or it will contain so much Carbon Dioxide that it will turn anaerobic and smother the oxygen loving organisms. Thus allowing species that breathe and live off of CO2 to multiple in the compost pile as these types then give off Methane gas.
It would seem that the nitrogen fertilizers added to daffodil beds might not be the actual problem but possibly this triggers a change in the numbers of soil organisms and THEY change the soil levels of CO2 and Oxygen and this triggers increased basal rot by improving this organisms habitat. We CANNOT go out and fluff up the daffodil beds every week during the summer!
OK Normal CO2 levels outside your house today are about 387 parts per million. Inside a normal office building or shopping mall they are about 750 parts per million. Some humans start to notice when CO2 levels exceed 1,500 parts per million as our bodies use up the oxygen and give off more CO2 in confined office areas.
Organic pesticide use of CO2 in greenhouses to kill pest insects on the leaves of plants utilize filling and maintaining the greenhouse with 10,000 parts per million CO2 for just a couple of hours. Or for every 100 gallon sized container (or 100 liter sized container) you would add just ONE gallon of pure CO2 gas to raise the levels of CO2 to 10,000 parts per million. (In a greenhouse this would be cubic feet or cubic meters and you monitor the levels with a CO2 meter.)
You HAVE to exchange the air in a greenhouse that has 10,000 parts per million of CO2 BEFORE humans or pets return to work in the Greenhouse!!!
In Canada and countries where they grow a LOT of Marijuana or tomato plants inside houses/greenhouses they use CO2 generators (open flame natural gas heaters) to maintain the CO2 at about 2,400 PPM as this is IDEAL for maximum plant growth in full sun or under halogen lighting and humans can work in these levels for 3>4 hours at a time safely.
Now to my whole point! It would SEEM that we MIGHT be able to use cheap welding gas CO2 to fumigate daffodil bulbs to kill off pupating bulb flies or in some of your bulbs possibly mites or aphids.
Has there been any scientific research into this that you all know of?? We nearly all have root knot nematodes in tomato and vegetable plants so it would be simple to test these nematodes in say a 20 gallon fish aquarium filled with CO2 at X number PPM how long it takes to kill them in a plastic sealed aquarium. Could you even kill the daffodil pests like bulb flies sealed up in the daffodil bulbs?? Again how many hours at what PPM?
The REALLY BIG question is do daffodil bulbs use up Oxygen while in storage or do they use up CO2 while in storage? Again it would be easy to use the welding gas Oxygen and add it to sealed bags or containers if higher levels of this gas were to be beneficial for test purposes.
Would you kill daffodil bulbs if they were stored in either type of gas for a few days? Does ANYONE REALLY care:-))) KK

2 responses to “Brain Fart”

  1. Deborah Holland says:

    —- Keith Kridler < title=> wrote: to when or of not of CANNOT 750 1,500 10,000 gallon (In plants maximum plastic storage levels for
    I care. I am living on a 6,000 square foot lot surrounded by families with children. None of the “safer” pesticides kill the larger bulb fly. Now that I have 270 cultivars, it takes a good part of the summer to individually dig, cure, heat treat, dry and replant these bulbs. I have a method that works and still results in winning flowers….but it is laborious.
    I would like to treat 8 to 10 different cultivars at a time without getting them wet. I live in a Temperate Rain Forrest. It is the land of mold.
    The sun shines today.
    Deb Holland Newport, Oregon

  2. Ross Hotchkiss says:

    Dear Friends, and you are dear friends…
    I’m sorry, but not apologetic, but I wish the reference that has gone across cyberspace for far too many times could cease.  Please choose something a bit more acceptable.  I am confident this may offend some and perhaps even rile others, but we are not prudes in this household, but this is not an acceptable word.  Can we consider…”Senior Moment”, or some other term?  I would also add that, having written the preceding, I would prefer NO replies, please, just think about it.
    Thank you for allowing me to get this one off of my chest.
    Regards and all the very best,
    Ross A. Hotchkiss, President
    Virginia Daffodil Society

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