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We had this exact same thing happen in our garden here in Prince George, BC and after talking to a local soil expert, doing some research as well as an experiment, came to the same conclusion. It is aminopyralid poisoning. Our potatoes and tomatoes are the most seriously affected with the mutant leaves that look like fiddleheads. Any legumes just did not grow at all and neither did the cucumbers or melons. It has been very disheartening as this was the first year I had started all my own seedlings as well. We have begun turning our small city lot into a permaculture garden to tea people what you can do in a small space. You can check out our Facebook page at Because our yard is small we cannot produce enough organic matter ourselves so were excited to find a source of manure from a friend who has horses. He buys hay locally but we have since found out that almost all of the people who sell hay in the area spray their crops with herbicide for thistles, clover, etc. Here we thought we were doing such a good thing for our soil and it turns out we poisoned it instead! We shared what we experienced with local growers at our local farmers’ market. Some were aware of the problem but others were not and this could impact their livelihood in a huge way. Suddenly, things that have been safe to use on your garden can no longer be considered to be safe. It is not just the hay and the straw but the manure as well. Brazilian agronomist Aldemir Caligari is responsible for a revolutionary cover cropping finding with wonderful outcomes in agriculture. However, this super-productive strategy, called cocktail cover cropping, is equally valid for home gardeners seeking to fast-track improvements in soil structure and humus generation. So … you’ve been reading my garden columns and I’ve convinced you that if a former news anchor can grow a garden on a balcony, how hard can it be? Do you have access to wood chips? We do deep wood chips the same way you use hay and it works great in our area. We have access to free chips easily though. You can’t mix them in the soil and you plant below them. They turn into compost and build up the top soil over time. We add fresh chips 2 times a year to the top. Sorry about the garden! I’ve visited Patrick’s community garden; it’s a nice little urban oasis. But that urban setting makes being realistic about potential vermin problems crucial. Its very easy to breed the nasty, dangerous things, and much harder to get the population to go in the other direction. So here are some ideas. This can be very frustrating! We have articles on Gardening Know How that will help address some of the common garden pests and even uncommon ones! The key to your small-space urban gardening success has a lot to do with the types of pots or planters you select. We’re a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. On top of all that, we have loads of ready made designs for you to download that will help you transform your garden into something really beautiful. There were gardeners in the Bulkley Valley/Skeena Valley (BC, Canada) that used hay and straw/manure contaminated with Grazon (picloram) – widely used to combat broadleaf weeds. I was aware of that so could take precautions and did some testing with my straw for mulching and that I also use for my chickens. Everyone can do it at home to make sure it is not contaminated. Grazon has a long half life therefore gardeners in our area had to dig soil about 3 feet deep and exchange with not contaminated topsoil/compost mix and start new. Big job and sometimes quite expensive. Before adding compost/hay/straw/manure do the simple test and be sure your herbicide free Here is the link to an article explaining the bioassay method to test for herbicides Hope this is of help! Monika I keep reading everyone’s posts because I thought I was the only one with strange results. I also am interested in hearing about other woodchippers. I have the following comments to add: 1. I’ve been a woodchipper (Paul Gautschi, Back to Eden) for three years now and every year the soil gets better as the plants reveal…but one has to be patient with the process, like investing over the years before payoff. Once payoff happens (the right balance of soil chemistry with microorganisms), less work and more productivity is expected. So fertilize your plants to compensate before that magic year which I will be doing in my fourth year. 2. I didn’t plant my tomatoes deeply enough below the 4″ woodchip layer — my mistake — and my results were very disappointing with curly leaves, too much die off. I put new plants in at the beginning of August at a deep level, and they’re doing well, except yellowing at bottom…we haven’t had much rain here. 3. my potatoes are doing excellent — buried deep below the chips. 4. Chips are challenging with root crops while the soil is still building, so I’m doing a garden bed without chips next year and for several years more. 5. there is definitely a larger picture in which the pollution of our skies and water is a factor, which makes me want to stick with chips for greater protection, though our productivity may still be affected. The pollution dries out the soil and hurts plant growth. 6, yes I think one has to do their best to avoid chips which were herbicide-treated before cut down. 7. I would like to get chickens to help with the gardening tilling and fertilizing. My heirloom tomatoes looked just like this in my garden this year! Unfortunately, I agree with your “detective work” and conclusions. I don’t know if the source of the toxicity was from my mulch, straw/hay mulch, or drift from surrounding farm crop fields. My overall garden was pretty much a failure this year, despite good weather conditions, multiple plantings, and good care. I’m obviously going to have to do something different next year…not sure what! Thanks for sharing your experiences, please keep us posted! Paint walls and fences white to make space appear bigger, keep planting in borders low to make the garden seem wider, and go for a low-level chest storage unit instead of a tall shed. When your plants are growing well, gardening is a breeze! When plant care problems arise in the rose garden, the herb garden, or the pumpkin patch, gardening can get a little frustrating. Suddenly you find yourself in the role of Plant Doctor, without any formal education in the field of diagnosing and healing sick plants. tui gardentui pettui at home Creating a two-level garden linked by steps and flanked by split-level pools fed with waterfalls gives the space more interest. The design is bordered by raised flowerbeds and built-in bench seating, which can seat more guests than garden chairs. A colourful buddleia is an ideal standard plant for this kind of garden; easy to care for, it will attract lots of bees and butterflies when it flowers. I also had some problems with straw bale gardening. At least with manure you test a sample before you put it on the garden. Just water some bean or tomato seedlings with some compost tea made from your manure. I have a constant battle with weeds in my garden. Dudeni, if it’s thick clay and north facing, I’d consider going grass less. You’ll never get a good lawn with those conditions. You’ll be permanently fighting moss and bad drainage. Your problem isn’t easily rectified and lack of sun is something you can’t solve. I’d seriously consider a different style of garden. erogan TestX Core eracto Zevs Testogen Tonus Fortis Eron Plus Tonus Fortis Maxman erogan