Don’t Blindly Trust Manure, Hay, or Compost!


Soil Amendment Warning

There’s a huge problem destroying gardens in the US.

For those that aren't familiar with the very high risk associated with putting manure or purchased compost in your gardens, you NEED to read this post. If you read me here or at, you may have heard me tell this story before—but I'm telling it again because it needs to be told. I don't want anyone to make the same mistake I made.

About five years ago, I dropped a load of cow manure onto my property and promptly spread it around many of my fruit trees and berry bushes and through my garden beds. Within a couple of weeks, the plants were twisting into obscene fractals. Eventually, most of them died. It took me a while to figure out what was going on and when I did pin it down, I'd already lost about $1000 worth of plants. Mulberry trees were stunted, blackberries were killed, tomatoes were wrecked... it was a mess.

Danger of Toxic Aminopyralid in Soil Amendments

The culprit was "aminopyralid," a toxin contained in the very popular herbicide Grazon(TM). I've since discovered that Grazon is everywhere in commercial agriculture now—and gardeners are losing their gardens right and left. Grazon is a "selective" herbicide. It kills broad-leafed plants... but it doesn't kill grasses. Hay farmers love it for that reason—but gardeners are paying a steep price.

I was devastated after losing my gardens so I started sharing my story far and wide – including in Mother Earth News. Since I warned gardeners about this persistent herbicide, I've heard many, many stories – and I’ve been sent multiple heart-wrenching pictures of destroyed plants.

5/27/2018 4:39:23 PM

I am still having big issues and it has been 5 years. The manure came from my 2 cows and chickens. I perchase hay straw and feed for the animals from auction in Berks County PA. I have had it this fall I am going to remove 8 inches of soil and replace with new. Screw the chemical farmers who get fat making hay sitting in the air conditioned tractors and never touch a bale. Chemical farming is too good to be true. We will never know the cost of chemical farming it is already too late.

12/19/2017 9:10:54 PM

Here in eastern ont Canada we have a problem with corn growers using atrazine ,so they can grow corn every year,instead of doing companion planting like they used to do.

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