Herbicides & Pesticide
In today’s world, Herbicides and Pesticides are being used more and more in ever increasing amounts and for more uses than ever before. That said, Herbicides especially, are showing up in hay, manures (such as cow, horse, sheep, etc.), and compost in more instances than ever before. Unless you first test the hay, manure, or compost before you put it into your gardens or raised beds you are risking the possibility of herbicide contamination, which could persist in some cases for up to 3 years.
Generally, 1 to 2 years except in extreme cases. The best way to test for it is a bio-assay – which is a fancy name for “Grow Test”.
Here’s how – Take one or more tomatoes from seed and plant them in 10 gallon or larger pots with the intent to grow them for 5 to 6 weeks or until they are well over a foot tall. Generally, if a tomato gets 14-16” tall and shows no leaf curling or distorted new growth, then all is well and it’s safe to plan all your stuff.
(Since this process takes 5 to 6 weeks, start early like mid March or sooner!)
The only way to not have to do “Grow Test” is to use certified Organic Compost in your soil or soil mixer. It’s a little more money if you want the peace of mind and it saves you 6 weeks of “Grow Test”. We here at Beaver Lakes Nursery sell our compost after it’s in its second year of composting as most literature says most, if not all, herbicides are destroyed by the composting process after 2 years and also by the action (ingestion) of millions or billions of soil microbes, which literally feed on the compost as well as the herbicide chemical and when the herbicide passes through all these microbes, it is rendered no longer the chemical molecule it once was and the problem is eventually solved – Go microbes!
Moral of the story is, be careful before putting hay, manures and compost into your garden by doing “Grow Test” or by certified organic compost (which we have) into your grow mix.