The Most Surprising Uses Of Hydrogen Peroxide In The Garden
Hydrogen peroxide is a household disinfectant and bleaching agent.
It has a chemical formula (H2O2), which is similar to water and contains an extra oxygen atom, yet it is a corrosive and combustible substance, especially in higher concentrations. However, when diluted, hydrogen peroxide can find many uses in your house and garden, since it has antimicrobial and oxygen properties.
Commercially available, hydrogen peroxide cannot be considered organic, but plants, animals, even humans naturally produce this chemical substance in their cells and tissues. Since it easily decomposes to water and oxygen, it is very environment-friendly and safe to use in organic gardening!
Disinfect pots, tools, and greenhouses
Hydrogen peroxide has a wide use in medical and laboratory establishments for sterilizing surgical tools because it has antimicrobial activity. You should use 6%-9% solution if you want to disinfect seed trays, pots, and other containers before you reuse them. You can also dip pruning tools in the solution before using, or between plants, in order to reduce the risk of pathogens into the wounds. You can use it as a spray to disinfect the surfaces and the air in the greenhouses.
Hydrogen peroxide is effective against most types of viruses, bacteria or fungi. You can use it to prevent mold and mildew from clouding glass panes of the greenhouses.
Seed-borne pathogens can destroy your young seedlings even before they get the chance to take hold. There is a chance you can avoid this by disinfecting seeds before sowing them. It is recommended to soak them in 3% hydrogen peroxide heated to 1400F for about 5 minutes. (applies to all types of seeds)
When you make sprouts for personal or commercial use, you must disinfect seeds and sprouting trays in order to avoid foodborne illnesses caused by Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, etc. Soak them for 5 minutes, wash of the chemical and place the seeds in plain running water at a room temperature for 1 minute.
Boost root development
Help rood development at any stage of growth by using hydrogen peroxide, since it has oxygen generated as it decomposes. Just mix one pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide into a gallon of water, and water plants with this solution once a week, make sure to soak the root zone thoroughly.
Use a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide for rooting cuttings and when bare root plants are planted in the garden.
Fight fungal infections
You can effectively fight all fungal infections with hydrogen peroxide. Mix 4 tbsp of 3% hydrogen peroxide in a pint of water in a spray bottle. Use it to spray plants that have signs of mildew, rust, or other fungal infections.
Be careful because this chemical can burn plant tissues, so you must use the correct dilution. One pint of 3% H2O2 in a gallon of water – this is the standard dose for spraying plants. Always experiment on a smaller area before you do the large-scale spraying.
Use as insect repellant
Hydrogen peroxide acts as an excellent insect repellant, therefore drastically reduces the pest population in the garden. Sap-sucking insects are the most affected, but hydrogen peroxide can kill the eggs and larvae of moths and other harmful pests with its strong oxidizing effect. It is easy to use, cheap, and environment-friendly too.
Hydrogen peroxide (at 10% concentration) can be used as a weed killer instead of commercially available herbicides that contain toxic chemicals. Pour this solution on weeds growing between concrete or flagstone pavers. Leave it in order to scorch the leaves and the plant parts below. Sunlight quickly breaks down hydrogen peroxide, so early mornings and late evenings are the best times to apply it for prolonged action.
Remember that hydrogen peroxide, at 10% concentration and above destroys all types of vegetation if it comes in contact with them, be cautious when using it near your plants. If it splashes on your hands or gets in your eyes by accident, flush immediately with lots of cold water.
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