Saturday, August 16

Follow-up Gardeners' World

Following an RHS statement during last night's programme. I think some people may be under the misunderstanding that aminopyralid is washed out of soil within three weeks. Those of who have been affected know that this is not the case.
Just for clarification I'll try and briefly summarise what actually happens. On spraying, the aminopyralid binds to plant matter. This is incorporated into the manure/hay etc. When the manure/compost is mixed into the soil the plant matter gradually decomposes.
During decomposition the aminopyralid is released into the soil. It is then that it affects plants. Once released the aminopyralid breaks down into CO2 and water and it is this process that takes about three weeks.
However, the plant particles break down at different rates. Traces of aminopyralid may be in the soil for up to a year or more due to the rate of decomposition of all plant particles.
We have some tomato plants only now showing signs of distress having been planted in affected soil for months. This means that some aminopyralid is only now being released into the soil in ground that had manure applied in February. (This is really why I have little faith in testing soil samples).
If stored in a heap decomposition is slower as the plant material isn't subjected to soil bacteria and unless the heap is turned it will become anaerobic and no decomposition will take place or it will slow down. I hope I have explained that OK.

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