Why you should choose organic compost


When you buy a bag of compost you assume it will be full of goodness for your plants, yet this isn’t always the case. There are still many reports coming through from home growers suggesting that the weedkiller, Aminopyralid, has been present in bags of compost (from a whole range of well known brands) that they have purchased.

It is more commonly found in horse manure, as the horses eat grass that has been sprayed, but reports have been coming out recently regarding the presence of the weedkiller in shop-bought compost. Unfortunately, there is apparently “not enough evidence” of a problem for the brands in question to take action and address the problem. We’ve been following a few forums and Facebook pages where we see plenty of evidence that there has been a problem, so it is frustrating a) that this weedkiller is being used at all and b) that nothing is being done about it.

Even a small amount of aminopyralid will cause more tender veg crops like beans to grow poorly, or to be stunted. Some common symptoms include:

  • Crops grow well initially, but then leaves curl inwards and become deformed
  • New leaves at the plant tips are stunted
  • Yellowing leaves

Plants that are more easily affected include:

  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Squash & Courgette
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Lettuces

There’s a good video by Charles Dowding, the No-Dig expert, on YouTube which will explain it in more detail if you want to find out more.

If you are buying in compost, the only real way to be confident tat your garden won’t be affected is to choose organic and that is what we would recommend if you are worried. Better still, use your own homemade compost if you can!