I was complaining in an earlier post…. and quite perplexed I might add…about how leaf curl had just about annihilated my spring crop of tomatoes and some other foreign reason my sugar peas pooped out just while getting growing. I’ve never had snow pea problems.
Because I had more than the usual issues with my garden this spring, I was reminded of a few articles I read several years ago regarding killer compost!
When needed, I usually bring in additional soil to supplement my own compost. I prepped the North Garden beds with my fertilizer mix but I needed to add compost to 3 of the 5 beds. This meant that I had to bring in soil/compost from a local supplier. Because I was lazy and in a hurry this season I went to the big box store close by. I wanted an organic peat free compost. Hard to find!
In one bed as I watched my tomatoes take to aggressive wilted leaf curl for the first time, I assumed it was due to the weather and watering issues. In another bed my snow peas halted, curled, and began to turn yellow and dry up not long after they were producing their first flowers and a couple handfuls of mature peas. The cucumbers were also struggling to produce fruit and the beets planted in the same bed also grew poorly. These veggies were all planted in one of the 3 beds that I had added store bought compost to. There were no signs of bug infestation or other common bacterial diseases . In contemplation I remembered….killer compost?
In the news back in 2009, controversy over herbicide residues found in our compost was a startling eye opener if you happened to stumble upon any such articles. If not; this article posted on the”Mother Earth News” blog site may heighten your awareness.
It’s now 2013 and this startling bit of information has still had a hard time gaining legs as a national concern. Fortunately I have had no major issues in my garden since it’s conception and I’ve been doing well with adding my own compost to the beds so the “killer compost” warning had escaped me until the unusual predicament of my spring garden this year..
If you inadvertently apply aminopyralid-laced manure compost to your garden, you may suffer the crop-killing consequences for three or more years.
Gardeners and consumers alike seem to have been preoccupied with the whole GMO vs. non-GMO vs. Organic movement that we home gardeners may have been sleeping on the job and we may now be helpless in this back door……or should I say truck bed…. invasion of some killer compost!
It’s not just pesticide laden or genetically modified strains of produce that is knocking on our doors…… we have killer compost that may be silently and unassumingly hitch-hiking into our very own gardens! Yep! Watch out for those loads of composted manure you have trucked in from your supplier, or bags of compost that are piled high at the local big box store! What about community compost bins that offer free compost for the home gardeners? The word “Organic” on the bag or stated at your local community garden may not even protect your confidence.
Now I’m not positive that “killer compost” is the dilemma in my garden this season but I will keep a look out for similar plant destruction and failures in my North Garden beds. I will also be acutely aware of checking out the suppliers of any more compost before I choose to bring it onto my property.
In case you have had unusual garden issues and are suspecting other than weather, watering and pest invasions for curious behavior among your garden fare, you can find some great articles regarding “killer compost” on the following sites. Please find the time to click on “Mother Earth News” and the “Rachael Carson Council” as these articles best update and describe this very serious issue! Harvests are being compromised……which also includes the viable seeds we count on! Our nations commercial organic farmers and many backyard gardeners are experiencing dreadful ruination of their crops.
You may also like to read what some small farmers and backyard gardeners here in the USA are experiencing!
And if you wish to go global……check out Dr. Vandana Shiva’s blog and read about big corporate owning our seed! Or if you are into the GMO controversies read an exhaustively emotional read on the calling out of the Anti-GMO Connspiracy Theory by Mark Lynas; be sure to read the comments too!