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How long does weed killer remain in compost? Can I reuse the compost?

Ok, so no judgement please, we bought a house so this is my first garden. When we got it, it's a new build so it was basically a ploughed field in the back. My husband put weedkiller down (using the bad watering-can, or so I thought) on the weeds that sprang up as we weren't able to get the garden done straight away.

Now its spring, I planted some seeds, I've done this before several years ago so I was happy with the process, and my herbs and plants were big enough so I transplanted them into pots (I'm not going to have a bed, just pots for tomatoes, garlic, herbs, peppers, chillies to start) i watered them with the good watering can. Next day, all dead. Turns out my husband had put the weed killer in the good watering can, and probably didn't rinse it out. (I dont' know which weedkiller it was. probably a generic off-the-shelf one)

My problem is. I don't have any more compost. I've ordered some through amazon but that's going to be another week, (due to coronavirus all the garden centres are closed and my local supermarket is only a small one) can I reuse the compost that I've got? Does the weed killer remain in the compost? I have more seeds so I can start to grow everything again, but I don't want to waste all the compost.

I admit I'm a complete newbie at this. I have grown some veg and herbs from seeds before successfully. planted them in the ground, they were brilliant. I have no interest in growing flowers, I'm more interested in stuff I can eat. :P
Just when I really want my own herb garden, everything is dead. Help? Please?
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  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,053
    edited April 2020
    Many weedkillers don't remain in the compost, but it's impossible to be sure without knowing which one it was :(. If it was glyphosate you should be OK, that's supposed to deactivate on contact with soil. Maybe try a test pot with whatever you have the most spare seed of?
  • feagaer7feagaer7 Posts: 8
    edited April 2020
    I've been looking, the packaging is gone but I remember it was green, I think it's likely it was Round-Up but I can't be 100% sure. Thanks for the response! :)
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,053
    I think Roundup is a brand name for glyphosate (but they could include other things in the formulation of some products, I don't know).
  • feagaer7feagaer7 Posts: 8
    Thank you so much! I'll plant more seeds (hopefully I have enough definitely-not-contaminated-compost left to do that) and plant a test pot. That's a good idea. Thank you for your time! :D
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 6,970
    Some weedkillers do linger in the soil and, if it was a residual weedkiller (eg for use on patios and paths) there may still be some in the pots.

    If you think it was ordinary Roundup you should be ok - but I think I'd take the additional precaution of thoroughly flooding the pots with fresh water in the hope of washing out any residue. Leave them to drain before replanting.

    Make sure you rinse the watering can several times and then bat your husband with it😬
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,312
    And don’t let the Undergardener (2nd Class) forget he owes you ... with training and cake they can improve ... mine is actually very useful now but I’ve had him a while 😉 

    My heart went out to you when I read your post. bless you ... I hope things improve ... I said to my Undergardener, ‘I wonder where she is... we could pop a bit of compost round ... enough for some seedlings’ 🌱 

    Let us know how you get on 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • feagaer7feagaer7 Posts: 8
    ok brilliant, I will do that too. He's just gone to hide in the garage from the battering so I might have to catch him unawares! lol :D

    thanks for your reply!
  • feagaer7feagaer7 Posts: 8
    aww thank you Dovefromabove. that is so kind. would be a bit of a trip! I'm in the west country. i do have some on the way via amazon so if i've no spare I'll just have to be patient and start again a little late! i am determined to make it work, it's been a while since I've had anything green about.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,312
    We should be heading down there very soon
    for a visit to @Hostafan1 and then an idyllic holiday on the Cornish coast ... cancelled now of course 😭 will have to wait for next year .... 🌊 🎨 🏖 ❤️ 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 31,571
    We should be heading down there very soon
    for a visit to @Hostafan1 and then an idyllic holiday on the Cornish coast ... cancelled now of course 😭 will have to wait for next year .... 🌊 🎨 🏖 ❤️ 
     :'( 
    Devon.
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