Gardening poisonings-1st July 2022

Do you ever feel that sort of rage, the sort that makes you want to go out and get a megaphone and go up and down the street shouting about what has made you so very angry?

I am in this space today.

The picture above shows one of the tomato plants in my green house. I have given it a white background so you can see it more clearly. Here is a photo of the same plant so you can see that it started growing okay. Just look at those leaves in the upper right of the photo!

I am growing my tomatoes, as I have done for years now, in buckets of tomato compost from a grow bag. I never feel that grow bags, even “giant” ones, have quite enough room for the roots. This is a well-known product purchased from my local gardening centre- “Giant” red tomato grow bag, starts with TOMO….worst stuff I have ever seen. I also used some of it to plant tomatoes in the garden in “crowns”- the green plastic things that people use in growbags. Here is a picture of one of those…

Leaves curling up, yellow and dying leaves and refusing to grow at all now that it is this big. It is well watered, but not over-watered, I assure you.

These are all classic signs of poisoning with a herbicide called Aminopryalid. It has other names as well. This is not something I have sprayed in my garden. It is far more Frankenstein’s tale than that. This is a substance that has been around for a good few years now and I am going to let the No-Dig Guru, Charles Dowding, tell you about it himself.

I find it utterly heart-breaking that this is not a freak of nature. This is not one of Nature’s accidents. WE, mankind, have created this stuff to “solve” a problem and now it is backfiring on us. And it is very difficult to get it to go away…there is no easy “away”. While it is not a forever chemical in the way that dioxins can be, it does take direct contact with the soil over a good few years to render it less toxic. Who has space in their garden for that?

The irony is that it WAS outlawed in the UK for a time when it was realized how dangerous it could be to certain groups of plants. Charles explains all about those in the video. Vested interests lobbied MPs to have it back again and here we are now- slowly poisoning our gardens up and down the land in near blissful ignorance.

Well, I want to help be a slayer of ignorance. If you are a gardener (and it affects certain flower species as well, not just vegetables) watch the video. Tell your friends. Spread the word. Demand change. This is happening worldwide. Thank you Dow Chemicals.

If you want to test the stuff you have now (and I didn’t this time, dammit!!!) you can plant a bean in a pot of the stuff you want to find out about. Broad beans are particularly sensitive. When it comes up you will need to wait until it has a good few sets of leaves to know if the compost is compromised as the first growth can be fine. I KNOW! Who wants to spend that sort of time in a gardening season doing a stupid test for something that shouldn’t be there in the first place?!?

That’s where we are, folks!

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