Re: [gardeners] soap

Terry King (
Tue, 09 Mar 1999 21:46:58 -0600

On Tue, 9 Mar 1999 10:55:25 -0600, Martha Brown wrote:

>I do not recommend trying to leach your own lye as it is very caustic and
>can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.  Besides the soap 
>a very harsh soap, not what most people would want to use today.

Hi all!  Long time since I've stuck my nose in here.

Just a comment about soap.  Real soap in the garden shouldn't be a problem 
as long as its not so strong it damages the plants.

I make my own soap and have learned that soap made from homemade lye 
was often harsh because the strength of the lye was difficult to control.  
ALL soap is made from some sort of base, like sodium or potassium 
hydroxide, fatty acids and water.  Properly made soap does not contain ANY 
lye as the molecules reform to make a new chemical--soap.

Safer's soaps as best I can tell are soaps that have been made with 
potassium hydroxide (which makes liquid soap, sodium hydroxide makes hard 
soaps) and then concentrated somehow.

I'm still waiting here in the frozen north for the snow to melt.  A couple of 
weeks ago I was sure that spring thaw would be early but it keeps snowing!  
I would guess I won't get out into the garden until early April at this rate.

I've managed to hold off on getting seeds started too early.  I've had a nasty 
case of white flies under my grow lights that I need to figure out how to 
eliminate completely.  I had to get rid of my 2 year old pepper plants 
because of them.  Neither Safers or Concern worked completely, even with 
frequent spraying.

Terry King                  North Central Eastern Washington        USDA zone 4, Sunset Zone 1