Author Topic: Hello!  (Read 1280 times)

Penny@Plot 33

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Hello!
« on: July 10, 2019, 16:10:55 »
Hi All  - new member here, and I wasn't sure where to say hello! I'm in my first year as a plot holder, and my no-dig allotment is well under way in sunny (haha, sometimes!) west Wales. I found this forum whilst searching for info about Aminopyralid contamination. I am also a member of a no-dig Facebook group, and a lot of the members there seem to be having trouble again, including myself. Can I ask - the last post I could find on the matter was from 2016 - has anyone here had any issues this year? My problem has been with bags of Erin Farmyard Manure that I put down in my greenhouse, and I think at least one other bag used on the plot for some peas.

Allotments 4 All

Hello!
« on: July 10, 2019, 16:10:55 »

Tee Gee

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 19:54:07 »
Hi Penny

Welcome to A4A

Quote
has anyone here had any issues this year?

I am not sure! but I know there is something wrong with my compost and short of having it tested I won't find out if it is affected with this dreaded weedkiller!!

I put some well rotted 'horse muck' in the bottom of my rings ( I use the "ring culture" method) and all my plants are stunted, have discoloured leaves and are just pathetic!

I have thought of repotting my plants but by the time I suspected my problem, I thought it might be too late to move them, so I got to thinking at least as they are; I will get a few tomatoes and peppers.

My Cucumbers are the same height as they were when I put them in a couple of months ago and would you believe it? I have three embryo cucumbers on a plant that is less than 12" high!

Half of my 10 tomato plants are only around 2-2 ft high and look terrible!

I gave a couple of spare plants to a neighbour and I potted them up in the same manner and these plants are touching the ceiling of his conservatory so at least I know my plants are not the problem!

So as I say short of having my soil tested I don't know if is affected with Aminopyralid. My muck came from a horse stable so and I guess the owner of the stable has unknowingly purchased treated feed for his horses!

...and as we all know the feed can go in the front end of the animal and come out the back end without affecting the animal but if I put it on my plants I'm in trouble! 

Here is a write-up on the subject from records I made when my plants were affected a few years ago!

http://www.thegardenersalmanac.co.uk/Content/A/Aminopyralid/Aminopyralid.htm





Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 20:01:33 »
Hi T G - thanks for the reply.  I know it's been a tricky growing year, with most things not liking the cold spring, but it does sound like you have got some problems - have you tried the 'bean test'. I emailed Corteva and as suspected, they want a bean test done before considering it could be AP, so going to do that tomorrow.  I think this is going to be a huge issue, my toms are 5ft high and only now showing signs of problems - I'm pretty sure I've put their leaves in my compost bin, and so it goes on into next year...

galina

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 06:22:33 »
Welcome Penny@plot 33  and sorry to read about the manure problem.  And you too TG.  I knew that muck was getting quite risky, but bought branded manure too?  That is very annoying.   We lost our free source of horse manure (you shovel it and you can have it) years ago and the local gentlemen farmers want 1.50 for a bag the size of a wastepaper basket liner. 

So I switched to chicken pellets and Fish Blood and Bone meal.  A friend has contacts to a local microbrewery and gets spent hops from there with great success on his clay soil.  I also use all our cut grass and swept up leaves for mulch and make as much compost as possible.  And I have a good comfrey patch for liquid fertiliser in a large blue butt with a tap, where I also put nettles.  When we had well rotted manure it was good stuff, but there are ways around it.  I use grass mulch over winter which is usually grass and leaves from the last mow of the season on the dug areas.  Many gardeners have good success with green manures that grow over winter and get dug in.  This way the plot gets manured and the precious homemade compost gets all used for the greenhouse.   My comfrey butt is full to the brim at the moment, so the last cut of comfrey went on the greenhouse as mulch too.

Some of my tomatoes are not doing great either this year but I have put this down to gardener neglect, mainly pricking out too late and letting the pots get over crowded.  Others have nice fruit hanging just waiting to ripen. 

Unfortunately I am not aware that any gardener has ever got compensation for crops lost, the purchase price of the branded manure at most.  Maybe you can make a switch away from bought manure as weedkiller contamination is obviously a problem to stay.  But it is rather sad and very unsatisfactory when you cannot trust branded products.  Hope that other crops make up for your losses.   :wave:










Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 07:00:31 »
Hi Galina. As I am no dig, and in my first year (I took over what was essentially a patch of field last September), I don't yet have my own compost, but I am composting as much as I can. Buying is was the only option I had for this year. My concern is that I may well have unknowingly added contaminated plant material into my own bins, so perpetuating the issue.
I'm a member of a group where actually one gardener had all the affected compost removed from her polytunnel, the cost refunded, and the plants replaced, all by the garden centre that sold it.
I know that Dow Corteva are claiming that they are getting very few reports of issues, so the chances are many gardeners are assuming issues are just bad weather, or pests or something other than this stuff, but I'm pretty sure that this is becoming a huge issue again.

Beersmith

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2019, 08:21:53 »
Are you growing any spuds?

They are very susceptible to Aminopyralid damage too. One possible check therefore is if you applied any manure to your spuds they should be showing problems too. If you did and the spuds are healthy it may be another issue.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Beersmith

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2019, 08:35:57 »
Only just spotted this comment.

my toms are 5ft high and only now showing signs of problems

When did you apply the manure?  If it was applied when the plants were small and Aminopyralid was present I doubt they would have grown to 5 inches!

Not mad, just out to mulch!

Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2019, 08:43:31 »
Hi Beersmith

My tomatoes were planted into the greenhouse at about 12" - and only in the last few weeks shown signs of AP damage. I've got lots of photos, it is 100% AP.  I am surprised they got so high, it's something that is worrying - the delay between planting out and signs of contamination.

My potatoes were all planted out into a bed made using FM I bought in bulk last year from Wickes, I can't recall if it was Westland or Erin, but they are fine and I have a super crop. However, I know that other people have had issues with Westland FM in bags, so it's very random which makes sourcing a big concern - there is no way people can  bioassay every bag of compost they buy.

Tee Gee

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2019, 13:57:54 »
Quote
I may well have unknowingly added contaminated plant material into my own bins,

I read somewhere that turning the compost a few times over a period of time gets rid of the weedkiller.

I don't know how? perhaps it disappears when exposed to the air!

Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2019, 14:25:44 »
From what I have read , it is contact with organisms in the earth that break down the pyralid, which is why Dow's advice is to rotovate regularly over a period of about 6 months to a year. It does not break down in the composting process (someone recently had an issue from a heap she has not touched for many years). As I am 'no-dig', it's nigh-on impossible to follow their advice.

Redalder

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 09:04:13 »
Aminopyralid so that it what is wrong!

I got some horse manure from local Young Farmers who sell it for charity. It was delivered in bags and I spread it on as usual, but the bags must have been from more than one source. One end of the plot is doing splendidly but at the other end the potatoes hardly grew before the leaves browned and died and the broad beans are small stunted plants with no beans. One lot of runners is away while further over small and struggling.  I have broad beans and potatoes in both parts of the plot so it is not the seed that is at fault. Don't think I will take any manure next year.

Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 09:18:06 »
Hi Redalder. sorry to hear you have problems too. It is actually illegal to see on any manure that may have come from animals fed fodder that has been treated, so I would go back to YF and tell them. They absolutely need to know, as they are the so-called 'stewards' of the scheme to keep this stuff out of the compost chain. It's worth doing the bean test too, and then reporting via this website, as Dow (now Corteva) are claiming they get very few reports of issues, so they need to be told.
https://www.manurematters.co.uk/

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 20:16:07 »
Its potentially more available than previously stated because additional agrochems are marketed for a wider range of crops. Originally encountered in hay fed to horses, having been applied to pasture/hayfields to eliminate ragwort and docks,etc the Dow Corteva group also sell a product known as AstroKERB for application to oil seed rape as a herbicide. You will have seen vast fields of the bright yellow rape flowering, at harvest the straw remains and, although the maker of this stuff advise that it 'should not leave the field' (see label link*), it makes useful stock bedding and last summer there was a shortage(literally) of straw from cereals, tempting its baling and sale for that purpose.
This potentially expands our problem, for the purveyor of manure will often not have been the producer of bedding, the merchant involved has no responsibilty to protect us, we have no course of action with the merchant. He cannot know when the crop was treated, or whether correctly sprayed. His contractual liability is to supply wholesome bedding, not to be concerned as to whether we experience 'problems' in utilising a waste product, often supplied 'off the record' so to speak.
The further Safety data sheet available from the link below*, could cause us all to be concerned beyond the loss of treasured toms and beans.
*
https://www.corteva.co.uk/label-finder.html
Search: AstroKerb
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 20:29:09 »
Indeed - there is a whole range of products,  for a number of different applications, every one of them has the potential to get into the compost chain. This despite Dow knowing the damage that this stuff can do.  It's even in Weedol Lawn treatment, and how many gardeners will ensure their lawn clippings do not get into green waste?

Beersmith

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 22:44:51 »
Locally, sources of farmyard manure seem to come with so much debris - bricks, wire, poly rope etc - I have for some years relied heavily on stable manure.  Personally I have not encountered any Aminopyralid problems and observing that reports on this and other blogs had become increasingly rare I had assumed the problem was under control if not completely eliminated.

A couple of years back had some unusual tomato problems but after careful observation concluded it was one of the many virus conditions that tomatoes are prone to, especially as other sensitive plants were growing unaffected.

Cause for real concern if this problem is making a resurgence.  Would you be kind enough to post the results of any assay growing of beans you undertake. Many of us are watching this issue with much concern. Ta.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tee Gee

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2019, 13:42:35 »
Quote
I found this forum whilst searching for info about Aminopyralid contamination.

I did think of opening another thread for this reply rather than hijack Penny's Hello title but as much has been said about the subject of Aminopyralid I thought I would take a few photos so you can see how it is devasting my crops!

I thought I would start off with a look in my greenhouse which is not a very pretty sight as I will explain later!

These plants were planted out on the 8th May which is roughly 9 weeks ago! Normally I would have expected all of the plants to have developed to around twice their current size  :crybaby2: :dontknow:



Tomatoes:

I have two plants that have developed like this one, the plants further back are in a slightly better condition. The two plants at the front are planted out in a different compost mix i.e. One with a drop of horse muck in the bottom and compost above. The other has no horse muck in it!



Peppers:

Initially, all my plants developed bi-coloured blistered leaves like the lower one on this plant so I replanted half of my plants as shown here where I used a different compost mix ( no horse muck) As you can see the colour has improved but they are still a bit blistered.

I think this is down to too much moisture!

To explain: As a result of the high temperatures last year I found that I couldn't give my plants enough water, so I added the horse muck to store moisture. Then the famous ever-changing British weather changed again this year and now I think I am retaining too much moisture! (can't win can we?) :toothy2:

The other plants  (not re-potted) are improving slightly since I gave them a dose of magnesium( Epsom Salts) as I thought they had developed a magnesium deficiency which is often seen as a yellowing of the leaves!



Cucumber

I just can't explain what is happening here, for example, the plants are still the same height they were when I planted out and yet they are bearing fruit mis-shaped though they are??? :BangHead:



French Climbing Beans-Cobra
 (see 1st pic)
The ones you see here are a 'second batch in a different compost mix! ......the first batch just did not develop  :sad7:

My new Allotment!



As I mentioned months ago when I gave up my allotments I planned on developing my herbaceous border into a more 'edible' herbaceous border this is it.

From the Back:

Back Row; Brussel Sprouts - Monkshood - Apple Tree

next row:

Gladioli in clumps of 3

next row; A long row of Beetroot and carrots planted alternately. Eventually, I hope to have a Purple and ferny green row of plants that are both decorative and edible!

next row:

Alternate  planting of Alstroemeria and Sedum spectibile

next row:

A row of lettuce with a pinch of Radish between each plant (not germinated yet)

front row

Underneath this row is a spring bulb border which I do not want to disturb so I have sunk temporary pots into the soil to act as plant pot holders. I place tender potted plants in these where later I can take them into the greenhouse in the winter without having to dig them up!

The plants you see at the front are Gazania which has followed on from my potted Strawberry plants.

The Strawberry trial didn't work as well as I wanted so it will be back to the drawing board for next year!

Elsewhere in the garden I have containerised Leeks & Onions on the go and these appear to be doing quite well!

Conclusion: At least I have a life after thirty years of allotmenteering, pity it is being fraught with this Aminopyralid issue!




Beersmith

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2019, 18:47:54 »
Ancells,

Very informative post. Most interesting. Thanks for posting.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

Tee Gee

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2019, 20:35:52 »
Quote
Would you be kind enough to post the results of any assay growing of beans you undertake

I would if I could but it is something I am never did simply because I never felt that I needed to

I find nowadays what with all the  so called  advancement  in growing techniques and plant growing materials and tools such tasks are becoming more common. It's getting a bit like try before you buy with some stuff as in this case. It i

It is a sad state of affairs when the chemical industry can make a product that is suitable for its initial purpose but no thought is given to what might be termed "after effects"

Compost is another product that is creating after affects; I have also found that some of the mixes we get today may be a more 'environmentally friendly' to use and produce but they often not fit for purpose and if ' aminopyralid has got into the eco friendly materials we use then god help us!

I am also finding that keeping compost at a consistent moisture content  is becoming difficult due to ( in my opinion), the bulking agent that is in them relative to peat that was in them during most of my growing career!

Generally I find that some composts can get quite sodden at one end of the spectrum and difficult to wet when dry, at the other, so I am finding watering regimes have  to be thought out a bit more, particularly with plants that need more moisture than others.

I think it is not enough now to say water once a day or every couple of days or something like that!

Here is a  personal example; the other day I took delivery of some mail order plants(shrubs) and when I removed them from the pots the rootball was just a ball of mud. I guess the packer at the suppliers had given them a good soaking without checking if the plants needed it in the first place! Based on the old adage of" more plants are killed off from over- watering rather than under-watering"  you would have thought the task of watering would be given to an experienced person but from what I have seen at nurseries and garden centres a young person is often let loose with a hose and virtually drowns them.

With all the recent changes that have been made to compost ingredients, and imported bugs and diseases I am finding that more care than ever is needed with all aspects of gardening

Could this be a reason for less younger people taking up gardening / allotmenteering?

So many times have I seen a young person come on to the plots and to give credit where credit is due they work their socks off thinking they have cracked it then they find out about some of the things I have mentioned above., and they are off!

Sad isn't it?

Well I will close with an apology for going on so much but in many ways I miss my natters  on the plots and. I just felt like one so I thought I would bend your ears. :icon_cheers:



Penny@Plot 33

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2019, 21:13:18 »
It's all very worrying, as a new plot holder, reliant at the moment for bought-in compost (but trying to make as much as my own as I can) it's something that I wasn't anticipating.  Having it in my greenhouse at home, and on the plot, it's really not an ideal start.





galina

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Re: Hello!
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2019, 07:41:50 »
It's all very worrying, as a new plot holder, reliant at the moment for bought-in compost (but trying to make as much as my own as I can) it's something that I wasn't anticipating.  Having it in my greenhouse at home, and on the plot, it's really not an ideal start.


No it definitely is not a good start and through no fault of your own.   There is a lady in this group who reported (from memory) that after 3 years the effects of it seemed to finally go away.  I hope she will drop by and give you her take on it. 

Seems a shame having to rely on crops that are less susceptible to aminopyralid.  Hope it breaks down by next season and, or even better, you get somewhere with the manufacturer or retailer.   :wave:

 

anything