Ruined soil??

lmullisApril 7, 2013

I found ants in my raised veggie garden bed when i was preparing soil to plant seeds. Not thinking, i soaked the ant bed with ortho homedefense! Theres nothing on the container about it and im wondering how long i should wait before planting in that area...any advice is greatly appreciated!!

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Which of the OHD products did you use? I need to be able to read the entire lable before helping you. Be sure to keep everyone out of the garden area in the meantime...including pets.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 2:55PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there is a PHONE NUMBER ON THE LABEL...

CALL IT!!!! ...

ken

ps: did you properly dilute it???

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 6:31PM
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lmullis

It is ortho home defense max for indoor and perimeter. I emailed them and they said they have no research on how it would affect the plants and can only recommend i wait a year before planting....!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:08AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The rule for pesticide use is that if what you want to use it for is not on the label.....you cannot use it! The label is the Federal law. You'll find a statement to that effect on the label....usually in pretty big letters.

The two active ingredients in your pesticide are toxic. You should be concerned, not only for plants, but much more so for anything that might come into contact with that soil. I have no idea how long it might persist in that location....it is purported to last twelve months inside but the soil and sunlight will probably break it down faster.

I'd email them again and ask about soil persistence (forget about plants). Arming yourself with information is a good thing.!

Are the ants Fire Ants? If so, you can use Amdro Fireant bait OUTSIDE of the raised bed area. If you can find the ant mounds, treat them. Read, understand, and follow the directions on the canister to a T.
You cannot use Amdro in the veggie garden, but they will find that bait!

If they are not fireants, I wouldn't lose any sleep over them. Ants are normal and expected outside....fireants can be a problem, but the others not so much.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 5:19PM
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lmullis

Thanks for the info and the time...i really appreciate. And feel like an idiot for not thinking and reading before spraying!! Also that ive probably ruined my planting plans!!

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:50PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hit the recycle bin at a local nursery.. get some larger pots ....

and get a very large bag of potting media..

and place the pots.. on top of the soil.. and let it lay fallow for the year ....

garden in the pots ...

or maybe a green manure.. that you can dig in in fall .. the name of which is escaping me ... some nitro fixing stuff... crikey ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 7:27AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Nothing to add to Rhizo's excellent experience-based advice, but wanted to extend some sympathy! I have a lot of ants here too, luckily not fire ants, but they do bite if you disturb them. Often when I put shovel in the ground, they are infesting an area where I want to plant. It's really frustrating, but if you disturb them well, then go away for about an hour, they should be gone when you come back so you can finish what you were doing... at least until you shovel into wherever it is that they went from there.

By raised beds, do you mean a mound on the ground, or some type of containers?

The main thing regarding ants and plants is that they can farm aphids on your plants. That's definitely an instance when I fight back, wash off the aphids, evict the ants via flood if I can figure out where they're nesting.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:58AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Purple, how did you get so lucky as to not have fire ants where you live?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 2:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the words were: green manure ...

ken

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 6:20PM
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lmullis

Purple the garden is on the ground. Framed with timbers and cardboard between the ground and soil. Its actually large enough that i was ab. le to plant the other end of it, away from the contaminated soil. Thanks for advice on the ants. I found many more when i stirred up more soil!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:46PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL

Being contained like that would make it easier to change out the soil if you wanted to, but probably not, I don't think I would if waiting would make it OK for next year. Best of luck, hope you figure this out and it's all a bad memory soon!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 8:56AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My concern is that no one should be handling or tromping around in that soil until it's known to be safe to deal with.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 9:47PM
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maplerbirch(4)

Look up the Active Ingredient(AI) on the MSDS and see what it says.

I use regular laundry Borax for ants and that seems to work in the vegetable garden, but I discovered that too much of that stuff will kill the plant as quickly as the ants would. :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 5:41AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Bifenthrin is used heavily on corn crops and Zeta-Cypermethrin is excreted in urine. The amounts that get put in residential products are incredibly small. I wouldn't worry about planting in that bed. Your exposure levels will be minuscule.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2013 at 6:29PM
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