Rid O Rust/Vegetable Garden

Asked April 14, 2014, 12:50 PM EDT

When installing our sprinkler system my husband had a rust remover system also added to stop our sidewalks from turning orange. The product is called Rid O Rust 2000 http://www.ridorust.net/. I've been trying to grow my vegetable garden as organically as possible:

Rabbit droppings (pet angora rabbits)
Kitchen & Garden Compost
Cow Manure (local farm)
Chicken compost (local farm)

While I would love to utilize our sprinkler system to water our garden I question this product being sprayed on it. When I called, they said that the product contains: water, citric acid, phosphate, and phosphinate (?). The "phosphinate" is what is in question. Is that safe to have on my vegetable garden? I didn't see any literature on this product when it comes to edible gardens.



Allegan County Michigan fruits and vegetables fertilizer

3 Responses


I do not have any direct experience with this produce so I am answering you from what I read in the literature.

Phosphinates are organophosphorous compounds containing hydrogen, phosphorous and oxygen and then another attached element. Rid-o-rust does not say what that attached element is. In any case I do not believe it to be a concern in your garden. The rate that is applied is quite low and you will most likely rinse off anything before you eat it anyway, further diluting any potential residue.

A concern I do have, however, is the use of manures. Due to the potential e. coli in the manures, there is a restriction of 120 days from the time of application to the time of harvest and consumption, and that restriction is about to go to 9 months when the new food safety regulations come into affect. So be careful in how you use the manures you mention. You will need to place them on by October of the previous year or have them composted for that length of time.

Ron Goldy

Thank you Ron! I just want to clarify, are the droppings from our own rabbits ok to use right away as usual? From what I've read, that should be ok but I wanted to make sure i was understanding you correctly. We haven't put any manures on our garden this year (yet) but great information. Thank you again!


The vast majority of e coli is not an issue but there are certain strains that can cause serious human health problems. If any of the animals contributing to your manure happens to have that strain, then there could be a potential problem. Your rabbits are probably of least concern and the local cow manure of greatest since they probably exchange animals more often which increases the chances of e coli transfer.