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Contaminated compost

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Contaminated compost

Post  Jola on 5/17/2010, 6:48 pm

While looking at the link about something else, I discovered an article which exactly confirms what I thought happened to my raised box last year. For those who have stunted plants growth or difficulty growing plants, please read what I wrote on May 2 in the topic "my new SFG is dyeing" (copied below), and then go to the side http://organicgardening.about.com/ and read an article "Contaminated Compost" from May 16 (you need to scroll down a bit).

Dangerous compost
Jola on Sun May 02, 2010 1:14 pm

I have been using store bought compost for years without any problems. Last year was different. Last year I built three boxes for raised bed gardening (they will be SFG this year). I was able to fill two of them with my own compost, and some of store bought compost (among other ingredients). For third one I had to use only store bought 1 bag of compost. I used a little bit of compost from the same bag for my deck box. I sowed radishes etc., and planted marigolds in third box. Marigolds in other boxes flourished as did other plants, in 3rd one marigolds were dying. After waiting for 3 week for radishes and other seeds to sprout (!) I knew I would never get any plants. At the same time I noticed that grass around 3rd box is dying as if someone treated it with herbicide. Plants in a deck box (just a bit of compost) were struggling. Marigolds in 3rd box eventually died, and nothing sprouted.
What I concluded was that some unscrupulous compost supplier used herbicide on some part of his compost were plants were growing in it, and packed it for distribution. I flushed that box with water for some time which caused more grass to die, but eventually after a month, I planted other veggies there and they were fine. I do not have any other explanation for that strange effect of dead marigolds, seeds not sprouting, and grass dead around one box only. Now I'm really reluctant to buy compost.


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Re: Contaminated compost

Post  Retired Member 1 on 5/17/2010, 10:12 pm

Good and informative article. Scary though. I really liked the "test" they suggest using to see if the compost is contaminated or not.

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