Q.Weed killer use on vegetable patch.
I live in France and have continuous problems with a next door neighbour. We have young children. It seems that 2 to 3 weeks ago the neighbour sprayed my vegetable plot with a weed killer I don’t know what type but it seems to kill everything that has come in contact with and progresses from a few burnt leaves to complete death of the plants. Potatoes, beans (haricotes verts), raspberries,and carrots are all dead. We will not use the vegetables in the garden this year as I think its an in-acceptable risk and, most of the info on the internet says that I shouldn’t replant for one year. This means that we lose 2 years of vegetables. I’m concerned about the length of time that the product might last and not knowing what product he has used …… Is there a laboratory where I can send some samples etc, to determine what was used and the dangers? In France it seems that they only deal with commercial enterprises not individuals.
I am sorry to hear about the problems you've had. Spray drift, or contamination and killing of plants by herbicides or pesticides sprayed by neighbors, is a serious problem for many vegetable farmers and gardeners, especially those who use organic methods. The responsibility is really with the person spraying the chemicals- they are supposed to avoid spraying on windy days and they should use the proper spraying equipment to prevent the chemicals from entering someone else's property. But if your neighbor won't take responsibility, there are a few things you can do: planting a windbreak of shrubs or trees with dense vegetation at the edge of your property, or moving your vegetable garden farther away from the neighbor's property to create a buffer zone:
The following article from a US university discusses problems with spray drift and how to have testing done to see if chemical residues are on your plants or in your soil. In France, I'm not sure where you would send samples, but a university with an agriculture program or a local vegetable farmer's association would probably be able to help you.