chemicals in compost?

Asked June 20, 2018, 12:54 PM EDT

Are the chemicals that are present in plant material that is collected for compost at the compost areas destroyed by the process of composting or are they still in the compost? I am careful not to use anything that has herbicides and insecticides that can cause loss of pollinators. When I buy plants I try to be sure that they are not treated. I know I cannot prevent some problems but I want to do all I can to help.

Ramsey County Minnesota chemicals compost horticulture

1 Response

It depends on how the compost site is managed. Herbicides and pesticides have a half life that is stated in the literature but you cannot be sure what was used in a community compost site. A private provider such as a farmer would probably be able to tell you what is in the compost. Obviously if you create your own compost with grass clippings and other plant materials you will know that they are free of herbicides and pesticides. Some factors are explained in the following article. See:https://extension.umd.edu/learn/gardener-alert-beware-herbicide-contaminated-compost-and-manure