It’s been a week of discovery and disappointment here at the Pingle. Some of our crops have been looking a bit sad over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been blaming the weather like most English folk do, but as the summer has flourished it’s become more apparent to us that something else is wrong. Our peas and beans are struggling and (the harder one to swallow) are the tomatoes, they’re looking like they want to be ferns! This was the key indicator that something in particular has been hindering progress. All signs are pointing to the herbicides known as Clopyralid, Aminopyralid and Picloram. Now you know we don’t use them so it’s coming from elsewhere, we’re fairly certain it’s the muck we have been using as mulch. The more we read about it, the more we understand how big a problem this is becoming. The above mentioned chemicals have various different guises from the agro-stores and are used as broad leaf herbicides on grazing land, leaving the grass free to be eaten by stock. Sadly, the chemicals are passed throng the animal into the manure where it lays intact and, when certain veg crops are exposed to it, it kills them off…arse!
We’re going all out to remove the muck from the beds and replace it with a more reliable source of compost (even some Pingle homegrown compost!), if you can all cross your fingers for us we are hoping that crop damage and loss can be kept to a minimum. It does, however, mean that you will have to hold out for more of the exciting summer crops!
For those of you who do grow, be careful with the muck / mulch / compost that you choose to use on your veg. The RHS have an article all about this https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=477 for those keen to read more about the issue.
Just to add insult to injury, it seems our Damson tree has fallen fate to Pocket Plumb which is a fungal disease, not sure what we can do about this.