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Bioxx 5000 – Growing Media & Soil Disinfection

Today’s Farmers can grow their crops in soil, in hydroponics with the roots in specialized inert growing media, or in aeroponics where the roots hang suspended in the air and are planted in open fields, greenhouses or even in vertical and roof farms. Each method has its own challenges in fertilization and pathogen buildup but in all cases, water remains a constant for both application of crop nutrients and spread of disease pathogen.

In our previous Newsletter we discussed the role of Huwa-San as a key tool to water and plant surface disinfection. It however breaks down quickly when in contact with the soil and with organic matter. So how do we sort out issues that are already in the soil, or are already in the hydroponic growing materials that include pumice, coco-peat, sand, perlite or specialized organic matter grow bags? Is it possible to re-use these growing media after a previous crop harvest? What will be the farm saving on being able to reuse such materials?

Understandable concerns include carryover and spread of soil borne diseases such as Fusarium, Pythium and Rhizoctonia species, root rots including Phytophthora , vascular wilts caused by fungi such as Verticillium and bacterial diseases, the worst being Agrobacterium and Erwinia. So most farms will throw away old growing media, precaution rather than risk on such high value crops.

The changing world however demands sustainability and in the sustainable re-use of growing medium the answer to is BIOXX 5000.

Bioxx 5000 is a concentrated, stabilized chlorine dioxide formulation that has successfully been used by several flower and vegetable farms in Kenya to clean and disinfect pre-plant growing media and soil. The secret is in the formulation stability of the chlorine dioxide that remains a ‘true gas in solution’. Bioxx does not hydrolyse when placed in solution and retains its powerful oxidative and biocidal properties (a straight redox reaction) throughout the entire 2-10 pH range.

In contrast, chlorine (oxidizes by chlorination, by which a chlorine atom is added to a substance) is an acid gas that dissociates to form hypochlorous acid and hydrochloric acid when placed in water. These two chlorine species are both more corrosive and less effective as biocides than the original chlorine gas. Hypochlorous acid is the primary biocide in solution, which dissociates to form hypochlorite ion with increasing pH. Hypochlorite ion is only from 1/20 to 1/300 as effective in controlling microbes as hypochlorous acid. In a nut-shell chlorine is highly pH sensitive, only effective at pH 6.8- 7.2, being the Hypochlorous acid production range.

Overall, Bioxx 5000 is up to 20x more effective as a biocide than Chlorine

So how do we make it work in soils?

Key is to drench the soil or substrate with a diluted solution of activated Bioxx 5000, getting it as far down the soil profile as necessary. As the solution dries the chlorine dioxide gasses off, moving back up to the surface, oxidizing pathogens and disease organisms (including nematodes) as it rises.  Common application rates are 50 litres Bioxx 5000 in 10,000 litres of water, applied to 2,000 sq.m of soil over a 6 to 8 minute time span.

For more information, Contact Jack Masawa on +254722975435 or email jack.masawa@lachlanafrica.com

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