Author Topic: Dodgy compost  (Read 1196 times)

owtfornowt

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Dodgy compost
« on: July 19, 2019, 13:05:10 »
Hi everyone, Iím back after a long absence of illness. Does anyone have problems with their tomatoes growing like ferns Iíve heard it could be herbicide in the compost if so would it be best to throw them out or are they safe to eat.
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Dodgy compost
« on: July 19, 2019, 13:05:10 »

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2019, 14:57:01 »
Who should we ALL complain to?  locally, across the country, in fact everywhere I have been reading forums/blogs etc about dodgy compost and tomatoes. It looks like the fly boys have found another money spinner with the interest in grow your own food. Cheap shite from the tip bagged up as compost sold to the unwitting public at extortionate rates. It was my understanding that council compost had to pass a certain standard to be labelled compost, otherwise it was just soil conditioner. The compost bagging plant which bags this stuff up under different brand names must have been hoodwinked by fake certificates etc. Ripoff Britain again.   PS looks like it is the Environment Agency to complain to but if you have time read this, seems it is voluntary. Be charged for dumping waste, But free if it is compost.  http://www.qualitycompost.org.uk/upload/cqp_2012.pdf
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 15:07:50 by ACE »

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 15:20:45 »
I have sent an email to the DoE. I urge everybody to do the same and let them know we are on to them. Next stop my MP.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 17:51:55 »
If you have a documentary evidence trail, ie the packaging bag, proof that the compost contained the (alleged) substance, such as a part used bag and preferably an unopened bag with the same batch code, and a receipt for the purchase, then the Trading Standards dept of your local authority (County council) should be willing and able to investigate, as the product is not of 'Merchantable quality' nor 'Fit for purpose'. Due to the nature of the marketplace, this tends to grow support within Trading Standards as there are only a few major producers who cover most of the marketplace.
 Now if you can find a group of similarly affected souls, perhaps Allotment users with the same source, then it would also be substantial to urge the enquiry with the threat of , and actioned ,publicity.
Isolated complaints, which might reasonably be discounted because, for example, the user mixed product A with something else, or where the compost had since been watered from a dubious tank, or with a can, sometime used before, will generally not be pursued.
Please also allow for the fact that the source of contamination might be in the plant supply chain, from agricultural or other spray users, and ,even, from the water mains supply.
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Beersmith

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2019, 19:32:41 »
Have a very close look at the growth and take photographs.  Look on line for images of plants being damaged by Aminopyralid. 

This herbicide caused untold trouble several years ago when it got into compost in many parts of the country mainly through stable bedding that got mixed up with horse manure.

It is back being used in a product called astroKERB for use on oilseed rape. The manufacturer recommends care not to use rape straw as bedding but inevitably it will happen as it is available and cheap.

If you think Aminopyralid is the cause contact DOW chemicals and report your concerns.
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Beersmith

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2019, 19:34:24 »
Have a very close look at the growth and take photographs.  Look on line for images of plants being damaged by Aminopyralid. 

This herbicide caused untold trouble several years ago when it got into compost in many parts of the country mainly through stable bedding that got mixed up with horse manure.

It is back being used in a product called astroKERB for use on oilseed rape. The manufacturer recommends care not to use rape straw as bedding but inevitably it will happen as it is available and cheap.

If you think Aminopyralid is the cause contact DOW chemicals and report your concerns.
Not mad, just out to mulch!

owtfornowt

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2019, 20:20:19 »
Thank you all for those well informed responses I have sent an email to my MP. Iím now going to contact DOW chemicals to see what effect it could have on the eating quality of the tomatoes and other veg infected with this compost. Would it be incriminating to mention the large diy store and the 125 litre bales of compost involved. Once again thanks for the response.
My allotment my rules. If you donít like it go away in short sharp jerky movements.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2019, 17:50:32 »
Thank you all for those well informed responses I have sent an email to my MP. Iím now going to contact DOW chemicals to see what effect it could have on the eating quality of the tomatoes and other veg infected with this compost. Would it be incriminating to mention the large diy store and the 125 litre bales of compost involved. Once again thanks for the response.
Definitely send a complaint to the Chief Executive of the retailer who supplied you, copy to the Store Manager. See the post earlier for other agencies, copies to all. No doubt we all would be interested in the outcome.Suggest any other affected members PM you, compare notes etc. Its the industry who need to clean up their act, them knowing that 'thousands' of consumers have had problems , are intercommunicating and are most likely to not purchase the product(s) should concentrate minds.
Freelance cultivator qualified within the University of Life.

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2019, 07:58:42 »

Definitely send a complaint to the Chief Executive of the retailer who supplied you,

All you will get is the stock answer to any complaint now 'We sell X amount every year and most of our customers are satisfied'   MP's are the way to go and the DoE. Like you say if there is enough of us somebody is going to take notice and see there is something wrong. I don't know if this stuff is used enough commercially in growing the nations crops, we will need every spud and tomato we can get if Boris has his way.

Beersmith

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2019, 18:19:06 »

Definitely send a complaint to the Chief Executive of the retailer who supplied you,

All you will get is the stock answer to any complaint now 'We sell X amount every year and most of our customers are satisfied'   MP's are the way to go and the DoE. Like you say if there is enough of us somebody is going to take notice and see there is something wrong. I don't know if this stuff is used enough commercially in growing the nations crops, we will need every spud and tomato we can get if Boris has his way.

Very similar herbicides to Aminopyralid are commonly found in lawn treatments.  Most often clopyralid.  So it is being sprinkled with gay abandon on lawns all over country.Now what does any environmentally responsible gardener do after cutting his lawn? Yes of course, he puts the grass cuttings into his green waste recycling bin. It seems the correct thing to do.  Off it goes to the local government composting plant where it gets into the composting cycle. And over time it will degrade and eventually become harmless. But all the evidence points to the breakdown taking a long long time.  Ample time it seems to end up in commercial products and ruining your tomatoes. 
Not mad, just out to mulch!

owtfornowt

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2019, 20:09:45 »
Well itís done with now I wasnít taking the risk and eating any I destroyed them all this morning. Once again thanks for all the replies.
My allotment my rules. If you donít like it go away in short sharp jerky movements.

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2019, 07:27:00 »
Just on the off chance I have informed BBC Watchdog that it might be something they would look into. If a few others want to chip in it might bring something to light.

gwynleg

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2019, 10:12:02 »
Good thinking Ace. I also go on to the Charles Downing Ďno digí forum and he is trying to get everyone to complain and said that Sarah Raven has also been affected. If Ďbig namesí also make a fuss maybe something will happen

Tee Gee

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2019, 16:16:18 »
I agree with most of what has been said above but sadly, in this case, I see no point of me following the good advice from above, for the simple reason, I can't prove if my problems are coming from either the compost (Clover) or the layer of stable manure I placed in the bottom of my growing rings! In fact, having read the above it could potentially be both!

I am not surprised that this has happened for example; when I started growing I was always told " never put diseased or suspect materials in your compost heap"! Always take them to the tip"  which I did and still generally do!

Nowadays I see the council tip as a giant compost heap full of "dodgy materials" that are being 'recycled' to save the council (and others)money.


Regarding my stable manure, I don't particularly blame the stable owners as they are potentially buying in 'silage & bedding' not knowing if it is contaminated or not!

The farmers (as I understand it) are supposed to use treated materials only on their own land, and if they should sell it on they should advise the buyer buying these materials, that the products they are buying have been treated with weedkiller!


I have asked the stable owner where we get our horse muck from if he has been advised and he hasn't. In fact, he was not even aware of the 'aminopyralid' situation in the first place!

Been an interesting thread this! :thumbsup:


ps. Glad to be back I have been without an internet connection for the last  6 days so have been unable to put in my 'tuppence ha'porth'

Been in touch with my 'Internet Provider' to see how I will be reimbursed for this inconvenience and they offered me £2.

Saw no point in getting at the 'call-centre' girl so it looks like I am going to have to have a go at some more 'money-grabbers' :BangHead:









George the Pigman

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2019, 10:25:51 »
I had a similar problem a few years back with my tomatoes and was sure it was due to a couple of bags of compost bought from one of the major national garden chains. It was their own brand of compost and it looked exactly like aminopyralid damage.
The trouble is one is never sure what goes into compost nowadays. There is so much recycled material added now - which is fine provided it is properly sourced to ensure it is aminopyralid free and sieved to remove rubbish (I have found an amazing array of bits in some compost!). I suspect many places selling it go for the cheapest wholesale price.
As a result I only use brands I trust whatever the price.

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2019, 11:55:11 »
We was having a discussion in the pub yesterday, the subject came around to my allotment (in the hope of shifting some courgettes :drunken_smilie:)  I was talking about the crap compost that was about and a holiday maker  came over and told us he works a shredder on a tip. Don't put it on your garden he said, they have heaps of the stuff that is barren and weed free where he works, nothing will grow in it. Somebody carts it all away every year and he thinks it goes into making compost. He also said that when a ship lost its cargo of treated timber it was all brought to the tip for shredding and added to the pile. (apart from his new lean to). It seems to me that what started out as a good idea in recycling and getting us peat free has all gone drastically  wrong and we have got the shite end of the stick.

pumpkinlover

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2019, 07:41:58 »
I am making all my own compost now. I used to sell the Petersfield peat free compost and other good quality composts from the container on the site.
So to avoid buying rubbish in yet more plastic bags this year I have made my own.



BarriedaleNick

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2019, 07:58:51 »
How do you make enough!
I don't have an issue with shop bought compost (yet!) but this year I bought in 7 x 120lt bags of J Arthur Bowers Multi-Purpose - mainly because someone posted here that it was going for a fiver each.
I also had a full compost bin, bought a load of coir and a couple of other smaller bags earlier in the season.

So maybe I used 1000lt of compost this year and I have just run out.  How can you make enough?

ACE

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2019, 08:39:47 »
From weeds and veg peelings and all the  cabbage stalks, bean vines etc I have two heaps both about 4 cubic metres. I use one of these a year while the other is working  it's magic. I reckon with half a dozen bags of loam and sharp sand I shall have enough of the bulky stuff. The usual hoof and horn, lime and bone meal should make it grow stuff. I know it is extra work but a morning on my big riddle gives me enough for a few weeks.  Price? I don't really know but I do know where it came from. A few years ago I used to get soil conditioner from the tip at £12 a ton and it worked as a mulch and broke up the clay when dug in later. That was when it was composted proper at the tip. Not now though.

Borderers1951

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Re: Dodgy compost
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2019, 10:15:21 »
"...we have got the shite end of the stick."  That was literally true of some I bought a few years back.  When the Focus DIY chain closed down I bought several bags of their compost cheaply.  When opened, all the bags stank strongly of something that a dog had  recently got rid of.  Never again!  Now I am lucky enough to have access to large quantities of cow manure, some goes into my compost heaps and the rest is dug into my veg beds.  The compost heaps give me all the compost I need for all purposes.

 

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