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Hello Guest!
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Contaminated Compost Test

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jimmy cee
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Post  OhioGardener 2021-06-12, 11:01

After some friends had some bad luck with their new gardens, I decided to do a test of the bagged compost to see if it had become contaminated with an herbicide. I got a small amount of their compost and used it to plant 6 cucumber seeds, and 6 Tithonia seeds. I put two seeds of each in each pot. Of the 12 cucumber seeds planted, 8 germinated, and of the 12 Tithonia seeds planted, 1 germinated. Of the 8 cucumber seedlings, one is looking "healthy", and the rest are very stunted and turning yellow. The one Tithonia is very stunted. It has been 10 days since the seeds germinated, and they have not progressed beyond the initial leaves.  The condition of these seedlings are showing the symptoms reportedly caused by compost contamination with broadleaf herbicide. The bagged compost was labeled as "Compost with Cow Manure", indicating that the cows probably had eaten grass sprayed with herbicide.
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Post  donnainzone5 2021-06-12, 12:22

Perhaps that's what happened to my peas this year.  I'll have to see if other crops are affected.

However, a fellow gardener told me it might have been bird damage.
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Post  jimmy cee 2021-06-12, 19:38

OhioGardener wrote:After some friends had some bad luck with their new gardens, I decided to do a test of the bagged compost to see if it had become contaminated with an herbicide. I got a small amount of their compost and used it to plant 6 cucumber seeds, and 6 Tithonia seeds. I put two seeds of each in each pot. Of the 12 cucumber seeds planted, 8 germinated, and of the 12 Tithonia seeds planted, 1 germinated. Of the 8 cucumber seedlings, one is looking "healthy", and the rest are very stunted and turning yellow. The one Tithonia is very stunted. It has been 10 days since the seeds germinated, and they have not progressed beyond the initial leaves.  The condition of these seedlings are showing the symptoms reportedly caused by compost contamination with broadleaf herbicide. The bagged compost was labeled as "Compost with Cow Manure", indicating that the cows probably had eaten grass sprayed with herbicide.
Did you ever open a can of beans that indicates it has pork in it ?
Search diligently and you just might find a piece of bacon rind..
Thats probably like the cow manure in commercial compost.
Commercial compost is usually a by product of some companies waste. There are two I use, however I am not going to recommend them....Chicitty doo doo and Black Cow. I use these from time to time only when making my Mels Mix.
During growing season I add a small amount of Fish emulsion..At very low dilution rates I do recommend this...

Contaminated Compost Test 219607Contaminated Compost Test 72a46dee-89b5-44d9-bc68-8c5882e4f565_1.b6f9ee1d3285426b68355acec96e14c9


Last edited by jimmy cee on 2021-06-12, 19:43; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add photo)
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Post  sanderson 2021-06-12, 22:55

OG, Excellent test. I'd say the results speak volumes.

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Post  ralitaco 2021-06-13, 07:40

Wow!!! That is a very good test.
I am guessing that "Broadleaf" herbicides are meant to target and kill anything other than grass, is that correct?



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Post  OhioGardener 2021-06-13, 08:57

ralitaco wrote:Wow!!! That is a very good test.
I am guessing that "Broadleaf" herbicides are meant to target and kill anything other than grass, is that correct?

Yes, that is correct. The way they get into compost is that they are sprayed on cattle/horse pastures to kill the broadleaf plants, and ensure they good high quality grass.  The cows/horses then eat the grass and digest it, but the broadleaf herbicide passes through their system to the poop. Composting companies buy that manure from dairy farmers to compost and sell. It is often sold as "organic compost", which it is not.

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Post  ralitaco 2021-06-13, 12:20

Well wood chips are organic and they sure use a lot of those!
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Post  Yardslave 2021-06-14, 08:37

I've had a similar experience with our landfill's compost that killed every single plant I had. The next spring it was still active. I had to inoculate the bed with mycelium, pile lots of mulch on top and leave it fallow for the year. Be weary of cow manure, as most of it has rocks and feed lot soil that is bagged up in bulk and needs screening. I also have to warn those of you who use horse manure; be sure to ask if the horses have recently been de-wormed because that manure retains the de-worming agent in it and has the ability to de-worm your compost, your beds or your worm bin.
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Post  MrBooker 2021-06-14, 14:32

jimmy cee wrote:
OhioGardener wrote:After some friends had some bad luck with their new gardens, I decided to do a test of the bagged compost to see if it had become contaminated with an herbicide. I got a small amount of their compost and used it to plant 6 cucumber seeds, and 6 Tithonia seeds. I put two seeds of each in each pot. Of the 12 cucumber seeds planted, 8 germinated, and of the 12 Tithonia seeds planted, 1 germinated. Of the 8 cucumber seedlings, one is looking "healthy", and the rest are very stunted and turning yellow. The one Tithonia is very stunted. It has been 10 days since the seeds germinated, and they have not progressed beyond the initial leaves.  The condition of these seedlings are showing the symptoms reportedly caused by compost contamination with broadleaf herbicide. The bagged compost was labeled as "Compost with Cow Manure", indicating that the cows probably had eaten grass sprayed with herbicide.
Did you ever open a can of beans that indicates it has pork in it ?
Search diligently and you just might find a piece of bacon rind..
Thats probably like the cow manure in commercial compost.
Commercial compost is usually a by product of some companies waste. There are two I use, however I am not going to recommend them....Chicitty doo doo and Black Cow. I use these from time to time only when making my Mels Mix.
During growing season I add a small amount of Fish emulsion..At very low dilution rates I do recommend this...

Contaminated Compost Test 219607Contaminated Compost Test 72a46dee-89b5-44d9-bc68-8c5882e4f565_1.b6f9ee1d3285426b68355acec96e14c9
 IMHO: I think a lot of these COMPOST companies put just enough compost in the bags to call it compost. You can buy a 40 lb bag of composted cow manure that has a 1/2 lb of actual cow manure in it. Heck, I found a 1979 Volkswagen in a bag of compost......   <----   TEASING
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Post  OhioGardener 2021-06-15, 07:20

So true, Mr B!  The one exception I have seen is Black Kow and Black Hen composted manure. It is mostly manure with bedding. The other day I was at Lowe's, and there was a busted open bag of Timberline Cow Manure and Compost sitting in the aisle. I took a closer look at it, and it didn't look any different than a bag of composted wood chips. I am sure it had some manure in there, but it wasn't obvious. But then, it was only $1.98 for a .75 cu ft bag.

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Post  sanderson 2021-06-18, 15:04

MrBooker wrote:. . . Did you ever open a can of beans that indicates it has pork in it ?
Search diligently and you just might find a piece of bacon rind..

That's probably like the cow manure in commercial compost. . . .  IMHO: I think a lot of these COMPOST companies put just enough compost in the bags to call it compost. You can buy a 40 lb bag of composted cow manure that has a 1/2 lb of actual cow manure in it. Heck, I found a 1979 Volkswagen in a bag of compost......   <----   TEASING
rofl

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