Interesting article about a flap in New Zealand related to the discovery of contaminated soils in housing developments that were built on former horticultural sites. The article is instructive for anyone who uses chemicals in their gardens.
“Leach contends that problem is far more widespread. Home gardens all over the country are undoubtedly also contaminated. As you spray, so shall you reap.”
The 1955 Yates garden guide was widely in use by New Zealand home gardeners until the 1970’s, and it contains some alarming recommendations, such as the use of DDT in huge quantities, as well as other extremely poisonous substances such as lead and arsenic. These contaminates break down very slowly and the residues put children, pets, and people with chemical sensitivities at considerable risk.
“Home gardeners have traditionally been some of the worst users of pesticides,” says Meriel Watts, co-ordinator of the Pesticide Action Network. “Because they don’t have training and often don’t know what they’re doing, there’s been a tendency to overuse chemicals.”
“There is a long history of chemicals that have been recommended to us as being perfectly okay to use with no after-effects. And then later we are told they are no longer any good or they have unforeseen health consequences.”
In a word — if you still use chemicals in your garden — DON’T.