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Manager's Blog

Chris | General Manager

25th January 2017

As I embark on my 37th year at Yarnton Nurseries Garden Centre, I got to thinking about the changes in the products that we sold then, but have long since gone, either through EU directives or more interesting reasons.

Firstly, there used to be, 30 odd years ago, at least a dozen firms from which you could buy chemicals for all sorts of different purposes, by far the most interesting were the ones that killed things – one or two of them if used incorrectly might kill the user!! I’m thinking about things like ‘paraquat’ – which if it didn’t kill you by lung or liver failure, was a leading carcinogen. So if it didn’t get you the first time round, it hung around until it did!! Not surprisingly it was withdrawn from sale in this country a while ago, as in the wrong hands it might wreak havoc!

When I joined the company and we were still growing tomatoes and bedding plants, the use of nicotine had only just been outlawed, which when used required the person administering the product to dress in a suit that resembled a deep sea diver or an astronaut! I believe not only are the above products still in manufacture, they are indeed still used in countries around the world.

A host of other chemicals have also disappeared, such as fungicides “Benlate”, and Copper fungicide, Greenhouse fumigants’, or at least the products containing nasty substances, and even dear old worm killer, which seems a daft thing to do. The product that did the job contained mercury!!

All from a by gone age, and now it’s very rare that a new chemical comes along, as it has to pass so many regulations. At some point I might hope to do part two – and list the various traps and killing machines, that once stocked the shelves, for now, I’ll leave you to dwell on those far off days, where you could pretty much destroy anything you wanted to, and had the armoury to do so!


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