raspberries plants painted

lieben13July 28, 2010

I am so choked. I had some painters paint my fence and they used a sprayer without covering up my plants. There is now a portion of my vegetable garden soil along the fence that has paint misted on it and my raspberry bushes have the same misting on them. I just planted them after searching all over the city for 3 months for this cultivar - I got the last 4.

Does anyone know what I can do? I was going to strip the soil and get rid of it. But I'm not sure what to do with the raspberry bushes. Should I just cut them to the ground to get rid of the contaminated leaves or will it matter? I will be cutting them down in a couple of months anyway. Will the paint travel into the new fruit? Will it get into the soil and contaminate the plant for years to come???? Help!!

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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

If it were me, and I'm far from an expert, I'd cut the bushes down and remove them. I'd then take a square point shovel and strip the first inch of soil (or more) and get rid of it, then replant the bushes, (I hope you haven't watered since it happened). Of course this drastic of action may not be needed, I'm sure others will chime-in.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 11:44PM
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In your situation, I would try to keep the raspberries alive, and let them stand until November. Then I would cut them back, and mulch them for the winter, with shredded leaves. If they come up next spring, they should do fine, and the fruit should be OK to eat. I don't think it is necessary to remove any soil. Check with the painters to confirm that the paint is lead free. Most paint is, these days.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 12:47AM
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I would not worry about it -- if anything, just remove the mulch layer with paint on it. Chances are, they used acrylic latex paint, just like the paint in your kitchen. I wouldn't want to eat paint sprayed fruit, but the chances of the plant uptaking any of it into the fruit is minimal.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:10AM
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Very few paints today have anything in them that is a long term contamenant and lead has been banned for use in paint since the 1970's, the pigments are clay (a soil particle), and the binders are latex, usually. So there is no real reason to remover the plants or the soil, or any mulch.
Ehat the paint might do is limit the raspberries ability to photosynthesize, make nutreints from the sunlight, which may cause the plants to drop those leaves.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 7:23AM
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I was going to wise-off by asking if the painting crew spoke English and wonder why you didn't walk the site with them and ask what steps they would take to protect your plants.

But then I noticed that you are Canadian ...where the trades have not yet been colonized by illegal workers.

Re: the type of paint used by the paint crew. Can you ask them what they used? Are leaded paints still allowed in Canada? Knowing these things would help to plan how to mitigate for sloppy work done by an unprofessional paint crew.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 1:50PM
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I agree with Alibamanicole. I wouldn't worry about it so long as it's a water based paint. The plants will outgrow the painted leaves and nothing in modern paints is a contaminant.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Borderbarb, I come to this forum as a retreat from all of the negativity regarding undocumented workers. Please don't spoil it for me. Find another platform to sound off on that. There are plenty out there!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 9:27AM
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OK - The paint is dried on the leaves: may kill a few leaves, but unlikely to kill the whole plant. The suggestion that you hack the plants down and move them will probably kill them.

Dry paint has absolutely ZERO chance of "migrating to the fruit". And the bacteria in the soil will handle the overspray quite nicely.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2010 at 11:01AM
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