Iodine is an excellent antiseptic, which we used to smear since childhood on broken knees and other shallow wounds on the body. However, the disinfecting properties of iodine are quite universal, so they can be successfully used not only for medical purposes but also in everyday life, for example, plants also use iodine as fertilizer, Disinfectant, Insecticide.
How do plants use iodine?
Iodine in the composition of proteins and amino acids takes part in synthesis, water, and nitrogen metabolic processes, participates in plant respiration, is a natural antiseptic, and is active against most viruses, bacteria, and fungi that threaten the normal development of plant crops.
Also, plants necessarily need to maintain the required iodine level during the period of bud formation and fruit setting.
Iodine as a fertilizer is a fairly effective top dressing for many horticultural and flower crops. Especially responsive to nutritional mixtures with the addition of iodine are potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplants, beets, cucumbers, onions, cabbage, corn, greens, garden strawberries, raspberries, sunflowers, ornamental flower plants.
Iodine solutions are used to process planting material in early spring to stimulate germination, at the stage of the emergence of sprouts – to increase their immunity and resistance to various types of diseases, as well as during the growing season – for greater productivity and treatment of some diseases.
The cause of iodine deficiency in plants is most often its insufficient content in the soil. This is especially noticeable in peat and podzolic soils, overly acidic environments, where iodine instantly penetrates into the lower layers of the earth, becoming inaccessible to plants.
Iodine deficient crops can be visually identified. As a rule, plants look weak and poorly formed, with few ovaries and fruits, which are usually not bright and large enough, often rot quickly and are attacked by pests, in particular wireworms.
Sometimes these signs, which are quite conventional, coincide with the symptoms of plant diseases, their freezing or exposure to harmful flora, which makes the determination of iodine deficiency in plants very difficult.
In this case, it remains to recommend prophylactic plant nutrition, which will definitely only benefit and will not be at all superfluous at any summer cottage.
To prepare an effective solution, iodine diluted with water is used in the ratio: 1 drop – per 3 liters of water. For feeding seedlings, a single watering of young plants at the very root will be enough, however, do all the manipulations with an alcohol-containing solution of iodine very carefully: even a small concentration of it can provoke a burn of delicate seedlings.
To avoid this, when watering, avoid getting the composition on young leaves and fragile shoots, carefully observe the prescribed dosage when spraying.
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Pre-sowing treatment with an iodine solution of planting material is the most effective and efficient method of using a trace element for a beneficial plot. The fact is that iodine has excellent disinfecting properties and can easily replace the usual and familiar to many potassium permanganates, usually used by summer residents to treat tubers and seeds for disinfection.
In addition, iodine stimulates more active germination of planting material, and seedlings appear faster.
It is not difficult to prepare a solution for pre-sowing soaking of seeds: it is necessary to dilute a 5% alcohol solution of iodine, which can be purchased at any pharmacy, with water in the ratio: 1 drop of the drug per 1 liter of water. Then, the seeds are soaked in the resulting solution for 3-4 hours just before planting.
For the treatment of potato tubers, iodine is calculated in a dosage of 2 ml per 10 liters of water. This composition is used for thorough sprinkling of the planting material, having previously decomposed the potatoes on a film in one layer. After drying, the tubers are turned over and processed on the other side. Then, the potatoes can be planted in the ground.
These procedures will allow plants to sprout faster, be more bushy and fruitful in the future, and also protect them from adverse external environmental factors.
Iodine procedures are extremely effective in the prevention of late blight, in the fight against powdery mildew and rot. 10 ml. the preparation is diluted in 10 liters of water and the plants and fruit crops are sprayed in early spring, then the manipulations are repeated twice with an interval of 10-14 days.
Plants treated in this way become more resistant to disease.
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Iodine can also be effectively used by summer residents to combat insect pests that threaten plantings.
In particular, the milk-iodine solution helps well against aphids, which quickly spread on fruit and berry crops. To prepare the working mixture, 10 ml of iodine is used – for 10 liters of milk. A similar composition is abundantly sprayed on trees and shrubs when pests are detected.
For ants, irrigation of the soil used by pests for their shelters with iodine dissolved in water in a ratio of 2 ml is effective. preparation for 5 liters of water.
Watering the forming heads of cabbage with a solution of 40 drops of iodine per 10 liters of water will help get rid of the cabbage fly. At the rate of 1 liter for each plant. Such treatment is carried out necessarily after abundant watering of the heads of cabbage and is repeated no earlier than 2-3 weeks. Cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes can be processed in the same way.
As it turns out, with competent and skillful use, iodine can be useful not only for humans, but also for plants, especially those that are sources of nutrition and vitamins in our diet.