sisal twine

sarahlynnwhiteMay 23, 2010

I bought some twine at Home Depot to use to trellis my cukes and was surprised at the smell of it while I was stringing it up. It smells like fuel oil. The packaging says it is 100% sisal and doesn't list anything else. Is this safe to use on my veggies? What is this smell and will whatever treatment used on it wash into my lettuce below? I've already hung it and watered so whatever it is may already have washed into my veggies. I thought twine was an all natural fiber material and that is why I chose to use it in my garden. I am 100% organic gardening and do not want chemicals or treated materials in my garden. Is it safe to use... or should I find another type of rope to use? Thanks.

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opal52(z7b GA)

I bought some sisal twine a couple weeks ago at our local Home Depot also. Just went out and took a whiff to see if I noticed any unusual smell. I grew up in an area where lots of carpet is made and I am very familiar with the smell of jute. The sisal I bought smells very much like jute, which is I think how it should smell. I had already thrown away the packaging of the twine I purchased but I do recall it was listed as 100% sisal. I also can't remember where the twine we bought was manufactured, but I know it was not in the USA. It is possible that the twine you bought was introduced to some chemical contamination in shipment, or even at the store. If the twine I purchased smelled like it was contaminated with fuel or other chemical, I would throw it away and replace it. If you still have the sales receipt from Home Depot, they would probably replace it for you.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 1:17PM
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oregonwoodsmoke(5 OR Sunset 1A)

Sisal doesn't smell all that nice. Do you know anyone who knows what sisal should smell like?

HD will take it back, if you are worried about it.

The smell will fade a bit once it is out of the package.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 1:27PM
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I'm suspecting that the smell is the normal, rather strong stinky smell associated with sisal. I bought a huge roll of it like you'd use to bale hay as it's handy and I bought sisal for the same reason the OP did. It's organic and I don't like plastic baling twine since it gnarls up machinery and is slow to break down. Mine stinks to high heaven and if you aren't familiar with sisal you could say it does smell of diesel oil or another chemical. The process for extracting the fibre is mechanical, so it's not something you'd associaate with the manufacturing process. And no, it comes from a tropical plant, so most of it is of course grown and processed in country of origin and many of them are third world.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 5:01PM
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Sisal twine is often treated with a rodenticide mixed with oil. This is probably what you have. Google "treated sisal twine", and you'll see what I'm talking about. Bad stuff for an organic gardener to say the least.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 8:34AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I have sisal twine. It is treated with a rodent repellent, not rodenticide. Big difference. Repellent may not appeal to you but it is not harmful.


    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 10:49AM
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robertlovesmaters(Zone 10 Petaluma CA)

I bought the same twine for my garden last year. and it did smell like some type of fuel, oil or sorts. I used it to tie everything up and had no problems with it. I accidently let it get wet and it molded fast, which would not have happened if it indeed were treated with oil or fuel.. it is fine to use. IMO

    Bookmark   May 29, 2010 at 3:39PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I've never noticed sisal baler twine smelling any other way--kind of like diesel, but not really. That is just the way it is. What we get now seems to usually come from Brazil, although in the past it often came from Africa.

The smell goes away fairly quickly when it is out in the open air.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 2:48AM
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took awhile to find this but its poisonous especially hardware store Sisal Jute...treated with a fungicide i got this off of a Livestock Forum enjoy...and Aloha T
WARNING:'Keep in mind that most of the sisal in the stores is treated with Busan 30L. It is an industrial fungicide originally designed for the leather tanning industry and the only use for which it is actually labeled. I called Ambraco (sells to TSC, Blains, Mills, etc.) and they said the normal 'treated' sisal has Mineral oil, dye, water and Busan 30L. Apparently the 'treated' twine has always had the first three with the Busan 30L being added in the 1990's by the company that makes it in Brazil. The Busan 30L MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) lists the stuff as pretty toxic. Not so sure I would want to be feeding it to livestock. '

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:19PM
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changingitup(8 PDX)

I also bought something similar with the same idea- natural so organic. I thought it was labeled as twine but threw away the packaging so I'm going to stop in the store to see exactly what it is. I had thought about just cotton string, like what a chef would use, but was thinking to stay away from the bleach. What are other people using in their vegetable gardens for string?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 5:45PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Both sisal and jute twine are fine IF they are under tension. When put under tension in the rain, sun ..they can become elongated and loos, unless they are real thick.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 8:20PM
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