compost - Knowledgebase Question

Pittsford, Ne
Question by southbristol
March 12, 2009
Our village composts lawn clippings, leaves, etc. I would like to use the compost for a vegetable garden. Is it safe, or will the compost have chemicals in it from the lawn clippings? Thanks, Kathy


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Answer from NGA
March 12, 2009

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I wouldn't be comfortable using treated clippings. I'm not sure what types of chemicals they apply--but they may not be labeled as safe for food crops, and that could be where they end up. (Some chemicals take a very long time to break down.) Also, they may contain herbicides that could damage your plants--lawn "weed and feed" products can contain herbicides effective against broad-leaf weeds , but they don't affect grass so they're not a problem used on the lawn. Unfortunately, your vegetable garden is full of "broad-leaf" plants! I think the compost would be fine to use for ornamental plants but I think I would use organic compost or aged manure on a vegetable garden. Good luck with your garden!

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