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Gardening with Hydrogen Peroxide

Posts: 1948
Location: PNW Oregon
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I found this information on a search I was doing and thought it was interesting.  Although I wonder about the affects on 'good' bacteria, microbes and insects.  "Is this any more harmful to use than DE" is what I'm asking myself.

Here it is for you to pounder ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GARDENING WITH HYDROGEN PEROXIDE  Posted From: http://www.landrights.com/ website

This will be the most phenomenal article you will ever read. It deals with something as simple as H2O2 (Peroxide) and is harmless to all good things. I have been gardening for about 40 years and was wondering why bad bugs had to have a very specific pesticide to control them. I had been inhaling peroxide for aches, pains and allergies and it seemed to control all of them. Not having any source to go to for the information on how to use peroxide in the garden, I decided on the trial and error method. I have never started a project that I new how to get to the end, and this was no exception. 

The beauty supply store would have the peroxide that I needed. The 40% peroxide cost about $2.50 a quart. I bought the least expensive they had, because I did not need any additives.  Having no knowledge of what strength to use, I used 8% for my plants. They did not die so that is the strength I have used ever since.

If you have a small garden you will need a hand squeeze sprayer. A little peroxide goes a long way. My lot is about 100 X 85 and I use a six-gallon sprayer. I have it mounted on a 2-wheel handcart.  The peroxide comes in several strengths, so the strength you start out with is not that important as long as the final strength is 8%. Peroxide should be kept out of the sun. 

When you plant the seedlings dig the hole and spray it with peroxide using your hand sprayer.  Wet it good and then wet the roots of the seedlings or small plant.   

I don’t use any commercial fertilizers. I have my own well so I have none of those chemicals the government uses in their water. When I prune the fruit trees, I put the trimmings in the chipper and add all the ashes from my wood burner and then till them into the garden in the fall. My garden is composting all year long. The grass clippings are used for the walkways between plants. I started out with clay, now the soil is black and soft.   

Corn was the first plant that I used the peroxide on. I marked two rows off and every 12 inches made a hole about 2” or 3” deep. I put one kernel in each hole then poured about third cup of 8% peroxide in each hole and covered them up.  In 5 to 6 days  the sprouts came up. Fourteen days later I repeated the process without the peroxide. They came up in 12 to 14 days. Fourteen days later I repeated the first with the peroxide and they came up in 5 to 6 days. As the corn grew the corn with out the peroxide did not grow well as the ones with peroxide. I have noticed that the birds do not attack the ears of corn any more, and I assume it is because there are no worms in ears of corn. Birds can fly over the corn and know there are no worms in the corn. Do they have a sense that man does not have?   

Acorn squash was next. They were planted with out peroxide. After 3 or 4 leaves formed the bugs made filigree of the leaves. One new leaf was untouched. I sprayed the plants with peroxide and as time went by the plants sprouted new leaves. They produced several squash. I sprayed the plants after every rain.  I planted turnips with no peroxide and the bugs over took them. I wet them down with peroxide and that stopped the bugs. 

I planted radishes and they grew bigger than golf balls, and had a mild and firm taste. I will be planting radishes and carrots this year. Last year the turnips grew to 6” to 8” in diameter and were mild when cooked.     

The next year I decided to try soaking the seeds before I planted them. I soak them for three or four hours just before I planted them. The only seeds that did not survive the soaking were the navy beans. They just slipped out of their skins. 

The potatoes have been interesting. The first year I planted potatoes I planted them without soaking them but sprayed them after they came up. I wet them down (not soaking) after they were 6 or 8 inches tall. Then about three weeks later I just sprayed a mist over them. They had some very small holes in them but they produced good potatoes. The next year I soaked them before planting and misted them when they came up. Last year I had several self-sow potatoes.  I transplanted them but used no peroxide on them.  I have had self-sow squash that came from plants that were peroxide grown and they were bug free without using peroxide. 

In 2002 I used one ounce of 40% peroxide per gallon.  Just about every thing that was green was sprayed and the results were a big surprise to my wife and me, We had no mosquitoes or any other flying bugs in our yard. There were a few ladybugs but they were few and far between. I don’t think the peroxide had any thing to do with the ladybugs directly. However, the lack of bugs for them to eat would be my guess why there were so few. 

The vegetable that gave me a problem was the cabbage. I was determined to conquer the cabbageworm. Years ago I sprayed the cabbage plants with peroxide to no avail. This year I soaked the cabbage seeds before planting them. There were no signs of the bug until the cabbage plants were almost full grown, then I poured about a quarter of cup of 8% peroxide over the cabbage, letting it flow down into the layers of the leaves. That stopped the cabbage bugs. 

This year I will use hydrogen peroxide more freely on every thing that is alive and green in my yard and garden.

I'm going to try it on my cabbage, which is hard to completely protect using DE only.

Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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Most every genome includes a peroxidase enzyme, but I might argue that, rather than "all good things," the author means "harmless to all large things." But there is solid evidence that peroxide is a natural part of every ecosystem, and it is also used by the human body, as part of our immune response.

I expect it would help tilt the balance in favor of a fungal soil ecosystem. The lactobacilli that live on the surface of multicellular life seem to be able to bounce back from the shock of a strong oxidizer like peroxide or chlorine, but forcing them to do so seems to open a window of opportunity for less-benign things to occupy that niche.

I think it's a good-enough tool to keep in the toolkit, but stories like this cause my "it's more complicated than that" alarm to buzz incessantly.

Another oxidizer to consider using is ozone. It's familiar as smog, and as the odor of thunderstorms and certain electrical devices. There are devices to make it at home, for things like water purification.

Oxidizers and reducing agents (AKA anti-oxidants) are complimentary in much the same way that acids and bases are. Life tends to work toward a balance between these sorts of things, and IMOO it isn't wise for us to blindly favor one aspect over the other, either.
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
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I use it but do so only in emergencies generally. It works really well against powdery mildew and for curing root rot. I had some hydroponic tomato plants that got a bad case of root rot; brown slime covered them. I added a small amount of peroxide and a few days later I looked to see healthy white roots with new growth.

As an additive to soil...I wonder if it hurts things like earth worms and other soft bodied beneficials.
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Posts: 3205
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Thank you for posting this.  I am adding an additional link for that article that has some more links at the bottom that deal with other uses for Hydrogen Peroxide.

My honeysuckle is blooming this year! Now to fertilize this tiny ad:
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