Are there any suppliers of weedkiller and pesticide-free compost/topsoil in Maryland?
Hello, I'm looking to convert part of my lawn into a vegetable garden, and I'd like to do it through sheet mulching with pesticide-free compost and topsoil. My county (Howard) has a spiffy composting facility that offers compost and topsoil, but it includes yard wastes from all my neighbors who put a lot of chemicals on their huge lawns to make them beautiful. I know the term "organic" is virtually meaningless in marketed compost/soil, but I'm still interested in trying to track down compost and topsoil that doesn't include these chemicals. I understand that there's no organic certification for home gardening soil amendments, but I'm wondering if you know of any organic farms or other suppliers locally that sell bulk soil and compost that are created without weedkillers or pesticides. Thank you for any tips you might have! Michelle
Hi- you may have found the test results for Howard Co. municipal compost:
Yes, many homeowners apply herbicides to home turf (please urge your neighbors to leave the clippings in place and not to send them to the landfill!) These herbicides breakdown in the elements and especially during the composting process and would present an extremely low plant or animal risk.
Other commercial compost products also usually make test results available and these sometimes include tests for certain pesticides (which includes herbicides). A number of vendors in the region mix topsoil and compost and they may also offer test results. Leafgro has their compost tested monthly by the US Composting Council and they used to post results but I can't find the reports on their website today.