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How long does a systemic stay in the soil?

 
pollinator
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I use to use a systematic on my rose's, I think the last time I did was May 2018.  I no longer use chemicals.  I want to plant garlic and was thinking a putting some around my rose's, but I don't know if it's safe.  I don't know how long the chemicals contaminate the soil.
Does anyone know?
 
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It's possible nobody knows.  I looked up one brand of rose systemic and this is what the safety data sheet said:

systemic.jpeg
[Thumbnail for systemic.jpeg]
 
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The life of the chemical may be an unknown, but there is something that can be done to speed things up, and mushrooms are the answer, and it's an easy thing to do. Take some mushrooms, any mushrooms, wild ones from your yard or even ones from the grocery store, and whirr them up in a blender with some water and make a slurry, which can be diluted a little further, and pour this onto the soil. Fungi are amazing, and one thing they can do is break down nasty man made chemicals and Oyster mushrooms are very good at this. Perhaps ask someone at a grocery store if they have funky looking or expired mushrooms that they can't sell, and they may give them to you.
 
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The label (if you trust it) should say how often to reapply. That would give you some idea how long it is supposedly effective in the soil. Don't know about byproducts though...
 
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Most of the systemic products on the market should be considered viable for at least 2 years, so, if you want to get them out of the soil, use James' suggestion, oysters are the mushroom to focus on for this type of remediation.
When it comes to these products, no one has bothered to do the testing since it could lead to a liability issue (according to a lawyer friend) for the company making the product.

The problem with such products is that the roots can only make use of them when freshly applied, once these have been in situ for as little as two months, their effectiveness seems to go down hill, even though the chemicals are persistent for at least two years (average of most systemics being found in garden soil tests results where there was a request for such data).
Companies probably don't want to have to do the testing and no government agency requires it, this results in labels like Tyler posted, lots of "unknown" or "Not Available" spaces on the labels.

Redhawk
 
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If you can do an aerated compost extract, that would be good too, or something out of the Korean Natural Farming playbook, or basically anything that gets beneficial soil bacteria in place, doing their thing, so that the fungi can do theirs.

I think you can also accelerate any natural biological effect by optimising the conditions, meaning if you cover the soil and keep it watered sufficiently for bacteria and fungi to thrive, they will.

These are good questions to ask. I would see if there's literature on plant uptake. If the systemic is taken up into the biomass of a plant, that plant can be grown specifically for the purpose of removing it, and the absorbed systemic. Do that enough times, and it will be removed for all intents and purposes.

Good luck, though, and let us know how it goes.

-CK
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Thanks everyone for your valuable information.  The only thing I found on the internet said it lasts about 500 days.  I was not sure if it was the chemical I used, but I will put my garlic in another place.  It's just not worth taking a chance.  
I think I will give the mushrooms a try.  One of the sites I was on said it would keep killing Bea's and other beneficial insects for 500 days.  I am not sure this is true because I have seen a lot more beneficial insects on my rose's this year, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.
I live in California, and it seems like everything you do or touch, or use says this product is known to cause cancer.  You would think the chemical company's would be forced to be more honest about the impact these chemicals have.  I know why the company's don't volunteer the information, but more information should be required.  I'm pretty sure I would never have used a product.that stay in the soil for 2 years.  I'm a cashier at Walmart, and I plan to try to let people know.  I can't say don't buy this it's killing our bee's!  But I can say something like, I use to use this, then I discovered it stay in the ground for 2 year's,  and now I'm growing organic and my rose's are actually healthier than they have ever been, not to mention the money I save. It will depend on the customer.  I don't have money, power, or political influence, so all I can do is try to do the best I can in my small piece of the world, and pass on the knowledge I learn to others.  
This is why I enjoy this site so much.  I get informative information, and enjoy learning and sharing things I enjoy with like minded people.  Thanks
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Jen, indeed California does think that everything is a carcinogen.  The one good thing about systemics is that there isn't any-part of the stuff able to harm the insects we want, the poison is inside the leaves not the pollen or the nectar.

even fertilizers for lawns can be found in soil after two years, so don't sweat the length of time cides can hang around, it's better to know they can and use better, alternative methods.

Sadly, until the USDA and FDA get together and require full transparency and disclosure by all the chemical companies, there will always be lots we, the public, aren't told or even allowed to see.
Since the big corporations are funding both agencies, they can fairly well skirt around any regulation either might try to implement. All the corps have to do is take the money away or threaten to and the agency rolls over like a dead cod.

Redhawk
 
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I've read that the half-life of Round-Up is about 3 years.  Yikes.  There is the initial plant-killing effect, but then the residual effects hang around for years.  As a former user of the stuff ("What's the harm?"), I attribute the residues of Round-Up to the death of 3 or four of my trees.  My bad -- lesson learned the hard way.

But it's SO EASY to use, and those nasty weeds and grasses go bye-bye.  Yes, and so does your persimmon and Haas avocado, 3 years later.

Doing it right is always a bit more work initially.  But in the long run, it's so much better and ultimately, so much easier.  If I think pulling noxious weeds and cutting away fungal-damaged plants is time consuming, so also is going to chemotherapy appointments 20 years later.  I wish I knew 15 years ago what I clearly know now.  Oh well . . . hindsight, 20/20.
 
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Marco Banks wrote:I've read that the half-life of Round-Up is about 3 years.  Yikes.  There is the initial plant-killing effect, but then the residual effects hang around for years.  As a former user of the stuff ("What's the harm?"), I attribute the residues of Round-Up to the death of 3 or four of my trees.  My bad -- lesson learned the hard way.”

It could be worse, I fear Roundup was a contributing factor in my mother’s death by cancer. She sprayed miles of ditch bank.

 
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I have seen where people will use a mixture of pool salt, vinegar and dish soap to control weeds.  I would not think this combination has any lasting ill effects but ti also may take several applications.  
Has anyone used this mix with success?

For disease I have the supplies to make some JADAM sulfur spray.  On my todo list.
 
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Bryant

> California thinks everything is carcinogenic

Actually, I suspect this has always been and industry smack down of the law. By (nudge nudge wink wink, snigger...) labeling _everything_ as carcinogenic, industries have emasculated the law.


Rufus
 
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Dennis Bangham wrote:I have seen where people will use a mixture of pool salt, vinegar and dish soap to control weeds.  I would not think this combination has any lasting ill effects but ti also may take several applications.  
Has anyone used this mix with success?

I soaked orange peels in vinegar for a month, strained it, addid citric acid and dish soap, and sprayed it on weeds. It worked, but i generally find it easier to just yank them or hit them with the weed whacker. Or just let them grow.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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I have had several people tell me the vinegar works.  There are lots of recipes out there, a combo of vinegar, salt, and liquid dish soap, or vinegar with orange oil, or vinegar, orange oil and liquid dish soap.  They are all said to work.  It seems the vinegar you get in the grocery store is only 9% so most suggest using the vinegar you get in the garden center that is 20%.  The main thing to be careful of is it will burn you just as easy as the weeds so you must take precautions.  I read you have to keep in mind that it only kills the top, not the roots, so tough weeds will probably have to be sprayed more then once.  It can also change the ph of your soil.  I have not tried this myself because most of the weeds I want removed are by plants, or flowers I don't want to poison. My thinking was always if you water plant a, plant b gets water too, so if I poison weed a, then flower b will get poison also.  Now if the person who said it doesn't kill the roots knows what he is talking about then flower b will be fine if some of the vinegar gets into the ground.
The 20% is quite a bit more expensive and kind of scary, it is a very strong acid, and can be very bad if it gets on your skin, or in your eye. I did read although not as bad as round-up it is still harmful to the environment.  If you get it on toads or salamanders they are goners, your results wont be as fast, but I would stick with the house hold 9 or 10% vinegar myself.  For me I think I will use this solution in the driveway, and just get down on my knees and yank those nasty weeds out, it's good therapy.  I also read pouring boiling water over weeds kills them, even better with some salt.  Part of me thinks yes no chemical at all, and part of me thinks I can't even carry my tea with out spilling some, so walking around the yard with boiling water could spell disaster.  If your not using the 20% vinegar the ingredients are cheap, so give it a try in small safe places and see how it works for you.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Jen, yes, vinegar (acetic acid) comes in several concentrations and the stronger the acid the better it will kill anything.
The thing to remember is that if your using 20% acid on soil, your microbiome is also being exposed to that acidity and our loved soil bacteria and fungi don't respond well to such acidic conditions.
So there is the conundrum of is killing the "weeds" a necessary thing and if it is, then you are also acidifying the soil, killing off the microbiome and that means what you then plant will probably not do much growing.

I fare quite well by using 5% to 7% vinegar, I use it to get rid of fire ant mounds that I can't allow to be where they decided to take up house keeping.
I also use it to control poison ivy and poison oak, and I can use this concentration to keep the grass that likes to grow in my gravel road under control.
5% vinegar will drop the pH from 6.8 to 4.0 for a short period (about 7 days average) then the pH will start to recover and by the end of a month the microbiome will start to recover.

20% vinegar will just about sterilize soil it is used on.

Redhawk
 
Dennis Bangham
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What is the recommended mix ratio for the 5% vinegar, salt mix?  I know the soap is just to help it stay on the surface.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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hau Dennis, I use this mix; 1 gallon 5% vinegar, 2TBS kosher salt, 3 drops dawn detergent. shake or stir to mix well.

The soap is the wetting agent so the vinegar/salt will saturate the soil and leaves/stems of the item you want to die.
The importance of the salt is to dry out the plants, for insects you don't really need the salt.
I use a smaller amount of salt because it will drip to the soil and I don't want to kill my microbiome if at all possible to keep it viable.

If you treat and wait about a week then water well enough to encourage leaching, you can bring back your soil microbiome with compost tea and a mushroom slurry.

Redhawk

**I use kosher salt because we don't keep iodized salt around.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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My son was moving some of my wood chips for me with the bobcat (sing hallelujah)  and when he was done scraped the weeds in the driveway.  Not the way I would have done it, but problem solved.
 
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