Thursday, August 28

Contaminated manure on our plot six months since application

It is now ten months since we had our manure delivered and six months since the manure was spread on our plot.
  • The potatoes that were affected badly by the contamination managed to grow through the problem and have a reasonable crop. Do we really want to eat them though? We have plenty more potatoes growing in beds that did not have manure applied so we are unlikely to need to eat the affected potatoes. However safe they are to eat the fact remains that herbicide residue is likely to have been absorbed into the tubers and one of the real advantages of growing your own is that you can avoid consuming unnecessary chemicals. They were planted as a soil improver anyway and in many ways we didn't expect much from them. So we have been lucky.

  • The affected runner beans never really grew properly and the one or two beans that actually developed are bent and twisted.

  • We planted some sweet peas in an area that had been manured and another area that hadn't. Initially both sets of sweet peas were equally good having lots of flowers with long stems and a wide colour range. After a month or so of growth the difference between the two is now significant. The lot planted in unmanured soil are continuing to produce good flowers. Those in the manured ground have small, short stemed flowers that all seem to have reverted to one colour. Each stem has two flags at the most.

  • About a couple of months ago we planted some tomato plants in both the manured and unmanured areas. all initially grew very well and produced fruit. About three weeks ago the ones in the manured area suddenly developed the ferny distortions and are obviously being damage by release of the herbicide.

  • We also sowed some pea seeds in the manured area. Two rows were planted about a 45 centimetres apart. One row is growing well and has developed peas. The other row is patchy with some of the plants being stunted and displaying cupped leaves. Few peas have set.

  • Clumps of dried manure seem to keep being washed to the surface of the manured plots so obviously the stuff has not fully decomposed and our problems are likely to continue. It is of concern that, maybe due to the poor summer, decomposition may be slow and therefore, could the contamination persist into next season?

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