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Gardener warned against using harmful product to grow vegetables: 'I would remove all that you can now'

"It's both worse and more expensive."

"It's both worse and more expensive."

Photo Credit: iStock

Those of us who garden know we all want nothing but the best for the fruits, veggies, and other various flora we grow with our own two hands. But sometimes, we do wrong by our plants without even realizing it. 

This Redditor took to r/vegetablegardening to curb such a mistake. 

"I was wondering what people's opinions were on the safety of using Vigoro Brown Mulch on edible plants?" they wrote in their post. "I had heard that mulch can contain recycled wood, including old pallets etc. Supposedly the dye is not the issue, just the wood containing toxins. I just wanted to know what the opinions are regarding this?"

In the comments, they added that their city had made free wood chips available for the public. 

According to Naturescapes, dyed mulches are usually made up of recycled wood waste, which can include chemical-treated wood. When it breaks down, this kind of mulch leaches dye and possible contaminants into the soil and kills beneficial bacteria, earthworms, insects, and even the plants themselves. 

However, when we are conscious of what is safe, it can be fulfilling and sustainable to cultivate an edible plant garden. And when we are intentional about working with native plants, we make an even more positive impact on the environment. 

Beyond composing a beautiful space and bearing yummy produce, native plants create food and shelter for local wildlife and a healthier ecosystem for pollinators all year round. This ultimately benefits humans, as pollinators protect our food supply. 

If you're less enthusiastic about the idea of growing your own produce, there are other eco-friendly, low-maintenance lawn replacement options out there. These include buffalo grass — which is native to North America — and xeriscaping, both of which will save you money on your water bill. 

Other Redditors took to this gardener's comments section to offer friendly advice about the dyed mulch. 

"It's both worse and more expensive than just using wood chips," one user commented. "In many areas you can even just get fresh wood chips for free either from ChipDrop or directly from arborists/landscapers."

"I would remove all that you can now and use what your city is offering," another said.

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