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Gardener saddened after discovering effects of potentially contaminated soil: 'They're just sad and burnt looking'

"So sorry you're dealing with this!"

"So sorry you're dealing with this!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

By the end of June, most gardeners' spring and summer crops are in full bloom. Seedlings are transforming into strong, productive plants, with some even beginning to produce their first harvests.

So, you can imagine the confusion of one gardener who had seen little-to-no growth of crops (if they hadn't yet died) in a new garden bed they had built just a few months earlier.

In a video shared on TikTok, Carissa Bonham (@creativegreenliving) showed yellow, wilting basil and dead tomato plants on one end of the new garden bed.

@creativegreenliving We suspect some of our garden beds are herbicide contaminated so this morning we're running some tests and then we'll have to figure what to do next. #gardentok #gardenproblems #askamastergardener #herbicidedamage #gardenhelpneeded ♬ original sound - Carissa–Creative Green Living

"They're just sad and burnt looking," narrated Carissa over images of her withering plants.

Carissa explained that the health of her plants improved on the other side of the garden bed, leading her to strongly suspect a single culprit: herbicide contamination.

"The plants are growing in such a weird way that it made me start wondering if we might be the victims of herbicide contamination," said Carissa. "I think it's possible that something we bought got contaminated and it's affecting our plants."

While Carissa couldn't be 100% sure herbicides were what was killing the plants in the new garden bed, the results are eerily similar to cases that do involve herbicides — namely, the destruction and death of all plants in its wake.

Unfortunately, while users of herbicides mean well, the chemicals can actually cause more harm than good.

Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide in brands like Roundup, Rodeo Aquatic Herbicide, and Eraser, has many adverse effects on both human health and the environment.

When exposed to glyphosate, humans can experience symptoms and effects ranging from eye and nose irritation to chemical burns and even cancer. As a result, brands that contain glyphosate, like Roundup, have been banned in some countries and U.S. states.

Unsurprisingly, what's harmful to humans is also extremely toxic to plants and animals and can have devastating effects on ecosystems. When glyphosate is used, it persists in soil, where it has been found to seep into crops and harm the creatures that feed on them. When glyphosate-permeated soil washes away in runoff water, it joins local waterways and its ecosystems, worsening biodiversity.

With the knowledge of herbicide's detrimental effects, commenters on Carissa's video offered sympathy for her situation as well as potential solutions.

"So sorry you're dealing with this!" wrote one user.

Another asked, "Do you still have a pile of the compost/dirt you could soil test? Those results could give you better direction."

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