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Garden centre plants - pre treated?


 
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Keith g
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Garden centre plants - pre treated? Reply with quote

Hi all, I wonder if any of you have any thoughts on this. I was looking through a very good and well stocked garden centre today, with lots of beautiful, small and recently cultivated summer flowering plants on offer.

They looked in perfect order, no blemishes, spots damage, signs of disease, they couldn't have looked any better for this time of year. My question is are all of these plants pre treated with pesticides, fungicides etc. before being put on sale from the nurseries they came from? Some were sourced from the UK.

They just looked too good especially for this time of year.

K.

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

an old post that reappeared the answer is yes.
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tippben
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, they are. If it isn't sold as Organic (with a hefty premium), it's not organic. Generally, the chemicals used are systemic fungicides which help combat botrytis in glasshouses, systemic insecticides which target sap suckers like aphids, and sometimes, especially with trees and shrubs, "Suscon Green" in the growing medium to prevent vine weevils.
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Keith g
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re Reply with quote

Thanks, do you know if these chemicals take long to go out of the plant, or does the plant retain these in the plant stems/leaves/roots for ever more ?

K.

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tippben
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh no, they persist for a couple of months, gradually losing their effectiveness. Although I don't use such products, as I prefer organic practices and have never yet needed to resort to such measures (I'd probably just say goodbye to the plant and cut my losses) I have worked in industrial horticulture. You have tens of thousands of plants passing along conveyor belts, handled by hundreds of people who "clean up" the plants ready for sale. They then drink, eat, smoke, pick their nose etc. Anything too noxious (unless you're an aphid) is not used, as poisoning your workforce is not good business.

Plants intended for consumption are especially regulated. Salads, tomatoes and herbs might be sprayed, but are kept in isolation for three weeks after spraying, as a precaution. Although it is actually safe (unless you ate a ton of the stuff) it's still a sackable offence to enter these areas.

I really wouldn't worry much about the toxicity of garden centre plants, but if you can source organic plants, and can afford them, power to your arm!
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Keith g
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

Thanks tippben, great advice there ! Very Happy Your experience in industrial horticulture really sums it up, personally I too don't think that this is the way to go.

I am now purchasing organically produced seeds for this year, looking forward to sowing them in a couple of months. I have lots of flowers for bees and butterflies, I'll collect my seeds from these later in the year, otherwise i'll divide them if I can. I might try a few vegetables also.

At least I can be sure that my seeds are not contaminated, what worries me is just how widespread this practice is.

K.

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

how do you know that the bees that visit your garden only bring pollen from organically produced plants are they specially bred to collect from organic plants and avoid all other plants can never figure this out
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Keith g
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

Hi greengage, of course nobody can control where the bees fly to here and there, I can't nor can any body else, all I can do is conciously ensure that my own little corner is organic as possible. It's just my own choice as to what I can do, I just wish from my own point of view that organic should be promoted more often and better. It's a pity joe public's choice nearly always comes down to the bucks Sad

I had wondered just how toxic the chemicals are/could be, at least I know a little bit more now Smile

K.

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tippben
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from an initial application of glyphosate to kill the lawn prior to setting out our veg garden (5 years ago), I've never had to use poisons. Things might get nibbled, and have to go for compost, but never to such a degree that we don't produce food. I do use ferrous sulphate slug pellets (organic- they degrade to iron an sulphur) but I only have to in the polytunnel, where the slugs and snails are basically trapped. I have tried nematodes, but on a disability benefit budget, they are unfortunately prohibitively expensive.

Some businesses don't use poisons. I worked as a supervisor in the largest greenhouse complex in europe, where they grow peppers. They're not organic- grown in rockwool with a nutrient solution. However, they are not sprayed. Tiny parasitic wasps control the pests. The bosses didn't decide to do this out of a desire to use fewer chemicals, but because it was cheaper, and more effective.

I am much more unnerved by the fact that some of my neighbours burn plastic, creating dioxins, not only in the farmyards, but also in the fireplace, than any seed dressed with fungicide, or a plant from a garden centre.
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Keith g
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

I guess you've seen it all Ben. Unfortunately the likes of you & me who go for organic as much as possible are in the minority it seems. I suppose it all down to education with people, at least you know what's good and bad, people these days want the easy option.

I hate that burning too, laziness or too costly, whatever the reason it is just another example of getting rid of a problem. I try to have and word with people with a smile if I can. Not always easy but you have to start somewhere. Now with persistence, some of my family don't use pesticides either

Very Happy

K.

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